Syracuse Stage Education Classes and Workshops

Our program features engaging content for theatre-lovers of all ages. Delve deep into the craft through private classes, group acting courses, live virtual classroom experiences, and master classes on a variety of subjects. Please note that due to COVID-19, all of our programming is virtual.

Student Work

Wondering what students are up to in classes? Check out some of the work completed in the Fall 2020 Storybuilding class taught by Martikah Williams.

A Universal Experience by Emma Huhtala

If They Only Knew by Rachael Rowe

Meet Our Teaching Artists

Kate Laissle (Acting Grades K-2) is the Associate Director of Education at Syracuse Stage. During her tenure, she started the Young Adult Council, Education Advocacy Board, and facilitated the Young Playwrights Festival and the first Sensory Friendly Theatre Performance in Central New York. She is the driving force behind Theatre for the Very Young: an interactive theatre for children under the age of five that tours to different locations. Kate is a teaching artist for the “Summer at Stage Theatre Experience”, working with middle school students to perform Shakespeare.  Passionate about Theatre for Young Audiences, she founded the Tiny Giants Theatre Company that toured several children’s theatre shows through southeast Ohio. Previous work experience includes Lookingglass Theatre Company, Studio Be, Utah Shakespeare Festival, and the Colorado Shakespeare Festival. She holds a B.F.A. in Theatre Production Technology and Design as well as a M.Ed. in Critical and Cultural Studies in Education from Ohio University. 

Martikah Williams (Storytelling Grades 9-12) is a multidisciplinary artist; an actor, singer, writer, lighting designer and director. She studied Theater and Music at the University at Albany, SUNY and later attended Stella Adler Studio of Acting in NYC, she will be graduating from the professional conservatory in 2022. You may recognize her from performing in productions with local theatre companies like The Central New York Playhouse and Redhouse Performing Arts Center. Her first play Finals will be produced at The Community Folk Art Center in Syracuse, NY. Her hope is that through her work on and off stage she will inspire the underrepresented as well as encourage dialogue about intentionally creating more opportunities for BIPOC and women artists.

Esther Banegas Gatica (Acting Grades 3-5) was born in San Pedro Sula, Honduras.  She is a graduate of Teatro Prometeo Acting Conservatory in Theatre Arts at Miami Dade College. She trained in Rasa Boxes, playwriting and performed for the International Hispanic Theatre Festival of Miami. She received her Bachelor's in Fine Arts from Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma where she also taught with Clark Youth Theater. Esther is completely bi-lingual, has worked in movement theatre, devised theatre and has written and directed theatre for youth.  Currently she is a Graduate Teaching Assistant at the University of California, Riverside.

Whitney Tenney Pak (Acting Grades 6-8) served for several years as head of the educational outreach circle of the C2C in Los Angeles. Her work culminated in acting as the Head of Drama at Cantwell Sacred Heart of Mary where she was able to serve the community of Montebello, California as both a Teaching Artist and director of shows for the high school as well as the Children's Summer Stage program hosted through CSHM. She currently works in collaboration with Syracuse Stage with their Summer Youth Theatre Experience and is available for consultation and coaching nationwide.

Beresford Bennett 
(Acting Grades 9-12) was born and raised in Connecticut by Jamaican parents. His love of storytelling began backstage in his high school theater, building sets and designing lights before eventually stepping onstage as an actor. He also explored his love of music by learning how to play the saxophone, guitar, and percussion. After high school, he went on to earn a BFA in Acting at Boston University, then moved to NYC and worked as a professional actor and teacher.  He has worked with the Lincoln Center Institute, ArtsGenesis, the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, SC, and travels the country with JazzReach, educating students on the history of jazz music. He is featured in an AT&T commercial with Paul Reiser and premiered his one-man-show, “The Lost Mohegan” at the Sopa Americana Festival in Brazil. His experiences acting in TV and film sparked a desire to get behind the camera as well.  He has written several feature scripts and TV pilots, as well as directed over 30 short films and 3 web series.  Beresford’s voice can be heard in national commercials for Nike, Fed-Ex, Miller, Nick at Night, and the video games Mafia III and Grand Theft Auto V. He has narrated over 70 audiobooks including “We Were Eight Years in Power” by Ta-Nehisi Coates, “Zone One” by Colson Whitehead, “Proving Einstein Right” by S. James Gates and “The Gift of Fire” by Walter Mosley. Beresford currently lives in Los Angeles where he has worked for Greenway Arts Alliance, Theatre 360, and Center for the Cinematic Arts.

Zach Pearson (Improv Grades 6-8) is an actor, musician and teaching artist from New York City. Zach graduated from Syracuse University with a BFA in Acting. He has taught acting and improvisation workshops with Syracuse Stage, Building Company Theatre, and Irondale Ensemble (Brooklyn). Currently he is pursuing a Masters of Social Work at SU.


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Call Group Services at 315-443-9844 for groups of 10 or more.