Youth Theatre Program

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About Stagecrafters Youth Theatre (SYT)

Through its Youth Theatre (SYT), Stagecrafters is committed to creating opportunities for young people and their families to participate in the theatre arts. The mission of Stagecrafters Youth Theatre is presented in the SYT Purpose and Commitment statement:

Stagecrafters Youth Theatre (SYT) is committed to educating and nurturing children, ages 8-18, through positive experiences in all aspects of the theatre arts. We foster teamwork, self-esteem, creativity and appreciation of the arts. Our focus is on educating our youth members during their formative years, and providing a positive and lasting experience for their families as well. Our goal is to  cultivate a life-long love of theatre in our members.

SYT members perform in live theatrical plays and musicals, typically two productions per season. Children between the ages of 8 and 18 may join SYT. Parents are welcomed also, as supportive partners in achieving our educational goals. We ask parents to volunteer some time during dress rehearsals and during performances. The cost of a one-year SYT membership is $25 per child. SYT is designed to educate and empower young people by providing the opportunity to learn all aspects of theatrical productions including:

• Acting • Directing • Choreography • Music Direction
• Costumes • Hair & Makeup Design
• Props • Lighting • Sound
• Set Design • Set Construction • Set Painting • Set Dress
• Stage Management • Technical Direction
• Play Selection • Publicity • Producing
• Audition Organization

Throughout the production process, children learn important life skills, including teamwork, cooperation, time management, communication, flexibility, leadership and, not least, that hard work can be fun! In addition to its productions, SYT offers the following to its members. (Please scroll down for details.)

• Annual workshops that cover a variety of theatrical subjects, from performance-focused work to backstage, technical topics (see below)
• Leadership opportunities (see below)
• Opportunity to earn a scholarship (see below)
• One half-price ticket to each show in the Stagecrafters season (for use by the member)

For more information about Stagecrafters Youth Theatre, please contact us at

Youth Theatre Membership Form


SYT Backstage/Technical Positions

 Learn More

SYT Student Leadership Positions

 Learn More

SYT Workshops

SYT Workshops - September 2023

Learn More

2022-23 SYT Shows

The SpongeBob MusicalJuly 14 - 23, 2023  |  Directed by Maria Ochoa

Disney's Descendants: The MusicalDecember 14 - 17, 2023  |  Directed by Emily Lourim

SYT Newsletters

SYT News - August 2023

SYT News - March 2023

The History of Stagecrafters Youth Theatre

Stagecrafters Youth Theatre (SYT) began in 1972, when the children of adult Stagecrafters members started and ran their own children’s theatre group, then called the Rag-a-Muffins. At the time,  Stagecrafters and the Rag-a-Muffins performed at Stagecrafters/Bowers Street Playhouse, a former church on Bowers Street in Clawson.

In 1985, Stagecrafters relocated from Clawson to the beautiful Baldwin Theatre (the old Washington Theater) in Royal Oak, which was lovingly restored by Stagecrafters members. In 1988, with the help of many supportive parents, Stagecrafters Youth Theatre presented Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, SYT’s first production under its new (and now longstanding) name.

The SYT committee was formed in 1989. The committee consisted of Stagecrafters members and the parents involved with SYT. They established the rules and guidelines for the SYT membership, as well as parental guidelines, so parents would be involved with their children and as many children as possible could be involved in each production. Parental involvement and inclusivity remain central to SYT’s mission to this day.

The SYT committee continues to be responsible for selecting plays and musicals each season, selecting directors for each production, planning workshops, and reporting to the Stagecrafters Board of Directors. It is composed of Stagecrafters members, with a mix of parents of SYT members and others, representing a range of skills and interests. SYT committee openings are filled through a “call for members,” broadcast to the Stagecrafters membership, and an application process.

Jeffrey Seller
talks about Stagecrafters

JEFFREY from Sean McCourt on Vimeo.


DeRita / McNie SYT Scholarship

The DeRita/McNie SYT Scholarship is awarded each year to one or more graduating seniors who have been actively involved in the Stagecrafters Youth Theatre (SYT) program. The scholarship is named in memory of two former SYT members, Jennifer DeRita and Danny McNie, who loved theatre and all it entails. Scholarship recipients embody the same spirit of dedication and enthusiasm that Jenny and Danny had for theatre.

Youth theatre members earn scholarship points based on their participation in productions in cast, tech crew or other supporting roles, as well as by volunteering for special projects at the theatre. Productions may include SYT, Main Stage, or 2nd Stage shows. Special projects may include working as a Stagecrafters volunteer at events such as Spooktacular, Arts Beats and Eats, and Visits with Santa. Points are awarded for each role/activity. (Some age restrictions apply in certain categories.)

Scholarship Requirements. A minimum of 300 points is required for scholarship consideration. Interested applicants must submit the completed scholarship forms by April 1st of the given year. The deadline is set and publicized by the SYT committee, and is strictly enforced.

Detailed Scholarship Information

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DeRita/McNie SYT Scholarship Application

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Scholarship Points Submission Form

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We invite you to make a donation to this fund by contacting Stagecrafters at 248-541-8027 or by clicking on the button below. Contributions by check or credit card are tax deductible. Please consult your tax advisor for more information.

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List of Past Scholarship Recipients:

2022-23: Maddie Hanes
Adie Dewey, Reese McClelland, Kyle Russ
Julianna Darawi, Mandy Marsili
2019-20: Lucy Breda, Alexa Dewey, Eli Hurwitz, Madison Strachan
2018-19: Morgan Russ
Elena Ochoa
Regan Castle, Sofie Gerstler, Emily Lourim, Emily Muench, Kailyn Riebe
Brendan Battle, Kristen Hansen, Matt Harmon, Ryan Hurley
2014-15: Kendra Barnowski, Elaina Ciccone, Rachel Keteyian, Danielle Muench, Jake Zelinski
2013-14: Cecilia Bala, Carolyn Janney, Christiana Perrault
2012-13: Aaron Keteyian
2011-12: Mitch Aiello, Anna Marck, Maria Ochoa, Kristen Zublick
2010-11: Joe Cavanaugh, Shelby Maurice, Anna Seibert, Aubrey Thompson
2009-10: Erinn Gustafson
2008-09: Mackenzie Gibson, Blair Steen
2007-08: Elyse Moon, Nick Yocum
2006-07: Kim Hunter, Kate Sikora
2005-06: Brittany Wilson, Lauren Wilson
2004-05: Kevin Scolin
2003-04: Sean Grier
2003: Erin Tamm, Katie Pierce
2002: Natalie Malotke, Christine Werny
2001: Elena Elwart, Christine Cannon, Elizabeth Webb