All classes are held at:
The Adele Grage Theatre,
716 Ocean Blvd at 7th Street in Atlantic Beach, 32233
Introductory Class 1st - 3rd Grade
Saturday 11:15am - 1:15pm
Intermediate Class - 4th -6th Grade
Saturday 9:00am to 11:00am
Advanced Class 6-9th Grade
Monday 5:00pm - 7:00pm
Homeschool class Thursdays 12:30 - 2:30
To register for this class contact Michelle Carter at Spring River Schoolmcarter@theplaygarden.org
Grades are a guideline but we are flexible about accepting younger children in senior camps depending on experience.
Each class culminates in a short play or showcase at the theatre.
Children and families from our community will be invited to performances as seats are available after friends and family have booked.
Line learning is required unless a non-speaking or small part is requested.
Grades are rising. Classes are capped at 14 students.
Middle and High School students looking to acquire Community Service Hours should send a cover letter by email expressing their interest.
Questions? Call Aine on 904 509 1472
or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a registration form.
Checks to be made payable to The First Act CCT
Mailing address 612 13th Ave North, Jax Beach, 32250
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.
Gallery of Summer Camps and Class Shows
By Geoff Bamber
Directed by Aine Healy-Richardson
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 spent fourteen years living and working in London where she worked as an Occupational Therapist in Community Mental Health. As part of that training, she originally studied Therapeutic Drama which she put into practice with adults and seniors in Mental Health for over ten years. 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 to proivde the children's theatre program at The Adele Grage Theatre in Atlantic Beach FL. TFA are extremely appreciatiave 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 been volunteering her time at class and backstage for the past three 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 Aine build the program by tirelessly promoting and recommending to other parents and by being there to set up and break down on more occassions 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 in 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 Dorris Croasdell Sec Ginny Brinkley
D Renee Faure Aine Healy-Richardson
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
612 13th Ave North, Lower,
Jacksonville Beach, FL
Classes and Camps held at
The Adele Grage Theatre,
716 Ocean Blvd.
Phone: (904) 509 - 1472