Bay Street Theater Student Academy—Inaugural Workshop

Bay Street Theater Student Academy

Character Study Class




Created by Director of Education and Community Outreach, Allen O’Reilly, Executive Director, Tracy Mitchell, and Academy Director, Kayla Matters, the newly formed Bay Street Theater Student Academy serves children and teens of eastern Long Island, with the goal of empowering a new generation of artists to discover theater as a powerful means of emotional expression. The Academy strives to be a safe haven of self-expression and community for every student, and is guided by principles of equity, inclusion, collaboration, and creativity.

The Academy will launch in January 2022 with a ten-week workshop titled Leading the Show: A Character Study.

Students ages 12 to 18 will choose any leading role from any play or musical to study in great depth. With the guidance of director Kayla Matters, students will pursue a thorough examination of that character’s arc and journey throughout the respective show.

Leading the Show offers the opportunity to work with music director Bobby Peterson and professional dancer and choreographer Ross Thompson to study selected songs, scenes, and monologues from their chosen role, gaining a first-hand experience of the work that goes into preparing to play a leading role on the stage. Students will develop their songs, scene, and character to deepen their understanding of the text through lyric and script analysis. 

To register for the Bay Street Student Academy, click here.

Learning outcomes for participating actors are:

  • Sense of community and collaboration
  • Art as a means of emotional expression
  • Confidence and public speaking
  • Motivation and commitment
  • Development of leadership skills
  • Being a good role model
Leading The Show is open to any fully vaccinated performers ages 12 to 18. Classes will meet every Monday and Wednesday from January 31 through April 6 from 3 to 6 p.m. Tuition for the program is $300. Need based scholarships are available.
Every performer must show proof of vaccination prior to attendance. Every performer must be fully masked for the duration of each workshop. Safety procedures will be updated according to all current Federal and New York State guidelines.
Kayla Matters is a member of the Bay Street Theater family and is a New York-based actor, singer, and theater educator. She graduated summa cum laude from Rider University in 2018 with a BFA in Musical Theater. As an actor, she has performed professionally both regionally and in New York City.