Learn more about what we do

What is Young Star Musical Theatre?

Self Expression. Creativity. Enrichment. It’s all here.

What is YSMT?

Our Mission

YSMT is a theatre arts training program devoted to introducing performing arts to children of all ages, by providing a high-quality experience that is educational and fun.
Our program is designed to create a hands-on theatre experience that encompasses acting, singing, dancing, and even important backstage skills.
Young Stars will enjoy making new friends, gaining self-confidence, and value teamwork every day at YSMT.
There is no better place for children to experience the theatre than in YSMT's positive and encouraging atmosphere where every student gets the opportunity to perform on a professional stage.

Read our West Orange Observer article here


Our Team

Ms. Shmaine

Director, Owner

Ms. Shmaine has taught students of all ages for nearly 30 years. Her artistic vision and "big picture" mindset create extraordinary productions full of happy, talented students who fall in love with all things musical theatre.  


Lexy Shepherd

Assistant Director, Co-Owner

Miss Lexy has grown up in YSMT since the age of 5 and has performed in over 51 mainstage productions. She enjoys teaching all elements of musical theatre & specializes in costume creation. 


Chris Fernandez

Teacher, Character Acting & Productions

Bio coming soon!


Keagan Bartlett

Teacher

Bio coming soon!


Courtney Callahan

Teacher

Bio coming soon!


Olivia Holton

Teacher Assistant

Olivia has been a Young Star since 2018 and an assistant since 2019. Olivia enjoys performing on stage, though has a passion for leading and helping others. Olivia can be found assisting backstage and throughout the pre-production process at YSMT. 


Learn more about who we are

Our History

Young Star Musical Theatre was the creation of Barbara Shepherd in 1980 in Los Angeles, California. Barbara created Young Star to enrich the lives of young children and their families through the power of theatre. Her good friend, Betty Lee Smith, was a professional choreographer and dance teacher who opened her studio doors to the early days of YSMT. ​Together they created a program that showcased each student individually and empowered everyone to be the best they could possibly be. 

 In 2001, Shmaine brought YSMT to Arizona where she started with 11 children in a low budget performance of The Wiz. Within two years, YSMT grew to over 100 students performing four or more full scale, Broadway-style musicals to sold-out audiences. Young Star Musical Theatre was the first theatre company to fly their young performers with professional ZFX flying for Peter Pan in a 114-year-old Historic Opera House Theatre.

In 2008, YSMT began performing at their first professional theatre facility with 1,100 seats. There YSMT thrilled audiences with Beauty and the Beast, Annie, Peter Pan, Wizard of Oz, Broadway Review Shows, High School Musical, Seussical, and more.

In 2008, founder Barbara Shepherd lost her four year battle with breast cancer. Her legacy lives on through her daughter Shmaine and grandaughter Lexy and every Young Star that walks through our doors. In memory, our Young Stars sing "Seasons of Love" from beloved musical RENT at the Intermission of every performance in dedication to Barbara and all that she did for this company. 

In 2018, Young Star Musical Theatre began again in Winter Garden, FL. Within the first year and a half, registration skyrocketed from 27 students to 85+. In May 2020, YSMT opened a performing arts studio located just minutes away from Historic Downtown Winter Garden. At the YSMT studio, Young Stars can take many different classes like character acting, technical theatre, broadway tap, and audition for the mainstage musical productions multiple times a year. 
YSMT also offers multiple week-long camps during summer break as well as private voice, piano, and acting lessons in our music rooms.

YSMT is dedicated to enriching the lives of every Young Star. We believe each child will grow as a performer and will become strong, confident individuals both on and off the stage. ​​​

Read our West Orange Observer article here

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