Theatre Academy

Developing Excellence – Growing Creativity
All sessions are held at Hershey Area Playhouse at Country Meadows, Sandhill Road at Cherry Drive, Hershey, PA


2019 Winter Theatre Classes – January 19- March 9

Click on the link below to register which will hold a space for your child, then simply print and mail your completed registration form and check to us at Hershey Area Playhouse Theatre Academy – PO Box 713 – Hershey PA 17033. We apologize we cannot accept registrations over the phone or at our box office.


Step #1- Registration is open – Complete this online form to hold a spot (hurry- spots fill up fast!)
Online Registration Form

Step #2- Mail a copy of this form with your registration check to Hershey Area Playhouse - PO Box 713- Hershey, PA 17033

Questions? Please contact Cory Wilkerson at [email protected]




Creative Kids
Make It Big

Age Group: Grades K-3
Cost: $120
Class Dates: 1/19/2019 to 3/9/2019
Class Schedule: 9:00am-10:30am

Our youngest students will explore the heightened use of body mind and voice to tell a story for the stage. How do I move and speak to show what my character is feeling? Can I make it bigger? Children will participate in games to expand their movement vocabulary and vocal choices with an emphasis on stories and storytelling.

Acting It Up
Staging, Stories, and You

Age Group: Grades 4-6
Cost: $120
Class Dates: 1/19/2019 to 3/9/2019
Class Schedule: 10:30am-12:00pm

Grades four through six will engage in an active exploration of a theme or idea through the elements of stagecraft, working on devising original pieces using space, light, sound, rhythm, movement, and tension. Learning through games and exercises to work together and think outside of the box.

Theatre Arts Studio
Mining Text for Who, What, Where and Why

Age Group: Grades 7 -12
Cost: $150
Class Dates: 1/19/2019 to 3/9/2019
Class Schedule: 1:00pm-3:00pm

Young actors in grades 7-12 will continue a focus on living truthfully in an imaginary world by learning to dig deep into the text for clues to the character’s reality. Who is this character and how does this affect their goals? What motivates this character? Where is this character living, breathing, reacting? How do who, what, where combine to bring to life the story.


Meet Our Staff

Ms. Cory Wilkerson

Cory Wilkerson is a director and performer specializing in theatre for youth, who trained in the UK.  Former artistic director of WOW! Theatre. Ms. Wilkerson has taught acting both here and in Atlanta, Georgia. Ms. Wilkerson is a recipient of a Pennsylvania State Legislature Certificate of Achievement for her work with children and youth.  When not directing or teaching, Ms. Wilkerson is a national arts education consultant.

Ms. Jennifer Feldser

Jen has been with the Playhouse since the beginning, teaching, directing and working behind the scenes as stage manager for many of the productions.  When Jen is not doing theatre she is busy keeping track of dramatic elementary students as a children’s librarian and running the Steelton-Highspire school drama club.

Ms.  Laurie Miller Petersen

Laurie comes to us straight from New York with professional credits in Stage Combat from both theatre and film industries.  Laurie holds a degree in theatre from the prestigious Northwestern University and has been teaching for the playhouse since 2009.

Ms. Jill Panyard

Jill Panyard is an area director and acting teacher and Executive Director of Encore! Productions. Jill directs acts and specializes in teaching young people how to act. Her students have captured several nominations at the Apollo Theatre awards.

Ms. Debra Macut

Debra holds a BA in drama and psychology and an MFA in Acting from Catholic University of America. She has enjoyed a successful career in professional theatre, performing throughout the United States, and has an extensive teaching background with over 20 years of teaching experience.

Lisa Lutton Weitzman

Lisa holds a Master's degree in drama from Villanova University and a BS in education from PSU. From its inception in 2001 to 2016, she taught theater at The Capital Area School for the Arts Charter and is a former adjunct professor at Harrisburg Area Community College. Lisa is one of the founding members of both Wow! Theatre in Education and the Coffee With Crones theater company and also TMI and No Artificial Sweeteners Improv troupes. She continues to study acting and has participated in summer intensives in New York City and Toronto, Canada.



Class Registration Policies and Refund Procedures

Hershey Area Playhouse Theatre Academy and Theatre Academy Players educational programs and classes are open to all, subject to minimum and maximum ages/grades, experience and class sizes posted in the program descriptions. Registrations are accepted by mail on a first-come-first-serve basis.

In addition, siblings (two or more students living in the same household) registering are each eligible for a $5.00 discount per program.

We will do our best to accommodate each student’s needs. When reasonable accommodation is not possible, concerns will be addressed directly with those involved. Students are requested to disclose needs or other pertinent information at the time of registration.

All refunds are subject to a $15 non-refundable processing fee. If/when students drop out of a class, the amount refunded is pro-rated, based on the number of classes attended/remaining, after deducting the non-refundable $15 processing fee.

Occasionally, because of the age, experience and number enrolled, some programs have to be merged, combined or cancelled. In these instances, our goal is always to provide our programs to as many students as possible.

Decisions of the Playhouse Board member coordinating the programs of Hershey Area Playhouse Theatre Academy and Theatre Academy Players are final.


Contact us at 717.533.8525 or [email protected] if you have questions about future Hershey Area Playhouse Theatre Academy programs.