Program Dates: June 24 through August 12, 2018. Rehearsals and workshops for YAI’s Summer Theate Experience begin June 24 at First Lutheran Church in Saint Paul, near Metro State University. Program meet Sunday through Thursday evenings, from 6:30 to 9 p.m (No Rehearsals July 3rd – 5th.) Registration opens Feb 1. Performances August 9-12, 2018.


The Performance Space at Wellstone Center. No experience necessary! Open to actors ages 8-18. Actors must be 8 years of age by the start of the first rehearsal to participate. Space is limited to the first 15 boys and 15 girls who register. If registration exceeds enrollment, families will be placed on a waiting list.


Total cost for the program is only $200, which includes a souvenir pack. Financial assistance also available upon request. For more detailed program information, visit www.youngartistsmn.org.


Based on Disney’s Oscar-nominated film, Disney’s Mulan JR. is a heartwarming celebration of culture, honor and the fighting spirit. With hit songs and a story packed with action, humor and heart, Disney’s Mulan JR.brings ancient China to life with a modern sensibility.


The Huns have invaded, and it is up to the misfit Mulan and her mischievous dragon sidekick, Mushu, to save the Emperor! Defying the village matchmaker, Mulan takes up arms and disguises herself as a boy in order to spare her father from having to serve in the army. As the great battle with the Huns approaches, Mulan must choose between revealing her true identity as a girl or saving all of China with her clever plan.


Disney’s Mulan JR. is an effective way to introduce students to ancient Chinese culture and calls for a large ensemble of actors playing soldiers, family members and brides-to-be.




(2) Mail both the completed Registration Form and Registration Fee to Young Artists Initiative Office.

Young Artists Initiative
463 Maria Avenue, Saint Paul, MN, 55106


If you have any questions about the Summer Theatre Experience, please contact us at matthew@youngartistsmn.org 



Exciting news!


After 14 years as an all-volunteer organization on Saint Paul’s East Side, Young Artists Initiative (YAI) is proud to announce the hiring of Matt Berdahl as the company’s first paid Artistic Director! Continue reading to learn more about YAI’s 14-year journey, our Meet & Greet event on September 29, and Matt’s background and experience that he brings to this work at YAI.

More about YAI’s journey

In 2018, YAI will celebrate its 15th season of signature, high quality arts programming for the young people on Saint Paul’s East Side. Founded in 2004 by arts educators Benjamin Lacina and Jefferson Fietek, YAI grew out of their desire to provide excellent theater arts opportunities to young people who may lack access to such experiences. YAI’s founders were awarded the 2009 Ordway Center Education Award for Community Commitment. Many artists and families have said they come to YAI because they are impressed with YAI’s mission, artistic quality and integrity, and the organization’s commitment to kids. 

In 2011, Jefferson moved on to other non-profit work in the Twin Cities, and Benjamin took over all Artistic and Education Director responsibilities. YAI recruited additional leaders from the ranks of alumni families and community members, whose commitment included significant long-range planning and supporting the work. 

In 2015, YAI achieved status as an independent 501(c)(3) organization and has used this status to strengthen and build new support for its mission in the community. Benjamin is eager to begin the transition to Matt’s Artistic Director leadership as YAI solidifies plans for 2018. The Board is excited by this transition that will celebrate YAI’s 15th season and many more to come.



Get involved!

Share your skills, help out with events, or volunteer during this transition to help YAI build the next generation of great youth theater programming. Please contact YAI via email: info@youngartistsmn.org