FST School: Youth

Welcome to the Florida Studio Theatre School. With classes in Acting, Musical Theatre, Playwriting, and Improvisation, as well as Spring Break and Summer Theatre Camps, the FST School offers a wide range of opportunities year-round.

We are currently enrolling for FST Summer Theatre Camp. For more information and to enroll, click the "Camp" tab above.

FST’s classes for youth and teens are dedicated to nurturing individual creativity. We see young people not just as individuals, but as creative individuals.

Led by FST’s teaching staff of professional resident artists, students gain an understanding of theatre, acting method, stage technique, and literary skills. Students will also have access to performance opportunities throughout the year.

Whether your interest is to encourage personal creativity and confidence or serious theatrical training, we invite you to discover your child’s artistic home in the Florida Studio Theatre School.

For more information or to enroll, contact Josh Ford at 941.366.1350 or [email protected] or click the "Camp" tab above.


In addition to year-round classes, the Florida Studio Theatre School offers both Spring Break and Summer Theatre Camps.

For more information and to enroll, click the red "MORE INFO/ENROLL" links below.

Please Note: Masks are required for all students upon arrival to camp. They will remain on until campers have been moved into the space and settled at the proper distance. During classes, masks may be removed, but will be put back on any time campers transition from one space to another, including lunch. Social distancing will be enforced at all times.

2020 Summer Theatre Camp Offerings

Ages 7-12

Children’s Performing Arts Camp
Session Three: July 20 - August 7, 10-2PM, $375  |  MORE INFO/ENROLL

Ages 13-17

Teen Performing Arts Camp
Session Two: July 20 - August 7, 2-5PM, $300  |  MORE INFO/ENROLL

For more information or to enroll, contact Josh Ford at 941.366.1350 or [email protected] or click the "MORE INFO/ENROLL" links above.



In keeping with FST’s mission to make theatre affordable and accessible to as many people as possible, FST awards full and partial scholarships based on both merit and financial need.

For more information about scholarships and eligibility, contact Josh Ford at 941.366.1350 or [email protected].

Florida Studio Theatre is giving back to the community by offering full scholarships for its Summer Theatre Camps to children of front line workers. Those interested who qualify for these full scholarships should call FST’s Education Office at (941) 366-1350 for eligibility, more information, and to enroll. Scholarships are made possible thanks to the Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation and support from individual donors.

Dana Helfrich Scholarship

Dana Helfrich came to Florida Studio Theatre in 1984 as an Acting Intern. Over the next 15 years, he found a home at FST where he could learn and grow as an artist and as a person. As an actor and FST Teaching Artist, Dana became a tremendous influence on the lives of hundreds of children and their families. And as a member of the Florida Studio Theatre Company, he has left an indelible mark on all of our hearts and souls.

On September 23, 1999, Dana passed away after a year-long battle with cancer. His passing saddened everyone who knew him, including those worked and grew with him at FST over the years. In honor of Dana, Florida Studio Theatre has established the Dana Helfrich Education Fund. This fund offers under-privileged children the opportunity to participate in the Education Programs that Dana, himself, so cherished.

"I believe that every child deserves the opportunity to grow, and learn, imagine, play and express themselves creatively in a place where they are accepted for who they are right now. I know now what I always thought was true, is true. Life is all about love. Love of what you do. Love of those around you. Love of who you are. The moment to seize is right now. Revel."

-Dana Helfrich Dana Helfrich

Scholarship Recipients:
Porter Lee Anderson III
Cole Messina Caruso
Kate Comer
Jordan Fuchs
Aneysia Bonner
Alexa Hansard
Tara Caruso
Alana Palau

Two J's Scholarship

Established in 2011, The Two J’s Scholarship Fund provides scholarship opportunities for FST School students ages 4-17. This scholarship is named in honor of two great men who influenced and gave wholeheartedly to FST: John Jacobsen and John Sandefur. John Sandefur and his wife Tana were generous supporters of FST and the FST School for many cherished years. John "retired" at 50 and moved to Sarasota where he became president of four condominium associations, was a member of Mobility Now and the Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation Board, and was a trustee at the John & Mabel Ringling Museum. He was honored by the AFP as the Outstanding Philanthropist of 2008. He received the Schoenbaum Award from the Salvation Army and was recognized by Circus Sarasota for his lifetime love of the circus and his ongoing support. John Sandefur died on September 17th, 2009 and in his spirit the Two J’s Scholarship Fund was put in place.

This scholarship would not be possible without support from John Jacobsen, former FST Associate Producer and staff member. John first came to FST as the Dentist in Little Shop of Horrors and appeared in many productions in the following years. Throughout his tenure as FST’s Chief Development Officer, John was also an active member in the Cultural Executives Committee and the Professional Alliance of the Performing Arts. He has also been supportive of many other charities, including Big Brother/Big Sisters and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of America. During his 15 years at FST, John Jacobsen formed a bond with many individuals including the endearing Mr. Sandefur.

To make a tax-deductible donation to the FST School’s Dana Helfrich or Two J’s Scholarship Funds, please make your check payable to Florida Studio Theatre. Donations can be mailed to:

Florida Studio Theatre
Attention: Development Office
1241 N. Palm Avenue
Sarasota, FL 34236.

Request more information.

You may also contact Melody Mora-Shihadeh, Director of Individual Giving, at 941.366.9017 ext. 326, or by email at [email protected] to learn more and discuss ways you might contribute to the FST School Scholarship program.

Safety First! Amazing theatrical experience, a very close second.

These are the times that we need theatre the most; when we are examining our experiences collectively, listening to each other, and sharing our humanity through laughter and art.  But before we begin to dig in, these are the steps we’re taking to stay safe:

Masks -  Students and staff will arrive in masks and wear masks until they are settled into the studio or theatre. They will also wear masks any time that they are transitioning from space to space

Distance - Social distancing will be observed and monitored at all times

Small Groups - We’re limiting the size of our camps in order to allow for maximum distance (with the added benefit of a high teacher to student ratio). Groups will not share rooms or teachers

Staggered Lunches and Movement – We’re making sure that our small groups stay together and separate from other groups

Rigorous Disinfecting and Sanitizing – We’re scheduling disinfecting and sanitizing and making it part of our messaging as well

Monitoring – There will be temperature checks upon arrival, regular monitoring, and when someone doesn’t feel well they will be asked to stay home.