I first saw Nikki Young in 2004, during one of San Antonio Theatre Coalition’s TheatreASAP programs. She played a baby (yes, a baby) in a short play written by Deon van Rooyen, and, as far I was concerned, she stole the show.
Young isn’t just an actress, but one of the most active players in the local music/theater scene, either through her company PrimaDonna Productions (which produces, promotes, and even provides casting services, as in the case of Ya’Ke Smith’s upcoming Wolf) or as a teacher in the Stone Oak Youth Theatre’s “Tweens & Teens On Screen,” which returns September 7 after a first run in January.
The program teaches acting for film, television, and commercials to kids ages eight through 18, but it goes further: It gives them behind-the-scenes knowledge about how the industry works, and the six 90-minute classes culminate with a final showcase for local industry professionals.
“Nikki’s on-camera acting program has been very successful for us and we want it to continue to grow,” said theater owner Maryclaire Ireland in a press release. “This program complements our overall fine arts curriculum and expands on our mission to develop well-rounded performers.”
The program has quickly begun to bear fruit. After studying under Young, Gabi Walker went on to star in Dora Peña’s Dream Healing and is about to appear in Smith’s Wolf and Bryan Ramírez’s Mission Park; Cambell Westmoreland was featured in Robert Rodriguez’s Shorts; and Shane Graham appears in Richard Linklater’s upcoming feature Boyhood. As a direct result of the class showcase in January, Rome Talent Agency signed actor and comedian Jose Ruiz-Gonzalez, who has appeared on WOAI’s San Antonio Living and opened for comedian Cleto Rodriguez.
The program costs $250 per student (plus a $25 fee for new students), and the deadline to register is September 7, the first day of the program. The Stone Oak Youth Theatre is located on 21518 Blanco, and you can find more information on the program at stoneoakyouththeatre.com or by calling (210) 481-2400.
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