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Kids Act Acting Classes for Kids
in North County San Diego

Kids Act acting classes for children in North County San Diego, created and taught by Aleta Barthell Classes are taught at locations in Encinitas, and Carmel Valley, and Mira Mesa with performances at the class sites and at New Village Arts Theater in Carlsbad.

Kids Act classes are more than fun: they help develop your child's self-confidence, creativity, and ability to work with others. Each child is encouraged to step forward and shine in an atmosphere of respect and trust. Class sizes are small, and everyone participates.

Kids play games, create characters, invent stories, and put on a performance for friends and family. Aleta has adapted her own professional training to build a play-based program - kids have fun while they learn. Kids Act is process-oriented, emphasizing creativity, self-expression, cooperation, and developing the skills needed to bring ideas to life. These valuable life skills are transferable to many other activities as your child grows and finds his or her way in the world. While the focus is not on professional development, Kids Act does impart core acting skills which are applicable to stage, film, and commercial work (check out Student Achievements). Your kids won't notice that - they'll be busy playing games, making up characters and stories together, and acting them out!

Kids Act was founded by Aleta Barthell:

  • SAG and AFTRA member
  • Professional stage actor 10+ years
  • Registered screenwriter with Screenwriter's Guild of America
  • Trained at Northwestern University (B.S.), British American Drama Academy, Shakespeare & Company, and UCSD La Jolla

Many acting programs for kids require a large financial and time commitment, and aim at elaborate shows that put some children in starring roles and leave others feeling left out. Kids Act turns all this on its head. The price and schedule fit into the rest of your life. Shows are simple, and the emphasis is on creative expression, and the experience gained from week to week in class, with opportunities for each individual to shine.

Kids Act is based on Aleta Barthell's extensive professional acting experience and training. Students learn foundational acting skills in a context that's valuable and interesting for every kid, not just those who want to go further in acting. (See Student Achievements to learn more about those who do go further in acting.) Kids have so much fun that they often repeat the program, and there are opportunities to learn more and work at a higher level when they do. Kids enjoy doing the Warm Up Exercises, and playing games like Status, and Sending a Package. They connect with core Kids Act experiences like choosing a hat from the Hat Bag, Making Characters, Creating a Story Together, learning a piece of verse by Shakespeare, and performing in a theater. Parents often report gains in confidence, public speaking ability, ability to work with others, and even more profound benefits. Check out Parent and Kid Comments to learn more.

How did Kids Act get started, and why is it so different from other acting programs? When Aleta Barthell was a small child, she was cast as The Bunny in a production of "The Bad Children" at Northwest College (in Powell, Wyoming). She was so excited! She went home and thought all about what The Bunny would say and do during the play. The next day at rehearsal, she learned that The Bunny had no lines! She was still excited to be on stage and be part of the show, but there was no room for all of her imagination and creativity. Aleta grew up and went on to a long and varied acting career, including lots of professional experience and training (see more about Aleta), some satisfying, some not. When she became interested in teaching acting and setting up her own program, she remembered The Bunny, and decided to build a program centered on creative expression and imagination, that offers many opportunities for each individual to grow and to shine. Each Kids Act teacher is steeped in this philosophy, and learns the core methods of the program that help every kid have a fun and valuable experience.

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