Our Artistic Director, Kelly Walsh, is entering her 13th year of directing summer theatre programs. In addition to her work at NESPA, Kelly is also the drama director and advisor at North Andover High School. Her programs are as much fun as they are educational. Not only will students learn the art of theatre, they will do so in an incredibly welcoming and supportive environment.
Stacy Whalen-Kelley joined NESPA in 2016. She serves as the Music Director for the productions and the lead teacher for many of the mini programs. Stacy is a warm and nurturing teacher with a knack for bringing out the best in every child she encounters.
Our mission at NESPA is to develop a love of the arts as well as providing a nurturing environment that brings out the best in each student. NESPA strives to instills and grow confidence in every student, not only as strong and confident performers but as strong and confident human beings which they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.
NESPA caps most programs at 30 students which creates an environment with community at its core. This model allows us to give each student individualized attention and feedback along with having the opportunity for each student to form a true connection with their teachers and peers.
The training provided at NESPA is incredibly effective and can be seen as our students are enjoying their success performing in lead roles in their high school productions and other local theatres. This includes:
Thea Cunha: Bea- Something Rotten, Reading Memorial High School
Jason Walsh: Nigel- Something Rotten, Reading Memorial High School
John-Robert Sasso: Charlie Brown- You're A Good Man Charlie Brown, Landmark School
Abi Martin: Ensemble-Guys and Dolls Mainstage, Greater Boston Stage Company
Brady Murphy/Quinn Murphy/Jackson Wisco: Peter Cratchit/ London Children, Christmas Carol North Shore Musical Theatre Mainstage.
Quinn Murphy: Little Boy- Ragtime, Boston Symphony Orchestra
Mari Chambers: Caty- Mean Girls, Lynnfield High School
Mac Hamilton: Regina George- Mean Girls, Woburn Memorial High School
Aiden Trites: Billy Flynn- Chicago, Wilmington High School
Mazy Stuart: Birdie- Bye Bye Birdie, Shawsheen Valley Technical High School
Stanley Morgan: Birdie- Bye Bye Birdie, Shawsheen Valley Technical High School
Haley Allocco: Mal- Descendants, Wakefield Memorial High School
And many more!
NESPA is one of a kind and has proven time and time again that the community that has been built is nurturing, unique and effective.
Here is what parents have to say-
"Kelly and Stacy, I just want to thank you for all you do at NESPA for these kids. You have created a welcoming, accepting, supportive environment that allows all kids to thrive. You make it so that they WANT to work hard and put in the time. You are encouraging and request excellence -- which the kids want to give because of the place you have created. NESPA has been a game-changer for Avery, helping her to come out of her shell, develop confidence, make new friends and learn to be comfortable with herself." ~Jill B, (Reading, MA)
We are huge fans of New England School of Performing Arts. and the fabulous Kelly Walsh. In the 4 years we have known her, we have learned this: She inspires creativity, acceptance of self and others, and the gift for kids to believe in themselves because she brings out their strengths. My daughter Anna who has down syndrome has been welcomed with open arms by the company and participated in shows, classes and cabarets. We can’t say enough good things about Kelly and the gifts she has in encouraging and supporting each of her students. ~Karen B. (Melrose, MA)
Kelly Walsh is not only an amazing person but an incredible teacher and director. My daughter has been with the New England School of Performing Arts for several years and worked with Kelly prior to attending NESPA. Kelly doesn’t just teach her students how to act but indoctrinates them into the world of theater. My daughter has touched on all domains of theater with Kelly, from learning how to audition, to set design, choreography and stage management. She has really grown and taken what’s she’s learned to her schools’ theater programs where she is flourishing. Kelly and the NESPA have really nurtured and promoted her love of theater. ~Jane T. (Reading, MA)
One-week programs are for ages 5-10 and offer a different theme dependent on the week. Here is what a typical day might look like- 9am- 9:30am arrive and play theatre games. 9:30am-10:30am- learn the group numbers and work on solos. 10:30am- snack break. 10:45-noon- work on acting scenes and learn dances. noon-12:30pm- outside lunch break and outdoor games (weather permitting) 12:30-1:30pm- art projects in our art room or acting on the stage. 1:30-2pm- review all of the material we learned for the day.
Two/three-week programs are for kids 10+ who are ready to take on a fully staged production. Programs will be held Monday- Friday from 9am- 3pm. We will audition the actors on the first day and the cast list will be sent home that evening. The rehearsal days will consist of learning music, blocking scenes and choreography. Actors will also assist the tech crew with painting the scenery and creating props and costumes. The two or three-week programs will culminate in a ticketed performance for the general public.
One-week programs (ages 5-10)!
6/24-6/28- Disney (Minis)
7/1, 7/2, 7/3- Workshops 1, 2 & 3 (Minis)
7/8-7/12 Little Shop Of Horrors Zombies (Minis)
7/15-7/19- Little Shop Of Horrors Descendants (Minis)
7/22- 7/26 Little Shop Of Horrors Barbie (Minis)
7/29- 8/2 Alice In Wonderland Jr Swifty Week (Minis) 8/5- 8/9 Alice In Wonderland Jr Swifty Week (Minis)
8/12- 8/16 Willy Wonka Jr Harry Potter (Minis)
8/19- 8/23 Willy Wonka Jr Super Mario (Minis) Two and three-week productions!
7/8- 7/26: Little Shop of Horrors 7/29- 8/9: Alice in Wonderland Jr 8/12- 8/23: Willy Wonka Jr
Payment plans are available. A non-refundable deposit is needed to hold your spot.
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