About Our Theater Program

The North Valley Arts Academies (NVAA) Theater Program explores the unique and transformative power of theater through collaborative creation. Whether your student has dreams of being on stage or behind the scenes, they will learn how to become master storytellers through the progressively rigorous curriculum preparing them for a variety of creative careers. Students will begin their journey leaning fundamental performance and storytelling skills such as role play, play writing, and performance. Once skills are mastered students will then move on to advanced acting techniques, design, theater history, direction, improv, and musical theater. The road to the opening night may be difficult one, but your child will learn the skills and gain the confidence to become a powerful and creative theater artist.

To join the NVAA Theater Program, there is an application process. Students must complete the application in order to enroll into the Theater Program.

Apply Now for Theater

Visit Shadow's NVAA Theater Website

Theater Instructor Bio

Joe Flowers is a professional actor, director, and theater educator. Originally from Prescott, Arizona, he received his undergraduate theater degree from Arizona State University where he studied acting with Tony Award-winning director Marshal W. Mason. He received his MFA in Acting from Illinois State University where he studied advanced acting, movement, and voice techniques. Joe has appeared onstage in over fifty productions with theater companies across the country, including two seasons with the acclaimed Illinois Shakespeare Festival in Macbeth, Julius Caesar, Twelfth Night, and Comedy of Errors. He has acted with many companies in the Phoenix area, such as Childsplay Theater Company, Stray Cat Theater, The Shakespeare Theater, Arizona Jewish Theater Company, and Theater Works. A longtime talent of the Leighton Agency, Joe has worked in commercials and industrials with clients such as Toyota, Goodwill, AAA, and KSLX. Film credits include lead roles in A Stray, The Nephila, Rupert’s Ship, and Crossroads of Fate. He wrote and directed the original television pilot The Drama, which won multiple Best TV Pilot and Best Script awards at Moondance International Film Festival, Nevada Film Festival, Las Vegas Independent Film Festival, and the International Family Film Festival. He is a member of SAG/AFTRA.

Theater Instructor Bio

Teresa Minarsich is a graduate of Arizona State University’s Theater for Youth doctoral program. The American Alliance for Theater & Education awarded her the 2015 Distinguished Dissertation Award. An educator, scholar, director, theater artist, and puppeteer she is passionate about creating socially relevant theater WITH young people. With over two decades of experience creating theater in a variety of settings with youth from Pre-K to college, Dr. M. believes firmly in the power of theater to inspire and transform youth as they explore what it means to be human through character and story. She received her BA in Theater from Seattle University and her Masters in Education from Pepperdine University.

Student-Acquired Skills

Students who are enrolled into the theater program will acquire skills that will transfer into the student's everyday life. Students will continue to build and enhance many of these skills, enabling them to effectively communicate with others verbally as well as through written forms of communication. The students will begin to take on leadership roles and over seeing and management of projects and much more!

  • Critical thinking skills
  • Ability to work individually and collaboratively
  • Creative problem-solving skills
  • Performance and presentation skills
  • Ability to work under pressure
  • Listening, clarifying, questioning and responding skills

Theater Course Plan

Movement and Voice for the Actor: 9th Grade

This course develops students’ vocal and physical performance skills. Students will learn to use their entire physical instruments in the creation, interpretation, and performance of a character. Skills will be developed through the study of dramatic literature and its historical context. Techniques include, but are not limited to: Laban, Viewpoints, and Linklater.


Set Design and Construction: 9th Grade

This course will focus on the art of set design. By the end of the course, designers will have created several set designs and will have a basic to intermediate understanding of set construction. Students will gain skills in design sketches and models, drafting, and woodworking.This is a full-year course and may require some after school or weekend projects. Completed work will be added the young designers’ portfolios.


Musical Theater and Film Acting: 10th Grade

This course provides students with the unique technical skills for musical theater and film. Young actors will acquire the techniques for creating an engaging musical theater and film performances through group and solo work. It will also cover the business of a professional actor, including working with agents, unions, and casting directors. This is a full-year course and may require some after school and weekend projects.


Costume and Makeup: 10th Grade

This course will provide students the opportunity to design and construct costumes. In addition, young designers develop a plethora of makeup application techniques and uses. Students will get the opportunity to learn from professionals around the U.S. This is a full-year course and may require some after school and weekend projects. Completed work will be added the young designers’ portfolios.


American Realism and Shakespeare:                11th Grade

This advanced acting course is an in-depth exploration of acting methods most frequently used by professional actors. In the first semester, actors will learn how to read, interpret, and perform Shakespeare through group and solo acting projects. The second semester is a study of Meisner and Chubbuck’s American realism acting techniques as students work collaboratively with Theater 8 directors in the public performance of an original show. This is a year-long class and may require some after school or weekend projects.


Lighting and Sound:   11th Grade

This course will provide students with the techniques, terminology and technology for both design and operation for lighting, sound, and rigging. This is a year-long class and may require some after school or weekend projects. Completed work will be added the young designers’ portfolios.


Directing, Playwriting, and Exit Portfolio (Commencing 2019-20)

12th Grade

This course covers the creation and production of original theatrical works. Using group collaboration, apprentices learn play writing techniques in the creation of an original play. The students direct the Drama 7 actors in the performance of the play. The class culminates in the public performance of the play, and the creation of a college-ready theatrical portfolio. This course is blocked for two hours, is one year long, and will require after-school and weekend projects.


Technical Director and Exit Portfolio (Commencing 2019-20)

12th Grade

This course will provide students with the advanced skills needed to effectively work as a leader in the technical areas of stage management and technical direction. Students will be expected to take major roles in the design, construction, and running of the school’s main stage performances. This course is a year long, and will require after-school and weekend projects. Completed work will be added the young designers’ portfolios.

Successful Career Pathways

  • Acting
  • Singer
  • Camera Operator
  • Fashion Designer
  • Makeup Artist
  • Teacher
  • Reporter
  • Set and Exhibit Designer
  • Casting Director
  • Cinematographer
  • Playwright
  • Screenwriter
  • Set Decorator
  • Theater Consultant
  • Stage Management
  • Costume Designer
  • Agent
  • Dialect Coach
  • Lighting Designer
  • Public Relations Assistant

Theater Instructors

Joe Flowers

Joe Flowers



Teresa Minarsich

Teresa Minarsich