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Developing young people as artists and citizens through outstanding experiential theatre training in a context of civic engagement and community building

The Young Core Company cultivates a professional theatre environment in a culture of fun, inclusion, and supported risk-taking. The YCC welcomes actors, writers, directors, stage managers, and designers.


An ensemble of diverse young people eager to develop craft, connect to others, and push beyond our goals as artists and humans.

The Young Core Company produces exciting quarterly productions. Rehearsals integrate master classes from the ACT Core Company -professional expertise that the YCC can put to immediate practice. Each YCC member is paired with a mentor for additional 1-1 relationship and knowledge building.

There’s open quarterly registration, an easy application, no audition, and all ACT student programs are pay-what-you-choose. We understand this doesn’t alleviate all barriers to access, but we hope it can open some more doors.

The YCC is led by Artistic Associate, Education and Engagement, Shana Bestock.

Shana is a multi-disciplinary artist, educator, and non-profit leader born and raised in Seattle,WA. She currently serves as ACT Contemporary Theatre’s Artistic Associate, Education and Engagement. She has directed over 200 productions with youth ensembles and overseen over 120 professional productions, and worked with a wide variety of regional theaters, schools, and community organizations. For 17 years Shana served as Seattle Public Theater’s Artistic and Education Director, a position she founded and an organization she led from community theater to national professional artistic recognition. Shana is the Producing Artistic Director for Penguin Productions, facilitating creative adventures in community arts to fuel the future with a focus on youth development and leadership, gender equity, and social justice. Shana is a Fulbright Specialist; in 2021 she directed in Austria for the global Climate Change Theater Action festival, and in 2018 she worked with TRY Theatre in Croatia. She is a member of the Seattle Rep and ArtsCorps teaching faculty, the ArtEquity cohort of 2016-17 and the Leadership Tomorrow Class of ’21. Her acting and directing career includes work with Seattle Rep, Seattle Shakespeare Company, ACT Theatre, Book-It Repertory, Seattle Children’s Theater, Montana Shakespeare in the Parks, Chicago’s Court Theater, and educator positions at the University of Washington, Centrum, Cornish College of the Arts, Seattle Central Community College, Seattle University, University of Chicago, and regional K-12 and

Join the Company

ACT is proud to offer theatre education and engagement programs for ages 14-30 this summer. Get in the ACT!


Interested in joining the YCC? Fill out this form and we’ll make sure you learn about upcoming opportunities!

If a registration is canceled by the family after it has been processed, but at least two weeks before the class begins, we will refund payment minus a $50 processing fee. If registration is canceled less than two weeks before the class starts, we do not offer a refund. However, any payment (minus the registration fee), can be used towards either a future ACT program, tickets for ACT shows through the end of the current season, or given as a donation. ACT reserves the right to cancel a class or limit registration. In this case, any tuition paid will be refunded in full, including the registration fee. We want all students to be satisfied with their experience at ACT. If, after completing the first day of class, you decide that it’s not for you, just let us know before the second class or the second business day, (whichever comes first), and we will refund your payment (minus the registration fee). After the second day of class, no payment adjustments can be made.

See a Show

Stay tuned for more information on the YCC reading of a World Premiere play at this year’s New Works Northwest festival.

Past YCC Productions

The Sunless Scar, by Maggie Lee and directed by Shana Bestock, was written specifically for ACT’s Young Core Company. Members of the Young Core Company performed a staged reading of the play during ACT’s inaugural New Works Northwest festival and presented a full production of The Sunless Scar in March 2024, staged in the Allen Theatre.

YCC members got to learn firsthand from ACT production staff about prop, scenic, and costume design, and made up a big part of the show’s creative team!

For up-to-date info:

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Contact Shana Bestock, Artistic Associate, Education and Engagement at

Keep our programs accessible!

All ACT Education & Engagement programs are pay-what-you-choose.

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