Mission: To touch hearts, engage minds, and transform lives by creating extraordinary theater experiences for young people and families.
About the Organization: Founded in 1987, First Stage is the second-largest theater company in Milwaukee and today offers professional theater productions that inspire, enlighten, and entertain; Theater Academy, the nation's largest theater training program for young people focused on developing life skills through stage skills; and dynamic Theater in Education programs that promote active learning in schools and communities.
Current Programs: First Stage's theater programs include the Family Series for children age 3 and up and for youth age 10 and over, as well as the First Steps series for children between the ages of 3 and 6. A select performance of each First Steps play also is adapted in a sensory-friendly way for children with autism.
Launched in 1992, First Stage Theater Academy uses stage skills to teach life skills to approximately three thousand students a year from southeastern Wisconsin, northern Illinois, and beyond. First Stage Young Company, the Theater Academy's advanced training program for high school students, presents a full-scale production each season, where they acquire life skills such as confidence, focus, and the value of cooperation.
The organization's educational programs serve more than twenty thousand students a year and are aimed at helping them set and meet high standards of academic and personal achievement. Through theater productions, classroom workshops, and residencies, First Stage also encourages students to experience their world differently and explore new connections to their curriculum.
Website: Visitors to the First Stage site can check out upcoming shows and events, get the details on the Theater Academy's various programs and how to register for classes; learn more about the organization's arts-in-education programming; or find out how to audition for the First Stage Young Company or participate as a young performer in a professional production. Visitors to the also can learn how to support the organization's work.
Funding: First Stage is funded by foundations, corporations, and individuals and through earned revenue from ticket sales.