Pictured above: Local kids on stage in a Perform Murfreesboro production of You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown. Middle Tennessee boasts lots of theater programs for kids. Theater education provides kids with lots of benefits from boosting self-esteem and self-confidence to enabling them to explore their minds in new, creative ways. From theater classes and workshops to performance opportunities, here's what your kids can tap into locally: ACT TOO PLAYERS 1113 Murfreesboro Road, Ste. 119, Franklin 615-294-0667 In addition to offering dance, vocal performance and acting classes, Act II offers Musical Theatre & Full-Length Play Classes throughout the year for ages 7 - 18. Five fall classes — culminating in full productions on stage at the Franklin Theatre — begin in early September: Grease (School Version); Magic Tree House: The Knight Before Dawn; Jungle Book Kids; Ramona Quimbly; and Sweeney Todd (School Version). Each offering is $89. BRAVO CREATIVE ARTS CENTER 2227 Hillsboro Road, Franklin 615-599-5314 Bravo produces a few high-quality, affordable theater productions each year featuring youth casts ages 7 - 18. Classes take place throughout the year, and kids participate in all aspects of the shows, from acting on stage to all the behind-the-scenes magic. Productions take place at The Ensworth Theater and The Father Ryan Center for the Arts. The next production of Disney's The Little Mermaid, Oct. 7 - 9. CENTER STAGE ACADEMY AT THE CENTER FOR THE ARTS 110 W. College St., Murfreesboro 615-904-2787 Center Stage Academy (CSA) offers after-school acting/theater classes for kids ages 8 - 18 in the fall, winter and spring; summer sessions also take place. These sessions are eight weeks long, and CSA also provides a series of acting workshops for kids throughout the year along with production classes for main stage Broadway-type musicals. Next up is Disney's Peter Pan Jr. beginning the week of September 12, 2016. Cost for the 10-week experience is $250. CENTRE STAGE PRODUCTIONS AT JAN WILLIAMS SCHOOL OF MUSIC 500 Wilson Pike Cir., Brentwood 615-371-8086 The school provides theater training for kids ages 7 - 15 that culminates in two full stage productions in the fall and spring — performances take place at Brentwood's Towne Centre Theatre. This fall's production is Once Upon a Mattress. Classes begin Tuesday, Aug. 9 with the show running Nov. 4 - 6. Cost is $350. Centre Stage also offers an Audition Preparation Workshop on Aug. 7 - 8 for $50. CHRISTIAN YOUTH THEATER - NASHVILLE 1215 Hillsboro Road, Franklin Classes in drama, music, dance, technical theater and more. CYT has fall, winter and spring 10-week theater classes for ages 4 - 18. The two-hour classes meet once a week after school and end in a showcase for family and friends. METRO PARKS & REC THEATER DIVISION 211 27th Ave. N., Nashville 615-862-8400 The Theater Division of Metro Parks' Cultural Arts arena boasts a lot of theater classes for children as young as 3 up to 16! Offerings this fall include Dramatic Play (Ages 3- 5), Acting Fundamentals (Ages 5 - 10), Story Drama (Ages 5 - 7), Acting Essentials (Ages 8 - 10), Acting 101 (Ages 9 - 16), Writing for the Stage (Ages 10 - 16), Musical Theater Boot Camp (Ages 10 - 16), Stage Combat (Ages 10 - 16) and more. Some classes begin Aug. 11 while others start in September and October. Tuition ranges from $50 - $80. MURFREESBORO LITTLE THEATRE 702 Ewing Blvd., Murfreesboro 615-893-9825 MLT offers fall, spring and summer drama camps for kids ages 4 and older in addition to occasionally mounting shows during its season starring youth casts. NASHVILLE CHILDREN'S THEATRE 25 Middleton St., Nashville 615-254-9103 Celebrating its 85th year in the Middle Tennessee community, Nashville Children's Theatre (NCT) continues to provide local kids theatrical experiences from audience and educational perspectives. NCT's 2016/17 season includes Afflicted: Daughters of Salem (Sept. 15 - Oct. 2); Junie B. Jones is Not a Crook (Oct. 27 - Dec. 4); Cinderella (Dec. 15 - 22); Treasure Island (Jan. 19 - Feb. 5, 2017); And in This Corner: Cassius Clay (Feb. 23 - March 12, 2017); and Goodnight Moon (April 13 - May 14, 2017). NCT offers Saturday Drama Classes for kids throughout the school year. Four-week sessions for ages 4 - 15 take place on Saturday mornings (9 - 10:30 a.m.; $95); kids explore the theatrical world through theater games, dramatic exercises, character building and storytelling. There are also in-depth 12-week sessions for ages 7 - 15 (11 a.m. - 1 p.m.; $285). Students work together to stage a short, scripted play that's presented to family and friends. Fall sessions start September 10. PULL-TIGHT JUNIOR YOUTH ACTORS GUILD 112 Second Ave. S., Franklin 615-790-3204 Kids ages 6 - 12 can learn about and experience all aspects of live theater through theater games, skits, backstage educational opportunities, auditioning and performance opportunities, and more. The group meets on the last Saturday of each month from 10:30 a.m. - 12 p.m. during the school year. STAR BRIGHT PLAYERS 1120 Hillsboro Road, Franklin 615-790-5719 • email@example.com Williamson County Parks and Recreation operates the Star Bright Players theater program for ages 5 - 18. Fall and spring productions take place each year. The fall 2016 show is Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (Dec. 1 - 4), and auditions are on Sunday, Sept. 18 at Freedom Middle School. Williamson Parks & Rec also offers year-round classes at its various facilities, including Improv, Auditioning, Puppets, Props, Stage Makeup and more. STREET THEATRE COMPANY 1933 Elm Hill Pike, Nashville 615-554-7414 The company's ClassAct Dramatics program offers year-round opportunities for kids ages 5 - 18 by way of classes, workshops, auditions, musicals, plays, and spring, fall and summer camps. THE THEATER BUG 4809 Gallatin Pike, Nashville 615-818-7358 The Theater Bug provides stage training and professionally mounted shows for local kids ages 6 - 18. In addition, The Theater Bug is the official children's theater partner of Studio Tenn, giving local kids an even larger platform of performing experience. TOWNE CENTRE THEATRE 136 Frierson St., Brentwood 615-221-1174 This community theater company offers musical theater camps flor kids ages 5 - 17.