The MCC Theater Youth Company is a free, after-school program for New York City high school students interested in developing their acting and dramatic writing skills. Within a creative, challenging, and supportive environment, teenagers from five boroughs participate in weekly workshops (Labs) led by professional theater artists. Our students are encouraged to discover and explore their unique artistic voices as they work together to create and perform original work. Authenticity, originality, energy, honesty, enthusiasm-it all goes into the mix. Through collaboration, YC members form a supportive ensemble of young artists in an inspiring environment where they are free to experiment, make bold choices, and take risks.
The Youth Company is split into two distinct groups: the Acting Lab and the Playwriting Lab. Acting Lab students meet every Tuesday with professional actor/director Jen Shirley to develop skills in voice, movement, monologue and dialogue. The year culminates with the annual spring production of UnCensored. Playwriting Lab students meet every Monday with professional playwright Lucy Thurber to develop skills in dramatic writing. In the spring, students write individual short plays, the best of which are produced by professional actors and directors in August during The FreshPlay Festival.
Veteran Youth Company members also have the opportunity to work with distinguished professionals in master classes, in which the highest tier of theater experts impart their wisdom, experience, and skills with YC members. Past master class leaders include actor Kristen Johnston (Scarcity, Third Rock From the Sun), actor Barrett Foa (Avenue Q, Drunken City), writer/actor Hunter Bell (Title of Show), and director Jeremy Dobrish (Spain).