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Staging Pride Applications Open!

Classes Mondays and Fridays from 4pm-6pm
at The Door, 555 Broome Street, New York, NY

Are you queer or trans and between the ages of 12-18? Do you Like theater, food, and excellent vibes? Look no further than Staging Pride: Queer Youth Theater!


This free and fun, community-building program brings together NYC teens to make new friends and explore LGBTQ history and culture through theater. Throughout the program, you will work with our expert Teaching Artists Amy Ackerman and Kevin Smith Kirkwood to build new theater skills and create an original show. Along the way, you will take field trips to see Broadway and Off-Broadway shows, experience cutting-edge LGBTQ art, and have lots of opportunities for queer silliness.


Snacks and MetroCards will be provided. What are you waiting for? Fill out the application and join us!


Staging Pride is made possible by The Door and The Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation.

Apply for our Fall 2024 Semester Now!

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Amy Ackerman (they/them) is a Brooklyn-based creative capacity builder, cabaret artist, art model, and body advocate. Their one-person show, Big Kitty in the Big City, explores body liberation and navigating the theatrical industry as a person of size (the Tank, Club Cumming). As a member of Honest Accomplice Theatre, they have devised and performed numerous plays including ReconFIGUREd (the tank, University Settlement, college tours), Engineers not found, Unmuted, and the Trans Literacy Project (YouTube, College tours).

As an educator, they lecture at universities about fatness as a queer embodiment, teach body love workshops and dance classes and helped devise a gender and Trans inclusivity training with the New York Commission on Human rights.

As a regular performer in Lance Horne’s spontaneous cabaret, they’ve graced stages (and public spaces) all around New York with the ‘Monday’s Collective’ (Club Cumming, Joe’s Pub, House of Yes, Tavern on the Green).

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Kevin Smith Kirkwood (he/him) was most recently seen in the Off Broadway return of Kinky Boots the Musical as the Referee Angel! He made his Broadway debut in the Tony Award-winning musical “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” and earned a 2005 New York Innovative Theater Award nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor for “It's Karate, Kid!” Kirkwood would go on to receive a New Hampshire Theater Alliance Award Nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor for "Violet" and won the award for Outstanding Supporting Actor for his performance in "RENT." After performing in the entire Broadway run of the Tony Award Winning Musical “Kinky Boots,” Kevin went on to play the role of the 'Scarecrow' in the Broadway at Sacramento Music Circus production of “The Wiz,” which received rave reviews.

In the tv/film world, Kirkwood recently guest starred on 'Katy Keene' on the CW Network, and Kirkwood stars as 'Roxy' in the recently released horror feature film entitled “Condemned” (written and directed by Eli Morgan Gesner and also starring Dylan Penn and Lydia Hearst). He can also be heard voicing the character DJ on Season two of Marvel's Wolverine Podcast: The Lost Trail.

Kirkwood created and stars in the wildly popular and critically acclaimed solo show, "CLASSIC WHITNEY: ALIVE!" which has played to sold out houses at Joe’s Pub, The Cutting Room, on cruise ships around the world, and even a command performance at the Whitney Houston estate.

Educated by the Jesuits (St. John's Jesuit Toledo and Fordham University) who instilled a love for youth, service, and the arts, Kirkwood has worked as a teaching artist for NYC nonprofits like The Leadership Program and Arthouse Astoria. As a director, Kevin has directed numerous NYC cabaret and solo shows and also productions of Kinky Boots, Little Shop of Horrors, and Aint' Misbehavin' at the Weathervane Theater in New Hampshire and the Hillbarn Theater in California's Bay Area. Art is power!


LGBTQ youth face serious challenges in daily life, due to systemic and interpersonal homophobia and transphobia. 

49%of LGBTQ+ young people ages 13-17 experienced bullying in the past year

The Trevor Project’s 2023 Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health.

40% of NYC’s 3800 youth experiencing homelessness identify as LGBTQ.

The Ali Forney Center

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