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Onstage in-person classes! Last year's programs sold out completely! Book now to ensure that your student gets a spot (15 students per class only)! 

SESSIONS WILL RUN FROM June 10  through June 21. $495, Ages 9-14.

Youth Onstage
Musical Theater
  • Wednesdays

  • Starts: February 14, 2024 

  • Showcase: May 29, 4 –6:30 PM

Youth Onstage Acting for Theater
  • Tuesdays

  • Starts: February 13, 2024 

  • Showcase: May 28, 4 –6:30 PM

Fundamentals of Acting Onstage for Youth Beginning/Intermediate
  • Summer

  • Starts: 9am-12:30pm

  • June 10 - June 21, 2024

AKT Academy accepts students ages 9 through high school (ages 10 and up for comedy class).

Enroll for 2 or more classes/sibling discount = 10% discount


My daughter Sophie has had the opportunity to participate in both the Spring and Summer AKT Academies at the Sierra Madre Playhouse. She had a truly fun, positive and productive experience in each Academy and is excited to jump on board for the Fall session. Alison Kalmus, the director of the program, seems to have the amazing ability to blend exemplary teaching, building kids confidence, creating a fun safe environment and bringing about the very best in each participant. Thank you, Alison. You and your team are doing a tremendous job and providing a great service to kids and their families.

- Gary Rapkin Ph.D

Executive Leadership Consultant, Former Superintendent of Schools

Alison Kalmus
Lead Instructor

With over 30 years of film/ theater performance experience, teaching, directing, and producing, Alison has also been a Casting and Voice-Over Director for NASA’s Space Place in a Snap, NOAA’s Scijinx educational videos, Walt Disney Co. and Independent Shakespeare Co. She is a resource acting coach for L.A. and Orange County High School for the Arts. Kalmus is an award-winning director of theater, musicals, and opera, nationally and internationally. For Sierra Madre Playhouse, she has directed the critically acclaimed productions of A Christmas Carol Story (‘01, 02, ’04,) Narnia, The Sound of Music, The Gondoliers, A Christmas Memory, A Little House Christmas, as well as The Dream On Royal Street. In collaboration with the City of Sierra Madre and Los Angeles County Parks & Recreation, she produced and directed four seasons of professional Shakespeare in The Park. In association with Pasadena Polytechnic School, Kalmus developed a curriculum and taught, trained, and supervised teachers for the nonprofit Noteworthy Music & Learning Systems for school drama programs throughout Los Angeles County.

Other Staff

Gayle Bluemel
Vocal & Music Instructor

Gayle brings years of experience with her, as an ardent advocate of Arts Education. Some of her credits include:

  • Teacher, Administrator and Performing Arts Specialist

  • Founder, Pasadena Musical Theatre Program (GATE Summer Musical Workshop)

  • Vocal/Music Director for numerous student productions, such as Once upon a Mattress, Guys and Dolls, Oklahoma! and Company.

  • Performer/Singer-Songwriter with local bands

  • Writer/Composer/Arranger, including an original musical, The Girl Is Still Here

  • Upon her retirement as Principal Emeritus from Sierra Madre School, the auditorium was renamed in her honor, with the following words: “Gayle Bluemel, The Singing Principal, recognized for her outstanding service to Pasadena Unified School District and the transformational role she has played in the lives of countless youth through the Performing Arts in Education.”

Jean-Michelle Sayeg
Choreography & Movement

Jean-Michelle is a graduate of St. Mary’s College of California and Pilates Certified (BASI).  She is on faculty at the Colburn School and Curtis Studio of dance.  For the last seven years she has taught master classes in a variety of dance styles at Arcadia High School where she choreographs all mainstage productions. Sayeg trained at Le Studio & San Francisco Ballet.  She became a principal dancer with State Street Ballet and Smuin Ballet dancing title roles in Carmen, B.A.N.D., Medea, Giselle, Petit Mort and originated Trey McIntyre’s Oh Inverted World! Her multifaceted career includes performing internationally in Taiwan with State Street Ballet & throughout the US in Broadway’s National Tours of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats (Victoria) and Lerner & Loewe’s Camelot (Lady Sybil). She has been featured in Marie de la Palme’s award-winning aerial silk ballet Le Couer Illumine, as well as productions at Lincoln Center (My Fair Lady, Cinderella), Hollywood Bowl (Sound Of Music, Camelot) and LA Opera (Aida, Merry Widow, Ghost Of Versailles, Macbeth)  Choreography includes Tie Up & Cover (Smuin Ballet), And As the World Goes Round (Interplayer’s Theatre), Picnic (Antaeus Theatre Company), Dancing Lessons, Emma (Ensemble Theatre Company) as well as original works in South Africa (CAPA) and the townships in Philippi and Gugulethu. Awards include the Music Center Spotlight Award, Lester Horton Award, Palm Desert Dance Under the Stars Choreography Festival and winner of the Jerry Herman Award Best Choreography for Thoroughly Modern Millie. She enjoys teaching various styles to all ages and levels of dance.  Sayeg is a proud member of Actors Equity, SAG AFTRA & AGMA.

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