About The Program

New Orleans Youth Theatre is a community-based musical theatre training program for kids ages 4-18. We offer high quality instruction in voice, dance, and acting, plus the opportunity to perform in full-fledged musicals! We also offer toddler music classes, musical theatre themed birthday party packages, and special workshops and masterclasses throughout the year. We are proud to be the first dedicated youth theatre in New Orleans’ city limits!

We foster a commitment to kindness, pursuit of excellence, and a shared passion for all things theatre! Theatre kids tend to be fast friends, and New Orleans Youth Theatre is here to help those kids find their people. The goal of New Orleans Youth Theatre is to provide a space for theatre kids to come together across ages, schools, and backgrounds, to form their own community where they belong.

About The Founder

Dr. Jenna Winston began teaching elementary-aged students as a sophomore in high school, and her passion for performing predates any of her conscious memories. For nearly 12 years, she has taught private voice lessons, directed choirs, led workshops, taught acting and improv, and directed musicals for New Orleans children ages 4-18, at venues such as the New Orleans Academy of Music, New Orleans College Prep charter, and City Park Movement and Art. She is also a professional vocalist, and regularly performs with various bands across New Orleans. Her band, Miss Mojo, has performed across the country and has music available on all major platforms (www.missmojonola.com).

Jenna also holds a PhD in Psychology, with a focus in Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience, from Tulane University. Her dissertation focused on the relationship between music training and cognitive, emotional, and physiological self-regulation in typically developing children and adults. Her research has affirmed her long held belief that childhood music training does so much more than just help children become artists. She founded New Orleans Youth Theatre as a space where children can learn to regulate their thoughts, feelings, and behavior in all aspects of their lives — both on and off the stage.