Youth Classes

A Commitment to Young People

Chagrin Valley Little Theatre has a long-standing commitment to encouraging children and young people in acting. Since its establishment in the 1950’s, the Chagrin Valley Youth Theatre has fulfilled this mission with dedication and professionalism.

We believe that performing on a stage in front of an audience teaches children discipline, self-confidence and responsibility, even if they never pursue acting as anything more than a hobby — and besides, it’s a whole lot of fun!

To teach the skills and discipline of acting and encourage children to discover the fun of being part of a play, Chagrin Valley Little Theatre offers Youth Theatre classes in January and September and a summer camp in July and August. These classes culminate in a final performance. Classes that do not involve a final performance are offered in the spring.

Teaching Acting Skills

The Chagrin Valley Little Theatre Youth Theatre program offers acting classes for young people ranging from grades 1 – 12. The focus of the classes is on confidence, character development, voice, movement, improvisation, and performance. Most sessions end with a final production on CVLT’s main stage. All students receive a speaking role in the productions, regardless of their previous experience. While preparing for their performance, the students gain experience in many aspects of theatre production including rehearsing, learning lines, creating a character, and working as an ensemble. They are exposed to different types of theatre through scripts, sets, costume and makeup.

In addition to learning about theatre and improving their acting skills, the students benefit from increased self-esteem, improved confidence in public speaking, making new friends, and through the experience and patience of our director, Ms. Kolibab, they receive support and encouragement in a very comfortable and fun environment. Students enjoy the classes regardless of their age or prior experience in the theatre. Final performances are followed by a reception in the Stuart & Roberta Sears River Room upstairs.

Introduction to ACTING FOR AGES 9 – 12

January 16 – March 6
Tuesdays 5:00 – 6:30 PM
Tuition: $100

Contact the Box Office – (440) 247-8955

This informative class, taught by award winning long time CVLT veteran, Don Edelman, will cover a wide variety of topics which address the skills that every young actor needs. Scene and line structure, stage movement, acting and reacting, mime, diction, articulation, and stage makeup are some of the areas that will be practiced and developed.

Held at the River Street Playhouse
Class size limited to 12


January 17 – March 7
Wednesdays 9 – 10:30 AM Ages 8-12
Wednesdays 11 – 12:30 PM Ages 13 -18
Tuition: $100

Contact the Box Office – (440) 247-8955

Are you homeschooled and have time during the day to attend additional classes? Then these classes are right for you! Designed for either the beginner or more advanced acting student, the class will focus on theatre exercises, improvisation, working together, and will help to develop confidence, stage presence and memorization while working on scenes from plays. Instructor for the class is Julia Kolibab, CVLT Youth Theatre Director for 20 years.

ACTING CLASS FOR Kindergartners

January 15 – March 5
Mondays 4:00 – 5:00 PM 
Tuition: $100

Contact the Box Office – (440) 247-8955

Through the use of theatre games and exercises, the students will have the opportunity to explore their imagination and creativity. In a relaxed and supportive environment, they will act as a variety of fun characters and animals, and will even try their hand at some memorization as they practice lines from a simple fairy tale.


January 21, 1:00 – 4:00 “Creating Character”
March 18, 1:00 – 4:00 “Stage Combat Basics”
May 20, 1:00 – 4:00 “Audition Tips”
Ages: 13 and up
Tuition: $25.00 each course

Do you want to learn more about Shakespeare? Are you intimidated by the text? Do you have trouble understanding it? Learn about acting in a Shakespeare play with Kate Bernardo, CVLT award winning actress and theatre instructor and director at Beaumont School. Each workshop will cover a different topic involving Shakespeare and how to perform it!


January 13 – February 25
Saturdays 10:00 – 1:00 PM
The class meets once a week, but involvement may extend to evenings and weekends, depending on availability.
Tuition: $100.00

You love theatre, but prefer staying out of the spotlight? Working backstage is where you feel you really shine? The students enrolled in this class will handle all aspects of backstage work for the youth theatre production workshop. Stage management, finding and managing props, assisting with costumes, building sets, and possible involvement with operation of sound and lights.

Come join both Julia Kolibab, Director of the Youth Theatre for 20 years, and Edmond Wolff, CVLT technical theatre director for over 20 years, and take part in the important backstage aspects of theatre production.

This class will involve some additional evening rehearsals, primarily during the week of Feb 19th through Feb 25th


January 18 – February 15
Thursday 4:00-5:20 PM – Ages 12-17
Tuition: $100

Contact the Box Office – (440) 247-8955

“You’re not going there to get a job. You’re going there to present what you do.” ~ Bryan Cranston, Actor

Do you want to increase your chances of landing that role you have always wanted? Join award-winning actor and director Michael J. Rogan for his 4 week intensive class on the principles of auditioning.

The course will cover an actors’ approach to, preparation for and performance at auditions. The course is appropriate for both new and experienced actors alike. It is also useful to those auditioning for either musicals or straight plays.

Held at the River Street Playhouse
Class size limited to 12


Saturdays, January 6 – February 25
Grades 1 & 2 | 9:00-10:00 AM | Tuition $160.00
Grades 3- 12 | 10:00-1:00 PM | Tuition $210.00

THIS COURSE IS FILLED. Please join our email list to be notified about Spring courses.

Classes in this session will perform together in a final, full-length production (2/24 at 2:00 and 7:00 2/25 at 2:00). Every student will have a role in an exciting, large-scale production with three performances. The class will include theatre activities and exercises for students when they are not rehearsing their role on stage.

Feb. classes will be extended to 11:00 or 12:00 and on 2/17 class will be held from 10:00-2:00.
Tech week rehearsals: Sunday 2/18 2:00-6:00, Tuesday 2/20 5:30-7:15, Wednesday 2/21 5:30-7:15 , and Thursday 2/22 5:30-8:30 (final dress rehearsal.

Julia Kolibab, Teacher & Coordinator

Julia Kolibab, director of our Youth Theatre program since 1996 and the long-time coordinator of AOY, holds an MFA in theatre from Case Western Reserve University. She is a professional actress and member of Actors’ Equity Association.

Julia has appeared at The Cleveland Play House, Great Lakes Theatre Festival, Cesear’s Forum, Ensemble Theatre, Willoughby Fine Arts, and the Working Theatre as well as performing both abroad and in New York City.

She has taught at CWRU, Laurel School, Hathaway Brown, Beaumont, Willoughby School of Fine Arts, the Chagrin Falls Performing Arts Academy, and has directed nearly one hundred plays for the CVLT youth theatre.

Additionally, she has served as the producer of Dobama Theatre’s Marilyn Bianchi Kids Playwriting Festival in Cleveland Heights. Julia is committed to helping young people experience the joy and confidence that comes from participating in an acting program.