Stearns to step down as NEYT’s artistic director

BRATTLEBORO — Although New England Youth Theatre's founder, Stephen Stearns, has stepped down from his role as artistic director, he's still very much committed to helping students learn the art and craft he holds dear.

Meanwhile, Sandy Klein, NEYT's costume director, mentor advisor, and head of faculty, has stepped up as interim artistic director pending the search for a permanent replacement, the organization said in a press statement.

Stearns, who turns 70 this month, said he is handing off his administrative responsibilities to focus his energy on writing about his life's work.

He said he would continue to be a presence at 100 Flat St. as a teacher, director, and board member, and is looking forward to working with alumni to develop a new generation of teachers to pass along the fundamentals he began using in 1998 to build the organization.

“I'm proud to have been part of NEYT's accomplishments with artists of all ages, helping to create and nurture a unique style of youth education,” he said in the press statement.

He added that he believes “there are many ways to build on what we've learned so far, but I also believe these new opportunities for growth will benefit from a new generation of leadership to make them a reality.”

NEYT offers a conservatory-style acting training program for young people with a combination of classroom and performance work for beginning and advanced students.

Classes teach improvisation, movement, scene work, monologue, comedy, and ensemble building. Each course helps students develop their acting/communication skills and increase their self confidence.

NEYT also trains students in the arts of stage managing, scenic design, lighting, costuming, and makeup.

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