Wrong turn leads to 20th Anniversary of Brentwood Teen Theater

Steve Kinsella.

CONCORD, CA (June 11, 2024) — Brentwood Teen Theater (BTT), is marking its 20th anniversary with an exciting new production of “Anastasia.” What began as a serendipitous detour for Artistic Director Steve Kinsella has grown into a vital part of Brentwood’s cultural fabric, enriching the lives of many young performers.

Two decades ago, Kinsella took a wrong turn after a frustrating civic meeting and found himself in Brentwood. Struck by how much the small town had grown, he discovered a community survey revealing a strong desire for more performing arts opportunities.

With a rich background in producing and directing, Kinsella seized the moment to create a theater company that emphasized professional training over mere production, inspired by his own stage career which began at age 12. His vision quickly gained traction, with parents eagerly spreading the word about the new theater in town.

Kinsella’s teaching approach was shaped by his experience co-facilitating a workshop for adult survivors of childhood trauma, combining singing techniques with “shame reduction” strategies developed with renowned mental health therapist Bonnie Cameron. These insights formed the foundation of Kinsella’s method, creating a nurturing environment where students could thrive.

Supportive atmosphere

“At BTT, we foster a supportive atmosphere from day one,” Kinsella explains. “Special exercises help bond the group, ensuring everyone feels included and allowing newcomers to shine, often securing major roles in our productions.”

BTT’s inclusive philosophy extends to all aspects of training. Participants, aged 12 to 19, learn singing, dancing, and high-level acting techniques from college-degreed professionals, not students. Every participant is cast in the show, gaining vital skills from stage presence to audition techniques.

The impact of BTT’s training is evident, with many former students receiving college scholarships, touring nationally, and earning award nominations. The intensive three-month sessions leave a lasting impression, equipping participants with the confidence and skills needed to excel.

As BTT embarks on its 20th season, the company is gearing up for “Anastasia,” a full two-act Broadway show. Rehearsals begin June 15 at Fabulous Feet Dance Studio in Brentwood. Most sessions take place on Saturday mornings. The show opens the weekend after Labor Day, promising a spectacular celebration of the theater’s remarkable journey.

For more information about Brentwood Teen Theater and its upcoming production, visit www.BrentwoodTeenTheater.com or call 925-516-9009. Join BTT in celebrating 20 years of transformative theater experiences. Witness the magic of young talent on stage.