It can be hard for an adult woman to fill her thirst for amateur theater without having to hang out with a bunch of nerds. So why not return to the time when theater was cool? That’s right: middle school. Here are five of the best tween magnet programs that would probably take a 30-year-old if she begged.
Teresa’s Triple Threat Tweens
While TTTT does have “tween” in the name, its posters read “ages 12 and up”. Last time we checked, 34 is totally “up” from 12. Teresa’s tweens are renowned for their Young Shakespeare series, in which they write and stage their own original works. You could play a part in one of the early works of tomorrow’s geniuses!
The Park Slope Preteen Players
The Park Slope Preteen Players is one of the most prestigious summer theater programs for middle schoolers in the Greater New York area, and it’s an acceptable program for adults! But be careful: The theater moms in this program are INTENSE. They all but rioted when I beat out one of their girls for the role of Fantine in Les Mis. The whole parents’ organization got together and demanded the role be recast. It was unbelievable! The director (if you can even call her that) relented and I was recast as Whore #3, but was ultimately allowed to finish out the program. The PSPP is cutthroat, but if you think you have what it takes to hack it, it’s yours for the trying.
Ronald’s Rustic Theater Retreat
Ronald’s Rustic Theater Retreat is a strange little place in Western Massachusetts, containing some broken down amusement park rides and a stage constructed of logs. When I drove over to make sure Ronald had received my application, he told me that the authorities shut down his program due to him being a registered sex offender. That being said, he did allow me to perform my monologue for him multiple times and provided me with some very valuable notes. This place is unconventional but the lessons you learn are just as valuable as any adult theater school. Plus, if you’re an adult, you can be within 50 feet of him no problem!
Oakton Middle School Theater Department
The only positions available in this program are teaching positions, but don’t worry! There’s no reason that you can’t become the theater teacher, create an entrenched culture of personality around yourself, and ultimately craft a production of Hello, Dolly! that revolves around you as the lead role. Yes, you! (Similar positions available in schools all over the country!)
Anyone can do anything in Central Park, and that includes finding a group of pot-smoking middle school students and telling them you’ll call the cops unless they serve as chorus, cast, and crew in a One Day Only Musicale Review Spectacular written by and starring you. Who knows which celebs will jog by?!? We’re hoping for Matt Damon!
Before you write off a theater program as “too tween”, read the fine print, or if there is none, call the school and explain that you have very influential connections in the theater industry and that you’d love to sit down with them and discuss some options of ways you can work together. You’re going to be the best, oldest one there!