Whether you are at a Broadway play or watching a movie or television show, the odds are, you are watching a YoungArts alumni, perform. Some of the most well-known actors and actresses currently have come through the YoungArts program. Theater is the most dynamic and interactive of the nine disciplines.

There are two categories in the Theater discipline in which students can apply, musical theater or spoken only. Finalists are chosen by a panel of accomplished actors who have years of experience both on and off Broadway, in film and television. Many have received numerous awards and accolades throughout their career, and some are teachers at prestigious institutions such as New York University. Panelists look for students who demonstrate originality, have a strong presence and a love of language, character and interpretation. The theater performances during YoungArts Week draw a large crowd and run the gamut from comedy to drama, eliciting both laughs and tears from the audience. Students display a passion and commitment to their craft that is exciting to watch.


The theater panelists will also determine the Honorable Mention and Merit awards.

Notable Alumni

  • Raúl Esparza, 1988Theater, film and television actor Tony Nominee for starring as Bobby in Company Twelfth Knight Speed the Plow
  • Brandon Victor Dixon, 1999Tony Nominee for The Color Purple
  • Adrian Grenier, 1994Screen Actors Guild Award Nominee for Entourage