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Young Actors Theatre Joins Phalen Leadership Academies

Young Actors Theatre has joined Phalen Leadership Academies as a program partner to help scholars master confidence and discipline, unlock their voices, and unleash their creative minds.

The drama education program, also known as Self-Empowerment Theatre, is an award winner with National Youth Theatre Group and is one of the nation’s most progressive youth theatres.

“This is going to be excellent programming for our scholars,” said PLA Founder and CEO Earl Martin Phalen. “They’ll be encouraged to express themselves while also developing important life skills: public speaking, group dynamics, individual choice, self-expression and creativity, understanding true story telling and the building blocks of a story. Many of our scholars face very challenging circumstances outside of our schools. This gives them another positive outlet and a supportive space to learn and explore.”



The program begins at James and Rosemary Phalen Leadership Academy, PLA@103 and PLA@93 this upcoming school year and will engage 1200 scholars.  They’ll choose topics that are relevant and meaningful to them, like bullying, violence, health, and technology and develop original scripts from start to finish.

By using the Self-Empowerment Theatre method of drama education, the confidence needed to be on stage becomes the confidence to dream big. The creativity needed to envision a character becomes the creativity to inspire innovation. The discipline needed to learn arole becomes the discipline to build self-reliance. These three pillars-confidence, creativity, and discipline-are the foundations of Self-Empowerment Theatre. 

Justin Wade, Executive Director of Young Actors Theatre, expressed his excitement for joining PLA and working with PLA scholars.

“We believe fervently in the vision behind the Phalen Leadership Academies, and we are thrilled to introduce Self-Empowerment Theatre as a way for PLA scholars to continue working toward a growth mindset, and develop the confidence, creativity, and discipline needed for true achievement,” he said.

To learn more visit and watch for Young Actors Theatre productions on PLA TV.