Firebird NEST Playwriting Workshop & Festival (ages 13-16)

Firebird NEST is a playwriting workshop for young theater enthusiasts. Over the course of a semester, workshop participants work on individual short plays, which will later be presented as staged readings in a performance festival.

Participants share their work weekly, receiving constructive feedback from both their peers and instructor.
In the process, not only do they develop and revise their original work and see it performed, but they also learn to offer and receive constructive criticism in a supportive and friendly environment.

Through the workshop and festival process, participants have the opportunity to write original dramatic scripts, do table-reads of peer work, participate in rehearsals of their plays, and perform in the final festival readings of their fellow writers’ work.

*NEST rehearsal and performance photos featured are from Spring 2017 Festival.

Improv: Foundations in Scenework (ages 11-13)

Firebird’s improvisational classes continue with Improv: Foundations in Scenework. This class for advanced young improvisors is a continuation of Tween’s Intro to Improv, and will cover more advanced techniques of improvisation for building grounded scenes and telling engaging stories through improv. Through exercises to amass experience and discussion/dissection of important storytelling elements to help build their improv vocabulary, participants grow to a better understanding of the craft of improv, and develop their skills as spontaneous performers. The course will culminate in a full-length group improv performance by the students for friends and family.

Improv is a fun, cooperative activity that teaches team-building and quick problem solving, and is very useful for those theatrically inclined, or just seeking to come out of their shell.

Improv practice (by sofia negron)

Improv showcase (by habie schwarz)

About the instructor:

Leo Lion is the founder and artistic director of Firebird Youth Theater, the award-winning teen-run theater company. Leo has directed six off-Broadway shows with Firebird in the past six years (three of which have received multiple awards from National Youth Arts). He is a playwright whose work has been produced by Writopia Worldwide Plays Festival, Downtown Art, and Firebird Youth Theater and received awards from Writopia Worldwide Plays Festival and Young Playwrights Inc. Leo is also an actor, who performed in over a dozen shows with different theater companies. Leo has taught the following classes for kids: Firebird NEST Playwriting Workshop, Tween's Intro to Theatre Improv; Worldcrafters Creative Writing Workshops; Programming and Animation in MIT Scratch; and the award-winning MovieMaster Movie Studio. To learn more about Leo, visit