Stagebugz is a new 501(c)3 theatre organization dedicated to bringing the joy of theatre to kids in an affordable, accessible, and supportive environment.
Whether your student has their sights set on Broadway or has never stepped on a stage in their life, theatre provides so many invaluable experiences, and we hope you'll consider getting them involved! While many studies have linked arts education to better performance in subjects like literacy and math, we believe that theatre education is also valuable on its own. Theatre teaches kids skills in communication, problem-solving, public speaking, visual analysis, creativity, and critical thinking, to name a few. Theatre also helps kids learn how to empathize with others and view the world from different perspectives. It gives outgoing, eager students a way to express themselves and allows more reserved, curious kids to explore new possibilities. Most importantly, learning theatre is a ton of fun and will give your kids the chance to make amazing friends and countless memories!
There are plenty of amazing theatre camps and classes to choose from, so why try Stagebugz? Read on to find out what makes us different!
The Stagebugz S's
Our philosophy can be summed up in the "Three S's": Safe, Supported, and Special! This means we strive to be a place where every child's needs are met, and they feel cared for, encouraged, and valued.
Our team is made up of young professionals currently working in the entertainment industry! This means we know how to engage with kids because we remember being in their position, and we understand and apply current industry trends into our teaching for students looking to get into performing. With experience directing, producing, teaching, and acting, we view our classes and productions from all perspectives.
At Stagebugz, we believe students can only learn theatre by actually doing theatre, so we keep our class sizes small and ensure that each performer has plenty of opportunities to work and grow. Above all else, our performers are taught to respect and accept each other; we foster collaboration instead of competition. We are also always open and flexible to altering our curriculum to meet each student's needs, interests, and ideas.
We've been to those rehearsals where half of the cast is sent away to work on their own or made to sit and watch for hours, and we remember how disappointing that is for eager young performers. One of our missions with starting Stagebugz was to create a space where every performer feels valued and has the opportunity to grow, so we make sure students are engaged and having fun!
Stagebugz is dedicated to using the arts to make the world a better place. We are a non-profit organization and provide free workshops, pay-what-you-can classes, and scholarships to make sure every child gets to explore the exciting world of theatre!
"I can hardly express my gratitude and admiration for the Somers twins, who gave (my daughter) and so many other kids a chance to do what they love during this challenging Christmas of being stuck alone apart. I cried through half of (the show) because I was so proud of all the kids, and so floored by the altruism and creativity of these twins. Thanks for the shining spot of inspiration."
Parent of Quarantwinned cast member and child actor from Broadway and Nickelodeon
Meet The Team
Ashley Leanne Somers - CEO and Artistic Director
Ashley is a seasoned actress in both theatre and film, with credits including guest spots on Emmy-winning television shows, leads in critically-acclaimed films, and co-star roles next to celebrities in national commercials. She has received many accolades, such as being nominated for a BroadwayWorld award for "Best Young Actress" and having a film she directed as a finalist in the TMFA Film Festival. After five years in the actor training program at the Colorado School of Acting, Ashley currently studies at USC's world-renowned School of Dramatic Arts and School of Cinematic Arts. There, she serves as President of Community Arts Collective, a student-led production company. Ashley has experience in all aspects of the performing arts, from directing Broadway stars in Quarantwinned to developing theatre curricula for underserved kids in collaboration with members of Congress. However, Ashley's favorite job is teaching with Stagebugz! She absolutely loves working with kids and sharing her passion for art. She can't wait to work with your performers!
Aspen K Somers - President and Programs Director
Aspen is thrilled to have the opportunity to share her love of theater through Stagebugz! Aspen is currently a rising senior at the University of Southern California's prestigious School of Dramatic Arts, where she serves on the executive board of Impulse Theater Company and has partaken in multiple productions, most notably as the assistant director of Stephen Karam's Speech and Debate and as an actor in award-winning director Ken Sawyer's The White Plague. Growing up, Aspen studied for five years in the career program at the Colorado School of Acting, meanwhile building up extensive film and theater credits. At the age of 16, Aspen was nominated for a BroadwayWorld "Best Director" award for her original show Letters. In addition, she has served as an intern with Rocky Mountain Theater for Kids and an executive producer on the series Quarantwinned. She looks forward to an amazing time with your kids!