Best Acting Classes for Kids in Los Angeles: Musical Theater, Drama, Improv

Little minds get curiouser and curiouser as they explore on stage. Photo courtesy Youth Academy of Dramatic Arts
Little minds get curiouser and curiouser as they explore on stage. Photo courtesy Youth Academy of Dramatic Arts
8/31/23 - By Matt Matasci

As the home of Hollywood, it's no surprise that Los Angeles has a wide range of acting classes available for kids. Young thespians can get pretty specific and take theater acting classes, musical theater classes, improv classes, and more! Below are the best acting classes for kids in Los Angeles, from young kids who want their first taste of being in the spotlight to teens who see a future in show biz. It's time to get your little ham in front of an audience!

Check our guide to the Best Kids Classes and Activities in Los Angeles for more kids' activities and programs.


Did you know you can now book classes and more activities directly from the Mommy Poppins calendar? Find events with the "book it" button or filter for classes for simple registration in just a few clicks. 

Best Acting Classes for Kids in Los Angeles

1. The Young Actors Studio — North Hollywood

The Young Actors Studio offers in-person and online acting classes at its North Hollywood location. Founded by creative director Jeff Alan-Lee, the studio has been operating since 1996. With programs that are specifically for young actors, classes are available for kids and teens. Not only does The Young Actors Studio offer group classes, but there are also 1-on-1 classes available. 

2. The Crow — Santa Monica

The Crow is a comedy club and a performing arts educational space for all ages, with classes and camps in stand-up, sketch, improv, and professional level acting for kids, teens, and adults. The Crow is a welcoming space for all ages, abilities, genders, BIPOC, and LGBTQIA+. The Crow has family-friendly, G-rated comedy shows and open mics. There's even the BYOB Show, where parents can bring a screaming baby to a comedy show.

3. Joy Theatre — Sherman Oaks

Joy Theatre Sherman Oaks has a wide variety of acting classes for kids, including Shakespeare For Fun; Pirates, Jedis & Knights; On-Camera Commercial Class; and many more. Membership includes 10 improv classes over 12 weeks, a $50 sibling discount, a free birthday party for up to 20 people, and discounted private coaching. Private lessons are available as well.

4. Laguna Playhouse — Laguna Beach

Orange County's Laguna Playhouse has classes for kids age 9 to 18, plus the chance to take part in theatrical productions. Classes are broken into four different levels depending on the age of the young actor. Classes are for kids that seek to learn professional acting skills and have fun. They meet once a week and include some homework to be completed out of class.

5. South Coast Repertory — Costa Mesa

Classes at South Coast Repertory are taught by theater professions with a diverse range of expertise and backgrounds. Classes are divided into Kids and Teen programs, with 3 sessions offered a year, plus camp in the summer. SCR describes its classes as a safe and welcoming environment where kids can build self-confidence, communication skills, and creativity.

6. The Playground — Westside and Costa Mesa

The Playground has two locations, one on Santa Monica Boulevard on the Westside and the other in Costa Mesa. There are acting classes for kids ages 6 to 12, where children learn the craft of television and film acting through a carefully designed curriculum developed by founder Gary Spatz, who has worked as an acting coach on a variety of film and TV productions. The Playground also has classes for teens ages 13 to 17, as well as virtual lessons and private coaching. 

7. Margie Haber Studio — Hollywood

Margie Haber's Hollywood acting classes for kids are separated into two groups. Kids ages 7 to 9 meet once a week on Sundays for two and a half hours, while 10 to 13-year-olds meet on Sundays for four hours. If you're looking for something more serious, Haber also offers advanced classes. There is a minimum three-month commitment required for all classes and class sizes are kept to a maximum of 12 kids. 

8. Joshua LeBar Studios — Toluca Lake

Joshua LeBar's acting classes are based out of his studio in Toluca Lake's Tujunga Village. There he uses a variety of approaches to teach the art of acting, whether it's kids' classes, teen classes, or online classes. The classes tend to run on the older end of the spectrum, with students ranging from 10 to 17 years old. LeBar comes from a sports background, so his approach to coaching actors is not to be too soft on them or praise the work no matter the quality. He expects students to work hard and come to class prepared, so this is a class for more dedicated students. 

Best Acting Classes for Kids in Los Angeles: Musical Theatre Academy of Orange County

Hey! Give me back my voice! Photo courtesy of Musical Theatre Academy of Orange County

Top Musical Theater Classes for Kids in Los Angeles

9. Musical Theatre Academy of Orange County — Newport Beach

The Musical Theatre Academy of Orange County has a wide range of classes from Tiny Stars (ages 4 to 6) up to Shooting Stars (ages 13 to 18) and everything in between. Tiny Stars learn the fundamentals of theater, with each level adding skills in voice, dance, and performance.

10. The Center Stage Studio — Aliso Viejo

The Center Stage Studio is another great location for musical theater, with classes divided into three sections: Itty Bitty Broadway! for kids ages 4 to 7, Creative Kids! for ages 7 to 10, and Pacific Players! for ages 9 to 15. The youngest students will get their first taste of musical theater by rehearsing and putting on an age-appropriate show, and the productions get more elaborate as kids age up.

11. Tiny Spotlight — Studio City

The aim of Tiny Spotlight is specifically to create young thespians. There are a variety of classes and styles, including the Musical Theater courses. The school puts on two separate productions each session, one for kids ages 7 to 10 and one for smaller children ages 5 to 7. Other classes offered include Improv and Tuesday Night Live! (an SNL-inspired sketch comedy class).

Acting Classes in Los Angeles for the Youngest Thespians

12. Youth Academy of Dramatic Arts — Mid-City and Studio City

Youth Academy of Dramatic Arts, or YADA, offers theater camps and classes for kids ages 3 to 12. The programs range from YADA Tots, where kids learn select songs from shows and just have fun singing and dancing through master classes that are available through audition only. One of our favorite ways to jump in is in the Improv Class, available for ages 6 & up, both in-person and online.

13. 3-2-1 Acting Studios — La Crescenta

3-2-1 Acting Studios have hybrid in-studio and live online classes for kids age 4 to 7. The class focuses on commercials & improvisation, with coaching on audition technique, improvisation, and acting for film and TV. The course includes 10 classes with one in-studio class a week and two Saturday live online classes. 

14. The Actor's Circle — Culver City

Kids as young as five can enroll in the child classes at The Actor's Circle, which are for kids ages 5 to 11. What's great about The Actor's Circle is children can be enrolled in just one class or up to 12 weeks of classes. There are also courses available for teens at The Actor's Circle. 

15. Spotlight Tots at Tiny Spotlight — Studio City

Mentioned above for its great Musical Theater course, we wanted to mention it again to put the spotlight (as it were) on Spotlight Tots, which is a class specifically designed for kids age 3 to 5. The instructors use games and activities to develop movement, character development, voice, and team-building skills.

Best Acting Classes for Kids in Los Angeles: Kids On Stage

Put on a show in a park. Photo courtesy of Kids On Stage

LA Kids' Acting Classes Online and In-Person

16. Kids On Stage

Kids On Stage has in-person and virtual classes for a variety of age groups. Onlilne themes include Mary Poppins for kids ages 7 to 17, Grease for ages 7 to 14, and Voice Over Animation for ages 7 to 17. Kids On Stage also offers many different in-person courses as well as private backyard pod classes. 

17. Santa Monica Playhouse

The Santa Monica Playhouse offers both in-person and remote acting classes for kids. These classes meet once a week for six weeks, working on theater games, voice and movement, acting, imagination building, writing, costume creation, camera technique, and more. On the last day of the class, the group perform a play.

18. Young Actors Space

Young Actors Space is well-known for its online classes as well as its in-person program. The Tykes classes are for the smallest children aged 5 to 7 and are focused on building confidence, working on focus, and building discipline. Classes for Children are geared towards those ages 8 to 11 and help guide kids through new challenges like script analysis, objectives, through lines, and compelling, authentic performances. There are classes for tweens and teens, as well.

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