New Mexico Young Actors, Inc., Est. 1979
Our mission is to develop an appreciation of theater in our region through performances of plays and musicals for children by children, and to educate youth and the general public in the theater arts through drama classes and training while building relationships with parents, teachers, schools, and the community.
Proudly sponsored by New Mexico Arts, a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment of the Arts
NMYA offers a variety of courses for a wide age range.
The “Major Production Track” has semester long courses. After completing the introduction course (Drama I), students may join “Advanced Drama”. Advanced Drama enables children to participate in performing a musical and theatrical production each semester.
Our new “Theater Courses” are our shorter session courses, for those that want to get involved in the theater, but are not able to commit to the multiple months required for the production track.
Finally, each summer, NMYA offers a selection of courses for all ages. 2023 marks our our first annual Summer Shakespeare Fest.
Follow the links below to find out more about each of these course offerings.
NMYA Course Offerings – Major Production Track
NMYA Course Offerings – Theater Courses
Click the image to find out more about NMYA’s first annual Summer Shakespeare Fest.
Working with parents is an important part of the success of our program. Here you will find tuition payment information, and soon, volunteer forms and answers to frequently asked questions.
NMYA tuition is $405/semester, plus a $20 registration fee. For our advanced drama classes, there is also a production fee of $50. The production fee covers part of the cost of make-up, scripts, scores, a production T-shirt, as well as other production expenses.
NMYA offers tuition scholarship assistance to students who are eligible. Please contact NMYA directly in order to obtain an application.
Productions at NMYA are performed at a large, local theater during the school day or are taken on tour directly to your school. Every semester we offer performances of our musical to over 3000 children from public, private, parochial, and home schools. Additionally, every semester our play is taken on tour to schools throughout the Albuquerque region. We have also taken our tour to Cuba, Grants, and other rural communities throughout the state. We invite you to bring your class to one of our productions or to book our performance troupe at your school. Please note: Our productions are very popular and frequently sell-out. It is advisable to book early!
Please call us directly at 505-821-8055 in order to book your school or class.
Below, find study guides for our upcoming shows in order to enhance your students’ experience and appreciation of the performance.
Study Guides – Spring 2023 shows
A Special Thanks to our Sponsors
Rick Nickerson, Director Emeritus, started New Mexico Young Actors as Nickerson’s Young Actors in 1979. Mr. Nickerson ran the company for 35 years, producing scores of musicals and plays, including many original works. He established NMYA as the resident children’s theater company at the historic KiMo Theatre and developed a comprehensive touring program to reach those seldom served by the arts in rural communities throughout the state.
Since 1979 we have seen thousands of students come through our program. We have produced over 80 shows and performed for over an estimated 500,000 audience members in the Albuquerque region. We accept individuals, ages 9–19, into our program and all of our productions feature only children and youth on stage.
Mr. Nickerson retired in 2014 and Paul Bower became Executive Director after having served as resident music director for a decade. Mr. Bower grew the company to over 100 students and shepherded the organization through the global pandemic of 2020-2021. After 18 years with NMYA, Mr. Bower resigned in June of 2022.
Rachel Ribeiro Executive Director
Rachel was named NMYA’s Executive Director in December 2022. She first started working with NMYA in 2015, and has taught nine semesters of Drama I, has directed six Advanced Drama plays, and spearheaded the development of the Drama I curriculum. As a classroom teacher, librarian, and theater director, she has been working with children since 2003. She has taught theater to elementary, middle, and high school students for many years and started the Las Montañas Theater Club in Las Cruces, NM. Under her direction, the club claimed first or second place at the New Mexico Activities Association One Act Play competition for three years in a row (2011-2013). Her lifelong passion for the performing arts was first nurtured as a child with the East Side Players, in Cincinnati, OH, and continued with church, school, and community theater productions. She has performed comedy improv with The Sweaty-Toothed Madmen (Wenham, MA) and community theater with the No Strings Theatre Company (Las Cruces, NM). She has a Bachelor’s degree in English from Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts, and a Master’s degree in Teaching English from New Mexico State University. Rachel loves nudging and cajoling the inner spark of every young actor. As Executive Director, her door is always open. The best part of the job, she says, is building relationships with all of our young actors and their families.
Carlos Baca Music Director
Carlos joined the NMYA team as Musical Director in January of 2023. He has been teaching in New Mexico schools for five years and has been directing music in churches for over a decade. While teaching he has taught almost every kind of music class out there from elementary music to conducting full fledged performances at the National Hispanic Cultural Center and KiMo Theatre. Carlos has taken pride in developing programs of all kind and sometimes tripling their size in just a few years’ time. Carlos studied Music Education at the University of New Mexico (2015-2019). He has wanted to do nothing more than to bring music to life on stage and to have others join him for the journey. Carlos’s mission is to bring unparalleled music education and vocal development within these young actors for many years to come.
Michelle Eiland Choreographer
Michelle Eiland began training in dance at the age of two at Fishback’s Dance Studio. She is trained in ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, modern, lyrical, contemporary, hip-hop, Celtic, Latin dance, and character movement. She performs, choreographs, teaches, and assists for many theaters and companies in town. In addition to performing, Michelle loves both teaching and learning and holds both a Bachelor’s and Master’s in Spanish, as well as a Dual License in Special and General Education, K-12. She teaches Spanish to grades 8-12 at The Public Academy for Performing Arts (PAPA). She also has professional and academic experience with Portuguese and American Siagn Language. Michelle is dedicated to accessibility and equity of education. She is a childhood cancer survivor and celebrates diversity through her work. She is honored to have roots in such a deeply devoted arts community here in The Land of Enchantment.
Carol Mayberry-Sanchez Rehearsal AccompanistCarol’s world has been filled with music – playing by ear and beginning piano lessons at age three. A Colorado native raised on a dairy farm, she credits her diverse musical tastes to listening to the barn radio as a kid while doing chores and absorbing everything from Hank Williams to Oscar & Hammerstein, with an added dose of classic rock steeped in Beatles, Burt Bacharach and Motown. She has traveled the country performing in rock, R&B, country, and jazz groups and has taught piano, is a church pianist and in two bands in Albuquerque, has many recording sessions under her belt, and has been a pit orchestra player and musical director of theater productions in Colorado and New Mexico. Her passion and intensity for songwriting remains strong. She is happy to help as rehearsal accompanist for the New Mexico Young Actors’ production of The Little Mermaid, Jr.
John A. Craig Musical Production AssistantJohn A Craig has worked on over fifty productions at seven theatre companies in Albuquerque. From deck chief to fly captain, to stage and house manager John has been involved in all backstage aspects of community theatre, he even had a cameo in Landmark Musicals production of The Pirates of Penzance. He also worked as a crisis intervention counselor for The Trevor Project. New Mexico Young Actors combines his love for children and theatre into a magical alchemy.
Abirami Chidambaram Play Production AssistantAbirami has been with NMYA since she was 12 years old and has done a total of 13 shows! Her favorite roles include Mad Hatter in Alice and Wonderland, Princess Jasmine in Aladdin Jr., Frytania in Sleeping Beauty, and The Wicked Witch of the West in Oz! Abirami has worked with various productions in Albuquerque other than NMYA, and is currently doing her minor in Theater at The University of New Mexico. When she is not performing, Abirami enjoys listening to music, studying, and spending time with her friends and family. She is thrilled to work for NMYA as Production Assistant for our play and the company’s first ever Social Media Guru!
Maria Bertinetti Play Production Assistant
Maria Bertinetti joined NMYA when he was thirteen years old and has performed in six shows with the company. Some of his favorite past roles include Black Beard in Silver’s Secret, Jafar in Aladdin Jr., and Captain Hook in Peter Pan. Aside from theater, Maria enjoys listening to and playing music and having good coffee with good company. He is excited to be rejoining NMYA as a production assistant for the play.
Tanya Rivers Granados Drama I Instructor
As the daughter of a private voice/piano teacher, Tanya grew up performing in recitals with her family in operas and musicals. From elementary school to college, she performed in numerous ACLOA/MTS musicals, danced with NM Ballet Company, and participated in choir, show choir, musicals, dance recitals, operas, plays, and dance teams. She trained in performing arts at the University of Northern Colorado and volunteered with Concord Children’s Theatre while living in the California Bay Area. Tanya’s first love is singing, and she has performed as a vocalist for acapella groups, jazz, cover, and worship bands. When she isn’t busy with her full-time job, you can find her busting out a show tune, dancing in the kitchen, and supporting her two daughters, Capri and Karah, as they perform in local choirs, dance groups, plays and musicals (most recently as Susan and Lucy in NMYA’s “The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe”!).
Hanna Hawson Drama I InstructorHanna Hawson has been with New Mexico Young Actors since she was 8 years old and has done a total of 12 shows with the company. Her most notable roles include Annie in Annie Jr., Alice in Alice and Wonderland Jr., the Genie in Aladdin Jr., and Mrs. Potts in Beauty and the Beast Jr. In addition to NMYA, Hanna has also had countless community theater as well as professional theater experiences. When she isn’t performing, Hanna enjoys doing art, playing video games, staying active, and spending time with and taking care of animals. She is delighted to make her return to NMYA as a Drama I instructor.
Jeff Mocho Drama I Instructor
Jeff Mocho, a UNM Alumni with a degree in Theatre, has recently returned to NM from Maryland where he lived for 13 years, and is excited to be teaching for New Mexico Young Actors. While in Maryland he spent two years as a performing teacher with Interact Story Theater, where he and another actor traveled around the Maryland-DC metro area bringing the joy of theater to grade school audiences through performances and theater-based workshops. He has been seen on stage as well as TV and film. Favorite theater rolls include: Len Hoch (Book of Days), Michael Starkwedder (The Unexpected Guest), and The Reverend (The Foreigner). He looks forward to sharing his love of theater with students in the class.
Natalie Hadley Theater Course - Instructor
An Albuquerque native and lifelong theater enthusiast, Natalie first joined NMYA when she was eight! She has a BFA in musical theater with an emphasis in vocal performance from the Boston Conservatory and Berklee College of Music. With performance credits from a range of regional and touring productions, Natalie is thrilled to be returning to her childhood home theater.
William R. Stafford Theater Course - Instructor
Mr. Stafford comes from a long standing family business, Sadie’s of NM. In addition to selling amazing salsa, William is working on over 35 years of performing arts credits with over 65 film and theater productions to his name. One of William’s lifelong goals has been to encourage people young and younger to “Believe in their dreams.”
Alexandra Uranga Drama I Instructor
Alexandra Uranga graduated with a BA in Theatre, minor in music, from UNM in 2014 and attended a Musical Theatre program at Circle In the Square Theatre School in NYC in 2015. She attended CNM upon her return to New Mexico and completed the Alternative Licensure Program to obtain her teaching license. She was recently a Drama teacher with Rio Rancho Public Schools for 5 years, teaching middle and high school. Alexandra is also a passionate performer and has performed in several of the community theaters around town over the years. She loves sharing the art of theater with youth and seeing them shine on stage! She is so grateful to be working with New Mexico Young Actors this summer!
Jacqueline Chavez Makeup Artist
More coming soon
Additional Supporting Staff
|Accounting||Jared M. Lee, AVI Accounting|
|House Managers||Lisa Fenstermacher (KiMo)
Rosemary Gallegos (NHCC)
|Legal||Atty. Ashley Strauss-Martin|
|Light Designer||Chris Nelson|
|Make-Up Designer||Jacqueline Chavez|
|Photographer||Clarissa Anello Photography|
|Set Designer||Chris Nelson|
|Sound Engineer||Chad Scheer|
|Stage Manager||Vicki Marie Singer|
NMYA Board of Directors
|Ben Anello||Janet White|
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (M) 2002
Aladdin and His Wonderful Magical Lamp 2001
Aladdin, Jr. (M) 2010, 2018
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (M) 2006
Alice in Wonderland, Jr. (M) 2016
Annie, Jr. (M) 2007, 2012
Beauty and the Beast, Jr. (M) 2011, 2019
The Belle of Bisbee 2011
Big Bad 2015
The Big Hunt 1979
Bumper Snickers 1998
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory 2005
Charlotte’s Webb (M) 1995, 2002
Cinderella’s Glass Slipper (M) 2008, 2015
Country Dreaming * (M) 1982, 1986, 1991
Curse of an Aching Heart 1983
The Dark Castle 2000, 2006, 2014
The Day the Internet Died 2021
Doc, Doc, Goose! 2015
Dr. Dogsbreath Deveraux 2001
Dr. Do-Noodles, Here Comes the Judge* 1980
Egad, What A Cad! 1986
The Emperor’s New Clothes 2004, 2017
Everyone Is Good For Something 1997
Fat Sam’s Grand Slam* (M) 1981, 1985, 1990
The Frog Prince of Spamalot 2019
The Frog Princess 2002, 2003, 2008, 2013
From Hair to Eternity 2018
The Glass Slipper 1999
Hansel and Gretel (M) 1999, 2004, 2013
Happily Ever After 1999, 2001, 2006
Here Comes the Cows 2010
Honk! Jr. (M) 2008
Ill-Advised News * (M) 1980
I’m A Celebrity 1997
Jack and the Giant (M), 2000, 2006, 2015
James and the Giant Peach, Jr. (M), 2017
Jungle Book (M) 2022
Just a Simple Soap Opera 1979
King Midas and the Palace of Gold (M) 1996, 2007
The Last Gladiator 2021
Legend of Sleepy Hollow 2018
Let’s Stop Child Abuse * 1989—1994
The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe – 2022
The Little Match Girl 1996
The Little Mermaid, Jr. (M) 2013
The Magic Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle ** (M) 2004, 2010
Mary Poppins, Jr. (M) 2022
Miss Nelson Is Missing! ** (M) 2005, 2011
The Music Man, Jr. (M) 2012
The Musical Adventures of Oliver Twist (M) 2021
My Name is Rumpelstiltskin 2009, 2014
Nellie’s Fishy Fate 1988
Never Trust a City Slicker 2009
Not Fit For Man or Beast 1980, 1982, 1985
The Oldest Team in Vaudeville * (M), 1984, 1988, 1994
Oz! (M) 2017
Pecos Bill and Slue-Foot Sue 1996, 2000, 2005
The Pied Piper of Hamelin 2012
Pinocchio (M) 2001
Pippi Longstocking ** (M) 2003, 2009
Peter Pan (M) 2019
Pocahontas (M) 2016
The Princess and the Pea 2010
Puss in Boots 2013
Ransom Of Red Chief (M) 1992, 1997
Robin Hood (M) 1993
Robin Hood 2022
Safe and Sound 1986
Science is Wonderful 1979
The Secret Garden (M) 2018
Showdown at the Sugarcane Saloon 1989, 1999
Silver’s Secret 2017
The Sleeping Beauty 2019
Sneakers (M) 1989
Snow Queen 2016
Snow White & Seven Dwarfs (M) 1998, 2003, 2014
The Stinky Cheese Man (M) 2005
Stop That Villain! 1991
The Three Bully Goats Griff 2016
Treasure Island 2021
The Trouble with Christmas 1980
True Blue and Trusted 1982, 1984, 1987, 1990
Tumble Weeds 2004
The Villain Wore A Dirty Shirt 1997, 2002, 2007
Virtual Complaint Department and Lemonade 2020
The Virtual Family 2021
Virtually Ever After 2021
We’re Going to Be Stars Someday * (M) 1988
Willy Wonka, Jr. (M) 2009, 2014
The Wizard of Oz (M) 2000
Zorro’s Back In Town 1998, 2003, 2008