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:

Spring Registration now open

Spring 2024 Productions

Cool shows huh!?! Move your mouse over a show and click the arrow for more details and ticket information.

Classes

NMYA trains youth of all ages in the performing arts across a variety of disciplines.

MAJOR PRODUCTION TRACK

Ages 9 to 19

Students who wish to perform in one of our major theater productions begin by completing the Drama I class. This semester-long class introduces actors to the fundamentals of stage acting and prepares actors for the rigor of our major productions. While many students come to NMYA with prior acting experience, we require completion of Drama I before moving on to Advanced Drama.

Actors in Advanced Drama perform in one or more of our seven annual major productions. All actors enrolled in Advanced Drama each semester are given a role in one of the following shows: 

In the Fall semester of 2023, we will produce the musical Oz!, the play Stuart Little, and the show The Bully Plays (for actors 13 and older by August 8).

In the Spring semester of 2024, we will produce the musical Newsies, Jr., the play Puss in Boots, and reprise the show The Bully Plays (for actors 13 and older by January 8). 

In Summer 2024, we will produce our 2nd Annual Summer Shakespeare Fest

 

THEATER CLASSES

Ages 9 to 19

These classes offer focused instruction in specific areas of the performing arts. If you are looking to get your child started now on their performing arts path, these classes are for you. If your child wishes there could be more rehearsal time for their production, these classes are for you. The 7-week sessions are open enrollment, so your child may begin at any point. If you register your child in the middle of an ongoing session, call our office to arrange a prorated fee. 

Classes offered in the Spring rotation include:

Acting Techniques

Ages 9-18

Mondays  4:15-5:15
1st session : Feb.5-March 18
2nd session : April 1 -May13

Cost: $140 per session
Location: Menaul School
Instructor: Natalie Hadley

Students will explore various methods and forms of acting with games and themed activities. Focus is on hands-on exploration of concepts presented. The final class will culminate in a monologue and short performance in class.

 

Advanced Improv

Tuesdays, 4:45-5:45
1st session : Feb.6-March 19
2nd session : April 1 – May14

Cost: $140 per session
Location: Menaul School
Instructor: Natalie Hadley

Participants will deepen their understanding of improvisational acting on stage through improv games, world building, and team exercises. Emotional realism is employed in acting exercises.

 

Storybook Theater 

Theater for the younger crowd.  More information coming soon.

Parents

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.

Tuition

Tuition for NMYA Drama I is $425 per semester. The fee includes registration and course materials.

Tuition for NMYA Advanced Drama is $475 per semester. The fee includes registration, course materials, a production T-shirt, and any related production expenses.

Tuition for NMYA Theater Classes and Storybook Theater is $140 per 7-week session. The fee includes registration and course materials. 

Tuition Assistance

NMYA offers tuition scholarship assistance to students who are eligible.  Please contact NMYA directly in order to obtain an application.

Teachers

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 2024 productions

Newsies Jr.

Study guide coming soon.

Puss in Boots

Study guide coming soon.

The Bully Plays

Spring study guide coming soon.

Study Guides – Fall 2023 productions

A Special Thanks to our Sponsors

$5000+

nm-arts-logo

New Mexico Arts, a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts


The Rocking JT Foundation (Janet M. Thompson, President/CEO)
UTEF_white

The Urban Enhancement Trust Fund

$1000 — $4999

Cookies by Design (Leslie Arias)

Brian and Emily Fletcher

Robert Milne

David and Connie Mitchie

Play to Learn, Inc. 

Rob and Ege Richardson

411 Equipment

$500 — $999

Anonymous

Bank of America Charitable Foundation

Joel and Diane Berger

Patrick Egan and Stephanie Dhonau

Base 5 Retail (Kino James)

Aric Elsenheimer and Rachel Ribeiro

$1 — $499

Amazon Smile
Linda and Carl Alongi
Lee and Monica Brown
Dennis and Sandra Carlson
Charity Vest, Inc.
Paul and Dawn Christenson
John Craig
Jonathan and Leigh Dean
Dinner Detective (Clearly Confused Entertainment)
Tatiana Evans
Group Raise
Andrew Groves on behalf of Bosque Center of Spiritual Living
Maggie English and Alan Mason
Law Office of Adam Oakey
Rita O’Sullivan
Tim and Sheila O’Sullivan
Mark Selvig
United Way
Analisa Villareal

In-Kind Contributors

Jerilyn Cheney

Patrick and Michelle Garr

Humano Productions

Erik Magee

William McCabe

Roberto and Danelle Gomez

Sonia and Douglas Dunsmore

About Us

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.   

Staff

  • Rachel Ribeiro
    Rachel Ribeiro Executive Director

    Rachel was named NMYA’s Executive Director in December 2022.  She first started working with NMYA in 2015. She has taught nine semesters of Drama I, spearheading the development of the Drama I curriculum, has directed eight Advanced Drama plays, and in the summer of 2023, founded the inaugural NMYA Summer Shakespeare Fest.   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. 

  • Michelle Eiland
    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 Sign 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.

  • Natalie Hadley
    Natalie Hadley Touring Play Director / Theater Course Instructor

    An Albuquerque native and lifelong performer, Natalie first joined NMYA when she was eight and is grateful to be back with her home company, sharing the skills and theater etiquette instilled in her by company founder Rick Nickerson. With over 70 productions under her belt before reaching college, Natalie received her BFA in Musical Theatre with an emphasis in Vocal Performance from the Boston Conservatory.  After college, Natalie went on to perform in professional regional productions, gaining her Actors Equity card. Natalie is also certified in “Alexander Technique.” She believes that theater can be the cornerstone for freedom of identity and self expression, and that theater can offer life changing skill sets.  She is looking forward to teaching and directing the next generation of NMYA students. Outside of teaching with our company, Natalie is a stay at home mom, a local performer for many companies, and with her greatest passion being singing, she now teaches private vocal lessons.

  • Cameron Illidge-Welch
    Cameron Illidge-Welch Music Director

    Cameron is a transplant from New Orleans, Louisiana, where he performed for nearly 15 years on stage in musical theater, classics, and many originals written by local and nationally known playwrights. He studied extensively with Janet Shea, his long time acting coach, and the likes of Dr. Rick Watkins, Michael Martin, Brian Fontenot, and Cedric Bridges from whom he learned the majority of his craft! He has directed and musically directed more than 20 shows in his career off stage and has been seen in a number of shows on stage in the 505! Most recently in Adobe Theater’s summer 2023 production of Marry Me A Little, Landmark Musicals’ Newsies! (Davey Jacobs), and before that in Hold The Applause Productions’ Godspell (Judas). Cameron is humbled and honored to have the privilege to work with NMYA and its fantastic staff and students this fall and cannot wait to create beautiful music and fantastic art!

  • Carol Mayberry-Sanchez
    Carol Mayberry-Sanchez Rehearsal Accompanist
    Carol’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 and a band musician for NMYA’s musical productions
  • Hanna Hawson
    Hanna Hawson Drama I Instructor
    Hanna 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
    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.

  • William R. Stafford
    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
    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!

  • Maria Bertinetti
    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.

  • John A. Craig
    John A. Craig Musical Production Assistant
    John 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.
  • Jacqueline Chavez
    Jacqueline Chavez Makeup Artist

    Jacqueline Chavez is an experienced makeup artist who has collaborated with impressive clients such as Netflix, National Geographic, Chanel, Robert Redford and Ali McGraw. She’s not only had the pleasure of working with amazing talent, she has also been featured in Vanity Fair (On Time) and Chaos. Having turned her passion into a successful career, she loves to use her talent in all areas of makeup artistry and is currently head of the Wigs and Makeup Department for multiple production companies in New Mexico. One of her favorite things about theater is the collaboration of different talents to create a magical show.

Additional Supporting Staff

Accounting Jared M. Lee, AVI Accounting

Consulting Mental Health Counselor Marisa Rothroch

Costumers Aba Ortiz
Kathy Gomez

Costumer Assistant Elias Arredondo

House Managers Lisa Fenstermacher (KiMo)
Rosemary Gallegos (NHCC)

Legal Atty. Ashley Strauss-Martin

Light Designer Chris Nelson

Make-Up Designer Jacqueline Chavez

Musicians
Abel Cuevas, David McCreary, and Carol Mayberry-Sanchez

Photographer Clarissa Anello Photography

Set Designer Chris Nelson

Sound Engineer Chad Scheer

Stage Manager Vicki Marie Singer

Videographer Humano Productions

NMYA Board of Directors

President Ege Richardson
Vice-President William McCabe
Secretary Sarah Gallegos
Treasurer Jerilyn Cheney
Member Leigh Dean

Advisors

Ben Anello Janet White

Repertory (1979–2023)

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, 2023
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
Clowns* 1983
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
Kiddledywinks! 2007
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, 2023

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, 2023
Pecos Bill and Slue-Foot Sue 1996, 2000, 2005
The Pied Piper of Hamelin 2012
Pinocchio 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
Rapunzel 2011
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

(M) Musical
NMYA Original Work
** Southwest Premier

Contact NMYA