Michael Sweezey


Halloween has passed, hurricane season is almost over, and cooler weather is (hopefully) coming soon to Florida! Orlando REP’s fall semester of classes has finished, and we are now looking forward to everything coming up next. Classes have been happening online since May, and in-person at the REP since July with very clear and strong safety protocols in place. After Thanksgiving, we will be back in-person with a winter semester of Youth Academy acting classes, and we hope to see you back at the theatre. Start your new year with excitement and creativity!


Youth Academy classes set out to inspire student creativity, engage their imagination, and teach empathy through theatre. Orlando Family Stage classrooms are brave spaces where students and teachers are challenged to be learners, not knowers. We will all follow these main classroom creeds; be kind, be curious, and take creative risks! This winter, each of our classes set out to achieve all of their goals through immersing our students in stories. No matter the theme of the class, whether it’s for younger students about trains, or for older students about a dystopian future, the story is the driving force. The characters feel familiar and friendly, and the settings can feel like home. These common themes allow our students to connect to each other in the classroom and on the stage. 

Our Teaching Artists teach with the idea that the group is an ensemble. This means that there is no student or role more important than any other. Ensemble comes from a Latin word meaning “at the same time,” and this mentality helps our classes produce a stronger and more cohesive outcome than working individually. Every person in the room, a teacher, a student, even the person who checks your student in for class, is working towards the same goal “at the same time.” Come join us as we dive head first into stories that your students care about, and can help re-tell them in person!


If your family is new to Orlando Family Stage or drama classes, we are offering a brand new drop-in style Story Drama class to try it out this December. Story Drama Saturdays offer families flexibility in attending classes by being short, one-day offerings that focus on a new story each week. Registration is available on a week-to-week basis, so you can come to one of them, or all of them!



Story Drama Saturdays (Online Story Drama)

December 5, 12, & 19 & again January 23-March 13 | 9:00-9:30am | K-2 grade

Register the week before or register five minutes before…this Drop-In Online Story Drama class is great for families who want a little more flexibility in their schedule! Each week focuses on a different book and these classes use creative play, theatre games, and storytelling to explore the actor’s toolbox of the body, voice, imagination, and concentration. 



Beginning in December, our classrooms can become your student’s writing studio! Whether they are inspired by Charles Dickens, William Shakespeare, or Andrew Lloyd Weber, these classes offer your up-and-coming storytellers the opportunity to collaborate with their classmates towards something brand new on stage. If your student is more excited about characters and worlds of their own design and creation, there will always be a place for them at the theatre! Bringing characters to life through stories, drawings, animating, and acting is a building block of artistic creativity, and will ALWAYS be encouraged in our classrooms. These classes will help students bring their own characters to life through acting in person, or design and creation online.


Re-Writes! An Improvised Christmas Carol

December 5 | 9:00am-4:00pm | 3-8 grade

Create your own twisted version of A Christmas Carol through improvisation and sketch writing! Spend your day playing improvisation and storytelling games while creating unique versions of Scrooge, the ghost of Jacob Marley, the characters from Scrooge’s past, and of course the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future. This Play-in-a-Day adventure allows students to exercise their creativity, teamwork, and confidence to reach their goal of a brand new version of this classic tale by the end of the day!

All Aboard! (In-Person Story Drama)

Saturdays, January 23-February 27 | 1-2 grade

“I think I can! I think I can! I think I can!” Students use their body, voice, imagination, and concentration to cheer each other on and keep trying, even when a challenge is tough. Create your own train characters inspired by The Little Engine That Could and learn that you can conquer anything with bravery, confidence, and a positive outlook!

ANIME-te Yourself! (Online)

Wednesdays, January 27-March 3 | 5-7 grade

An anime club for self-expression! Join us for a journey through time, space, and distant worlds, as we explore beloved characters from our favorite anime series and connect their adventures to experiences in our own lives. Create your own character and develop the bravery of a ninja, the strength of a bender, and the confidence of a gem through imaginative role play and discussions with new friends!


Heroes and champions don’t always have to be the biggest, strongest, or boldest people in their story. Many times, the bravest person is the one who is daring enough to stand up for what they believe and use their smarts to make the right choice to save the day. Let your student join the casts of these Performance Workshops to tell the stories of these brave characters in a way that only they can!

Performance Workshops are classes that culminate in a performance of a play on the last day. There are normally minimal costumes, sets, and props in order for our Teachers and Directors to focus on teaching acting techniques to all of our students. Each student who registers is cast in the show, and performs on the final day of class. This winter, our Performance Workshops are filmed and sent to families to watch at home whenever and however many times you like!


Charlotte Holmes: Future Detective

Saturdays, January 23-March 13 | 3-8 grade

Set in a future where mankind has solved its greatest problems, young Charlotte Holmes, a 23rd century descendant of Sherlock, is eager to do some detective work. Her opportunity arises on a school trip to a museum when it is discovered that Van Gogh’s ‘Sunflowers’ painting has been stolen. With the help of her new robot called Watson 5000, Charlotte uncovers a surprising twist about making people happy and doing the right thing.


Saturdays, January 23-March 13 | 3-8 grade

In the year 3025, the world leaders decided all stories (yes, all of them) should be kept safe, and every story that ever existed was liquidized and placed into carefully labeled vials for preservation. After a terrible accident our heroes discover that all the stories have been mixed up! These classic stories that have so many powerful lessons to teach won’t be able to reach future generations unless they can restore the story lines to three great dystopian tales, The Hunger Game, Maze Runner, and Divergent. Will they succeed or will all the stories of our past be lost forever?

Jack and the Beanstalk Raps!

Saturdays, January 23-March 13 | 2-5 grade

Fairy tales meet poetry in this delightful version of Jack and the Beanstalk. Jack, a poor country boy, trades the family cow for a handful of magic beans, which grow into an enormous beanstalk reaching up into the clouds. Jack climbs the beanstalk and finds himself in the castle of an unfriendly giant, his much friendlier wife, and a very unhappy Hen. Join us as our rapping narrators take us through this silly and magical classic fairytale with a twist!


We hope to see you for class either online or in-person this winter! For more information about these classes and other opportunities to see us at Orlando REP, please visit our website https://orlandofamilystage.com/youth-academy/camps-classes/

You can log into or create an account to sign-up for classes through our registration website, here: https://orlandorep.campbrainregistration.com/ These classes can be found under School Year 20/21.

Please feel free to reach out to the Education Department if you have any more questions regarding Youth Academy classes, or any of our other exciting programs. 407.896.7365 x219 or via email at [email protected].


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