Shea’s PAC and Theatre of Youth Launch Two-Week Pre-Professional Summer Acting Program for WNY Teens

Shea’s Performing Arts Center and Theatre of Youth have launched The Actor’s Edge, a pre-professional summer acting intensive for teenagers in Western New York entering grades 9-12. On weekdays from Monday, August 12 through Friday, August 23, teens will participate in a full-day schedule of college-level acting training, backstage tours of local theatres, and master classes with professional theatre artists from Buffalo and New York City.

Techniques to be explored include Michael Chekhov’s psycho-physical approach, Anne Bogart’s and Tina Landau’s Viewpoints for actors, Uta Hagen’s Object Exercises, Kristin Linklater’s voice training, and the Tadashi Suzuki method of acting. Participants will also learn basic tenets of pantomime and commedia dell’arte, and experiment with character development exercises in outdoor locations around Downtown Buffalo. Classes will take place at Shea’s Smith Theatre, located at 658 Main Street in downtown Buffalo. On Friday, August 23, students will demonstrate their learning in a culminating public showcase at Shea’s Smith Theatre.

This partnership between Shea’s and TOY, two theatre companies with a long history of providing high-quality arts education experiences in the city of Buffalo, represents their shared values and awareness of the positive impact of theatre on children and adolescents. Through exposure to a vast body of acting techniques and encouragement to broaden their personal range of theatrical approaches, Shea’s and TOY strive to empower young actors to chart their own unique journey as artists and as people. “The combination of resources and expertise of our organizations promises a unique and empowering experience for young people who are driven by a passion for theatre performance,” said Meg Quinn, TOY Artistic Director. Shea’s President Michael G. Murphy noted that “this is the first of many arts education collaborations with TOY, and I am thrilled to provide more high-level training opportunities for the talented young actors of Western New York.”

Auditions for The Actor’s Edge are on April 6th (10a – 3p), April 7th (12:00noon – 4p), June 21st (4p – 8p), and June 22nd (10a – 3p). Actors should schedule an audition time by sending an email to All auditions will take place at Shea’s 710 Theatre at 710 Main Street, Buffalo, NY. Tuition for The Actor’s Edge is $600 for the two-week session. Financial assistance is available. For more information, email or visit For an audition appointment, email