This summer, Merrimack Repertory Theatre (MRT) and Middlesex Community College (MCC) are partnering together to launch Summer Stage for Youth.

This program developed by the collective teams at MRT and MCC Theatre Department, under the direction of Karen Oster, MCC Chair of Performing Arts at the College, will provide an extraordinary environment for young artists. Under professional guidance students will rehearse, stage, and mount a full musical production with a cast of young performers (ages 8-17) with professional lights, sets, costumes - all in a few weeks! In its inaugural year, we will produce Disney’s Newsies Jr.

“It has always been our mission to provide a fun and exciting environment for kids to explore theatre arts, and while we encourage creative growth, we promote teamwork and a true “company” mentality. We set a high standard for quality in the productions, and always surpass what is typically associated with “Children’s Theatre”.  We believe children of all ages are capable of magnificent things, and there are no limits to their creativity in the theatre arts. The partnership with MRT means we can go further with this wonderful legacy that has served families for years”.
– Karen Oster, director of the Youth Summer Stage.

“We are so proud to partner with MCC, Karen, and the team to create lasting memories for young artists in our region. This collaboration allows MRT the opportunity to serve more families than ever before. In it deeply aligned with our mission to engage community partners and expand programming for youth. A win-win for our region’s families!”
-Courtney Sale, Nancy L Donahue Executive Artistic Director

The 2024 summer staff includes Karen Oster (Chair of Performing Arts at Middlesex Community College), Courtney Sale (Nancy L. Donahue Executive Artistic Director) Amy Myres (Assistant Director/Stage Manager/Outreach Coordinator for MCC Theatre Department), and Benjamin Mendonca. Our musical theatre productions have had the benefit of working with a talented rotating crew of professional choreographers, many who have been working in the field for decades.

With the launch of Summer Stage for Youth, MRT will sunset its Young Company program. We are very grateful to the incredible students, families, and faculty members Robert Cornelius and Kaitlyn Crockett who brought passionate artistry to the lives of our students.

Registration is now available online by clicking here. All students will receive roles who register. There is a limit on space so we advise families register as soon as possible.

Dates: July 22 through August 11
Time: 9am - 4pm (Week One),9am to 5pm (Week Two & Three)
Location: MCC's Academic Arts Center, 240 Central St Lowell, MA 01852
Performances: Aug 9 at 7pm, Aug 10 at 2pm & 5pm, Aug 11 at 2pm & 5pm
Tuition: $750 ($650 sibling discount)

Limited scholarships are available! Please email Courtney at We are very excited to see you this summer and this next chapter for of collaboration.






Merrimack Repertory Theatre has multiple opportunities for children and students to get exposure to theatre. Teachers arrange field trips to student matinees, and college and high school students get discounted tickets.

College students looking for experience in non-profit or arts administration can apply for an internship.