Have fun and tell a story!

Led by Paul Heinemann, YAAjunior is a training program that gives middle school singers, actors and dancers from all around the Maryland, Virginia and DC areas, the rare opportunity to study and perform large-scale productions of music-theatre with full orchestra, as well as to be featured in their own Junior production. 

YAAjunior strives to strengthen students' skills in singing, acting and dancing through a fun yet rigorous rehearsal process as they prepare to participate in YAA's two mainstage productions of symphonic theatrical productions in major venues, including The Clarice and Strathmore, as well as being featured in their own JR production in the spring at AMP by Strathmore. Our primary focus is always on healthy, honest and communicative singing, acting and movement, working towards the goal of a final production.

YAA also provides additional Classes and Workshops in Dance/Movement, Acting and Small Group Voice, as well as Masterclasses for students to further advance their skills.

Learn more about what our students say about our program here.

Schedule & Location

YAAjunior is a yearlong program that runs from September through May.

YAAjunior students will participate In YAA's two mainstage productions, alongside students from our YAACompany and YAAOrchestra programs. YAAjunior students will also be featured in their own spring production of a JR musical.

The Fall production is a fully-orchestrated, concert production at The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center. The Spring production is a fully-orchestrated, staged theatrical production at the Music Center at Strathmore. The YAAjunior production will be a staged theatrical production at our newest venue, AMP by Strathmore.

YAAjunior meets 1-2 times a week for rehearsal at our YAA@HolyCross campus in North Bethesda, MD.

View our rehearsal and performance schedules below:

View larger YAAjunior calendar here.

Learn more about our Campuses.


Recent innovative programming has included staged theatrical concerts of large scale musical theatre as well as unique productions that have been devised for and have received their world premiere with Young Artists of America.

Most recently, our world premiere of Young Artists of America: The Songs of Tim Rice filmed for PBS (Maryland Public Television) was nominated for three EMMY® awards and won an Emmy® award for Best Lighting.

In addition, YAAjunior students will prepare and present a JR version of a musical in the spring.

Please review our current and previous seasons for a full listing.

Mentoring Program

Besides being mentored by older students in our YAACompany, YAAjunior students have the unique opportunity to work closely alongside leading professional mentors both in rehearsal and performance. Recent mentors have included Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Godspell, Pippin)Kristin Chenoweth (Wicked, On the Twentieth Century), Jason Robert Brown (Parade, Bridges of Madison County, Songs for a New World)Steven Lutvak (A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder)Jeanine Tesori (Fun Home, Violet, Shrek the Musical)Andrew Lippa (Big Fish, The Addams Family, The Wild Party)and many more

Learn more about recent Mentors and upcoming opportunities to work with Guest Mentors.


Auditions for the YAAjunior take place in September for the season. Additional solo opportunities will come available during the season within the program.

All of our YAAjunior students must audition to be accepted into the program, but we encourage students to audition regardless of stage or choral experience, as the program is meant to be a training program that welcomes performers of all levels.

Please visit our Auditions page for more information about upcoming auditions.


Please visit our Tuition page to find out cost and to register for this program.