The First Act Children's Community Theatre Inc.

How to support our mission

If you would like to support our mission to create access for all children, or to sponsor a Reminiscene Theatre project with local low income seniors, please contact us by email.

Your donation is tax deductible as a charitible donation.


Spring Semester Workshops 2024!!

 Sign up now by emailing!!

Spring Workshops!!
Come and try out our 'Taste of Summer' Workshops for all ages 1st - 9th grade!

Mon March 18th 4th-6th Grade,
Tues March 19th 3rd - 4th Grade,
Wed March 20th 1st and 2nd Grade 
Thursday March 21st 6th - 9th Grade.

We are flexible with grades, so let us know your preference for attendance.
The time is 9am to 1pm and everyone should bring a cooler bag lunch and wear comfortable clothes.
The cost is $40 per child.
Please contact Aine by email, call or text with any questions. Tel 904 509 1472

These workshops are lively, fun and educational and are perfect for kids who already love drama and those who may want to try out a session with a view to taking part in a Summer Camp, and being in a play!  Through the use of developmentally appropriate theatre games and activities, kids begin learning right away in this safe and stimulating environment.

Summer Camps 2024 Dates and Rates!!

Sign up now by emailing Aine at or call her on904 509 1472 with any questions at all.

All camps are from 9am to 1pm daily Mon- Friday
All grades are suggestions in the lower grades so let us know what dates suit best or if siblings would like to attend together!!

June 3rd to June 7th - 2nd and 3rd Grade
June 10th to 21st - 4th-5th Grade
June 24th to July 5th - 6th Grade
July 15th to 26th 3rd - 4th Grade
July 29th to August 9th Middle to High School Grades 6-9th

Tuition is $240 per child per week
$100 check deposit made payable to The First Act CCT to be sent in advance and non refundable if the booking is canceled within one week of camp.

From rising 2nd through to 9th Graders, there is something for everyone. High School students seeking community service hours who have an interest in theatre and who love working with children are also welcome to apply to volunteer as camp assistants.

Every camp culminates in a full play with lights, sound, costume and props on the last day.
Everything provided apart from basic wardrobe items.
Cooler bag lunch and comfortable clothes are all that's required.
  Fun, lively, physical and educational with non stop person to person interaction.
All camps held at The Adele Grage Cultural Center Theatre -
716 Ocean Blvd at 7th Street, Atlantic Beach, FL 32233.

Snow White and the Seven Robbers 
by Geoff Bamber

Middle school group   Summer 2022

Summer Camp Gallery 2019

Sherlock Holmes and the
Book of Secret Secrets
By Geoff Bamber 

Middle School Spring '19 Semester Play 

Sleeping Beauty- A Pantomime
By Geoff Bamber

Spring 19 Intermediate Class Semester class 

The Dori Story
By Aine Healy-Richardson

Spring' 19 Junior Class

Snapshots in time - Fall 2018
A Reminiscence Theatre Project

By Aine Healy-Richardson with stories from students and families

A series of vignettes based on the recollections of childhood and the teenage years of their Grandparents, Great Grandparents and friends.  Spanning three decades, from 1941 - 1961 the cast portray and pay tribute to their familie's stories.  

Sherlock Holmes and the Emerald of Alkazar

By Geoff Bamber

Directed by Aine Healy-Richardson

Spring '18

    Summer Camp Gallery

The Tempest

By Geoff Bamber based on the original play by William Shakespeare - Summer '18

What Parents Say About Summer Camp

  • My daughter has participated in multiple camps and workshops with Ms Aine over the past few years. She has gained a wonderful creative outlet, a supportive circle of friends, increased self confidence, and many fun memories. Ms Aine provides exceptional training and loads of encouragement. She has a way of bringing out the best in each child!
    Anna Lipsey Farrin

  • C had such a great time at your camp. Thank you so much! We hope he can work with you again.
    Kittinee Pennella
  • Thank YOU so much…again…for giving the kids such a wonderful experience. A looks forward to this every summer. And we just love seeing her up there on stage in her element. She had such a wonderful time and I know the confidence she gains from her time with you in this program is shaping her in the most amazing way. And…her little sister asked me during the show if she could participate next summer…so you may be seeing two sisters in 2017! Much love and thanks to you Aine for another stellar performance and camp experience.
    Kristen Bankert 
  • Thanks for providing a wonderful experience. M really loved drama camp and we are interested in next summer and your other programs!
    Keli Coughlin 
  • My eight year old daughter participated in one of Aine's drama camps last summer and loved it so much that she signed up for drama class in the Fall and now again this spring. Aine is wonderful with children, inspires the creative process, and helps build confidence as well as performance skills.
    John Lucas

  • When my daughter  first joined Ms. Aine's drama camp in 2014, she was a shy five years old. By the time she turned seven, she not only became outgoing, but she also enjoyed entertaining her friends. Today, this little seven-year-old girl takes her drama class experience a step forward and is never tired of making films with her Stop Motion app at home. Thank you very much, Ms. Aine for making such great impact in my daughter's life in many ways!
    Vivian Guo
  • My daughter came home today wide eyed with the biggest smile on her face. She had SUCH a good time today. All afternoon she's been just the best version of herself. Thank you for everything that you do.
    Kathleen Fitzgerald
  • My granddaughter loves being in Aine's drama group every summer. She has been performing with First Act for 7 years and looks forward to going back every summer. Aine is great with all the kids. She is creative and fun to work with and works wonders at bringing kids "out of their shell!"
    Susan Bradshaw Miller
  • Thank you for providing such a wonderful creative space. My daughter has been raving about how much fun she is having and couldn't wait for the weekend to be over. This speaks overflowing volumes. As a parent to see our growing children's eyes sparkle is delight and wonder truly makes my heart sing...once again, thank you.
    Elana Byrd 


Aine Healy-Richardson is the executive director and drama teacher at The First Act Children's Community Theatre Inc. 

Aine is a native of Dublin, Ireland with a long history of working with children (including her twenty-five nieces and nephews).  She grew up in an Oral Tradition – both her parents were great Storytellers with a passion for poetry and her immediate and extended family are involved in Theatre in Ireland. Aine was also part of a Community Theatre Group in London, gaining experience on and off stage.  Aine worked as an Occupational Therapist in Community Mental Health in London and Ireland for over a decade.  As part of that training, she originally studied Therapeutic Drama which she put into practice with adults and seniors in Community Mental Health. Part of the purpose of that work was to help people increase self-confidence in all aspects of communication, and to use creative drama techniques to explore and express emotions. This is still part of the focus of her work with Children.   But now she puts on plays too, and so much more!

Having moved to the Jacksonville Beaches  in 2001 to marry Wes, Aine has since combined her love for Drama and working with children.  Since 2005 Aine has taught classes at ABET Theatre,  Players By The Sea , The Ponte Vedra Cultural Centre, The Cathedral Arts Foundation at The Carver Centre, Discovery Montessori School, Tides Montessori School, Beaches Episcopal School, Atlantic Beach Elementary School and The Jordan Centre.

In 2008 Aine started The First Act and in 2010 formed a collaboration with ABET Theatre where she happily taught classes and camps until 2016.

In Oct 2016 The First Act was awarded a contract with The City of Atlantic Beach FL to proivde the children's theatre program at The Adele Grage Theatre.  TFA are extremely appreciative to work in such a perfect environment for children.  A small and intimate stage next to a playground and two blocks from the beautiful ocean.  Children walk, bike and skate to class and camp.  Thank you City of Atlantic Beach!

In August 2017 The First Act Children’s Community Theatre Inc was formed and became a non-profit 501(c)3 registered in the state of Florida. With a board of directors and many volunteers and supporters, The First Act CCT looks forward to working with children and seniors together on a regular basis and promoting the benefits of drama for all children, and Reminiscence for Seniors.  

This work is a collaborative effort by parents, children and volunteer artists, teachers and technicians.  

Wes Richardson has been a volunteer Technical Director for The First Act since it opened it's doors in 2008 and works on it's behalf in some way or another on a daily basis!

Anne Roberts has volunteered her skills and expertise to these children for over seven years, passing on her knowledge and creating all kinds of props and set pieces that serve to greatly enhance the experience of story-telling for the children.  

Mary Jo Evans has volunteered her time at class and backstage for several years and brings a calm and nurturing influence to the work and is loved by the kids.

Rachel Dorrian a silent (and unpaid) partner for many years helped build the program by tirelessly promoting and recommending to other parents and by being there to set up and break down on more occasions than can be counted.

Ingrid McCawley  has been a wonderful parent and advocate for this work and this program and has given a tremendous amount of time to it for many years.  We are delighted to have her serve as President of it's Board.

To all the above, and the many many more people who support Aine, and this work, she thanks them heartily.  

“I am fascinated with stories and all the ways there are to tell them. Children are natural storytellers and I believe that they benefit enormously and get great satisfaction from this work. It is wonderful to see so many of my students go on to receive further training in theatre, but I believe studying drama helps all my students to develop communications skills, gain increased empathy and understanding of others, explore their emotions and, importantly, to have fun with a group of friends"  

Aine Healy-Richardson 2017

Board of Directors

P Ingrid McCawley  VP Louis Weimer   Tr Susan Stevens   Sec Ginny Brinkley

D Renee Faure    ED Aine Healy-Richardson

What Our Parents Say

  • I think this week may have been life changing for my son! With all the extracurriculars that he has been involved in, acting camp now tops his list. It was gratifying for him to push himself outside of his comfort zone. Thank you for creating an emotionally safe environment for him to do so. The play was magnificent!
    I cannot thank you enough!
    Brooke Anderson
  • Our daughter loves this program. She has found what she loves. Ms Aine is so wonderful at casting the characters, encouraging the children and keeping it fun for the kids. We were amazed with the kids performance and will do it again and again. Thank you!
    Jenny Mons
  • Our son's first stage performance, playing Mr Shakespeare himself. He is born for the stage and BIG thank you to Aine Healy-Richardson and The First Act Theatre camp for making his first thespian experience absolutely amazingly magical. We want to join a class!!
    Jana Light
  • "We moved here from Los Angeles where our daughter had been involved in theater productions for the last three years. We were skeptical to find a program that was age appropriate and had the solid professional foundation we had in our LA program. Well, we found a great program and a great teacher in Aine! Her enthusiasm and energy just brought our daughter right in and captured her attention and imagination throughout the entire program. We look forward to seeing just what Aine has planned next.
    Lisa Peterson
  • This drama class is the BEST!! My daughter has been taking drama here for three years and LOVES it. Thanks for all your hard work.

    Shelly Baesler
  • When we signed our grand-daughter up for Aine's program, our focus was less on acting and more on helping her to become more confident in a group and to 'bring her out of her shell. Well, she is out!! She is about to start her 8th semester in Drama with Aine and not only is she a more confident child, she has truly blossomed in many ways. Aine has a gift for finding just the right level for each child's development and challenging them to really become involved in the learning process. Aine's own enthusiasm for her work is contagious. As a teacher for over twenty years myself, I am able to recognize the bond that Aine is able to create with all the children in her program and I feel lucky that my grand-daughter is one of them. 
    Patricia Szegi

A Midsumer Night's Dream for Kids
By Lois Burdett
Based on the original play by
William Shakespeare

What Parents Said About Midsummer 

  • As a parent (and audience member) I have to tell you how wonderful this weekend's performances were. The set was gorgeous, and the children truly rose to the occasion, their understanding of the Shakespearian language was fabulous - something you don't get all the time with much, older performers.
    And as a parent, I can't say enough good things about what Aine does. Her ability to work with the children and what she gives them is really special - she puts her heart and soul into the work, and it shows. Very few people could have pulled off a performance, of Shakespeare, with 27 kids in the cast (all under the age of 14).

    Rachel Dorrian
  • I wanted to let you know how much our entire family loved the performance of "A Midsummer Nights Dream" last weekend. Everything about it was magical...from the music and costuming to the terrific interpretation and acting to the celebration wedding at the end. What a wonderful way to welcome the spring here in Atlantic Beach!
    One comment I heard from another parent was "I think I understand and even like Shakespeare now!" Thank you and the board for bringing this level of entertainment, culture and magic to our community. And, of course, we are so grateful to have someone as passionate and creative as Aine directing and inspiring such genius.
    We look forward to more performances like this in the future. Not only does it give us a great cultural experience, but it also helps build an inspired community!
    Aurora Farber
  • My daughter was lucky enough to be in last weekend's presentation of Shakespeare's Mid-Summer Night's Dream, the culmination of Aine Healy-Richardson's children's drama program classes for the Fall and Spring. I don't know if you were able to see the show, but it was truly outstanding. It is such a coincidence that, just a few blocks away at the same time Saturday night, another Shakespeare comedy was being performed by UNF as part of their Shakespeare in the Park program. I have been telling friends that I have no doubt that the children's performance of MND was every bit as good as the college performance!!
    I must admit that when Aine first said that she wanted to do Mid-Summer Night's Dream I was a bit skeptical. Ten, 11 and 12 year-old's doing Shakespeare??!? But she pulled it off and did so with flying colors.
    Nick Speckman

Reminiscence Theatre

As part of her work as an Occupational Therapist Aine provided treatment for Seniors who were experiencing depression and social isolation. A weekly talking group called Reminiscence Therapy. Aine witnessed the benefits of this work in treating her patients and decided to invite local seniors to work with her students, not to treat depression this time, but as a way to promote inclusion, social interaction and inter-generational friendships. And to have fun with their peers remembering and celebrating their lives. 

What Kids Learned Through Reminiscence Theatre

  • I’ve learned that people in the “olden days'  did not have it easy; ironing hair with an iron instead of straightening, curling hair with rags and cans instead of curling irons, watching T.V. shows like Howdy Doody, Bonanza and many others. I’m sure us kids could NEVER live in that time! I mean, imagine it, black and white T.V.s with about 2 channels, no cell phones, no laptops, no ipads, iPod touches or any of the stuff kids do to entertain themselves nowadays. I have learned many things and am hoping to learn more!

    A Speckman 
  • The Reminiscence project has been a terrific experience! I learned a great deal of American history along the way, from victory gardens to the theme to Bonanza. However, the most important thing I learned was how to incorporate the seniors' experiences into my own style of acting to bring it to life for the audience. I'd like to thank everyone, from the seniors to Ms. Aine to the other kids I worked with.

    J Tucker
  • I enjoy seeing how happy the seniors get when they recall their memories. I liked hearing their stories. I can't wait to see their faces light up when they see us bring their memories to life. Thank you for letting me be a part of this experience.

    M Darkatsh
  • When I first started this drama class, I knew that some seniors would be telling stories from when they were kids. I was curious what kind of things I would hear and learn. When a lady told the story of how she got her braids inked by a boy sitting behind her in class, I thought that was really funny! A lot of people grew up during WWII, and it sounded pretty hard. I can’t imagine living like they did. You had to grow your own food, because food was rationed. They called those gardens Victory Gardens. What I learned was times back then were hard. One thing I didn’t like was how the girls always had to wear dresses and skirts. However, times back then were really a lot of fun because there were a lot of kids around to play with, and no video games to distract anyone. The Reminiscence Project has been a great experience and I can’t wait until the play performance!

    S Estes
  • What I learned on the way was the simple games that were played back in the day such as marbles. There were portable radios unlike what I've seen in older movies. I like bread so it was intersting to know back then the bread was delivered to their houses by the bread man. I also learned how easy it was for kids to board the train without parents and how to ride a train in a play. Most of all I learned kids back in the day are just like us kids today. We all like to play games and hang out with our friends. 

    J Harris
  • What I learned along the way is that things were extremely different back then. People now take things for granted, in the past people would think that things like
    fabric and chocolate were amazing. Instead of ice cream men, they had ice men and the kids would go visit him to get ice chips. Also people watched strange shows back then; when I saw clips of Howdy Dowdy I was freaked out. It was also very interesting to learn about how in the past they were masters of recycling, everything was reused and nothing was wasted. I really enjoyed talking to the seniors and learning about the past. History is one of my favorite subjects, so hearing about personal experiences from a person instead of a text book point of view was brilliant.
    S Selders 

What The Adults Got Up To

What The Adults Said About The Projects

  • The Friendships that have been formed in this group will be life long. This is a great way to teach children about theatre and where stories come from. I've been involved in a lot of theatre, and this has been the best experience yet.  Expect to see much more of us in the audience!
    Nancy Graeme
  • I believe the past is worth remembering and worth sharing. Life in our youth was so different. Memories that have faded to the back our minds have been unlocked by our weekly meetings. These wonderful women who I now consider to by my friends have helped me to recall moments in my past that I thought were long forgotten. The show was wonderful and the experience of making theatre with our stories was thrilling.
    Irene Duvall
  • The memories this group has stirred up are amazing, the stories I have heard from others are poignant, extremely interesting and enlightening. I will never forget the wonderful people I've met in the past twelve weeks.
    Dolores Nardino
  • I wanted to write and thank you for creating the "reminiscence project" and allowing C to be part of it. Besides being a wonderful show, the inter-generational friendships that occurred are priceless. C still calls Nancy "her senior" and when she has a chance to see her she gets so excited. Being in the audience and watching the women see their lives on stage was just amazing. Thinking about it still gives me goose bumps.

     The lasting benefits from this program went on long after the curtain went down - and for that I am so grateful.

     Thank you again, for creating such a wonderful program – and thank you Blue Cross Blue Shield and the Cultural Council for funding something so worthwhile in our community.

    Rachel Dorrian
  • I just wanted to reiterate my congratulations on such a wonderful culmination to the Reminiscence Project, funded by a BCBSF Arts & Cultural Education Grant. I thoroughly enjoyed “The Past as a Present” (as did my daughter!), and was so impressed with the top-notch quality of the vignettes: the children’s performances, the costumes and sets, the music, and historical detail. Most of all, it was apparent that the project was successful in fostering an extremely positive intergenerational experience. I sat behind the ladies from the senior center who had provided the memories that informed the production. They were absolutely beaming the whole time! I really think your project concept could serve as a model for other theater education programs.
    Thanks again for inviting me. It was a magical evening of theater!
    Amy Palmer 
  • Aside from the impact to our children in the drama class, a real bonding occurred amongst the senior citizen participants. The children were able to watch them reminisce about their past, and they saw the friendships that developed as each senior remembered and shared his or her story. By the end of the project and performance of the play, everyone lives were enriched in an immeasurable way.

    Ann von Thron

Mailing Address
612 13th Ave North, Lower,
Jacksonville Beach, FL
FL 32250

Classes and Camps held at
The Adele Grage Theatre,
716 Ocean Blvd.
Atlantic Beach,
FL 32233 

Phone:  (904)  509 - 1472