New Surry theatre Presents

Youth theatre Speak

New Surry Theatre's Performing Arts School's Summer Seminar for Teens

Participants of the 2015 seminar

Are you between the ages of 14 and 18? Would you like to spend part of your summer immersed in the study of theatre? Are you interested in exploring contemporary social issues through the performing arts and sharing the result in an original performance for the community? Do you enjoy throwing yourself into the creative process with an invigorated group of your peers?

Blue Hill's New Surry Theatre and Performing Arts School is now accepting applicants for the second summer of Youth Theatre Speak, our summer theatre seminar for 14-18 year-olds. This program was developed and launched in 2015 by NST Assistant Artistic Director, Johannah Blackman, with consultation from New Surry Theatre's Artistic Director, Bill Raiten.

The 2016 seminar will begin Thursday, July 14 and run on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:00-8:30 with a final performance on Sunday, August 21.

The seminar will be directed by Johannah Blackman and last year's assistant director, Nolan Ellsworth.

The seminar trains participants to use theatre as way to develop a greater sense of awareness of one's surroundings and one's self and as a way to explore and communicate contemporary social issues. As the great teacher of theatre, Stella Adler said, theatre is ”the place people come to see the truth about life and the social situation.” Through the course of the program, participants will engage in intensive study of theatre techniques and will work together with improvisations and discussions to develop a one-act performance that highlights contemporary issues.

Applications will be considered this year on a rolling basis beginning April 9th. The seminar is limited to ten participants. This means that once we have accepted ten participants, the application process will close. We therefore encourage all those who are interested to get their applications in as early as possible. Please download your application here and submit it to If you have any difficulty downloading the application, email Johannah and she will send you a copy.

Tuition for this summer seminar will be $150 per participant. A limited number of need-based scholarships are available. Tuition will be due, in full, upon accepting your space in the program in order to reserve that space.

For more information, contact Johannah at . Upon acceptance, participants will receive an information packet, including a complete schedule for the seminar.

Johannah Blackman grew up in the theatre and ran a small theatre group for homeschoolers during her teen years. She experienced, firsthand, the incredible power that theatre can have in the life of a teenager. After settling in Maine in her late twenties, Johannah stumbled upon New Surry Theatre and began acting in productions (Shelby in Steel Magnolias, Nancy in Oliver!, Marian in The Music Man, Luisa in The Fantasticks, Julie in Carousel and Sabrina in Sabrina Fair and Lizzie in The Rainmaker). Johannah has taken acting classes and, ultimately, studied directing with Bill Raiten and made her NST directorial debut this past winter with Dancing at Lughnasa. Johannah has her master's degree in counseling psychology and twelve years of experience working with teens in camps, music programs, theatre and outdoor education. She is excited to dive into the second summer of this program!

Nolan Ellsworth is a theatre/English major at Middlebury College in Vermont, where he has acted in several shows and studies playwriting. He lives in Brooklin, Maine, graduated from George Stevens Academy, and grew up acting with the New Surry Theatre. He now works for NST during the summers in Youth Theatre Speak and the kids' theatre camp. When at Middlebury, he draws cartoons for the campus newspaper, acts with a radio theatre group, and helps run a publication devoted to doodling. He spent this past semester abroad in Scotland.

Classes Offered:

Youth Theatre Speak

with Johannah Blackman

'Honk' Camp

with Shari John

Singing For The Stage

with Suzanne Eaton

Dance for the Stage

with Nina Robinson-Poole

Acting as Truth

with Bill Raiten

The Art of Theatre Makeup

with Elena Bourakovsky

Directing for the Stage

with Bill Raiten

Scene Study

with Bill Raiten


with Bill Raiten