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Self-Empowerment Theatre

the experiment

  a theatre immersion summer camp.  



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indiana's only theatre immersion summer camp, but also so much more.

The Experiment started as just that: an experiment. Five years ago, we wanted to see what would happen if we tried to bring a group of students together for an intensive creative theatre project. What ended up happening was a revolution in the way we think about theatre and about summer. In the five years since that first camp, the Experiment has grown into an annual tradition, and something students come from across the country each year to take part in.

Located at Camp Pyoca in southern Indiana, this 4th-12th grade overnight camp is a whirlwind of creativity. Campers work with theatre artists all week to develop an original outdoor performance that incorporates global theatre trends. Through the week, campers work together, solve problems, compete in games, explore the outdoors, and rehearse like they never have before.

The result? An unforgettable, transformational theatre experience that will leave students excited about their artistic power, connected to new friends, and eager to get started on the next amazing project.

dates: July 7-13, 2019
location: Camp Pyoca - Brownstown, IN
cost: $899 + $25 registration fee


“It exceeded my expectations! The  accepting atmosphere  and people were just amazing, plus I learned so much!”

 - camper 


the best week all summer!

the days:

Every day at the Experiment is a new adventure.

the camp:

The week-long camp is located at Camp Pyoca in Brownstown, IN.
Pyoca has provided summer camp experiences to youth across the state since 1952, and YAT is proud to partner with them for the past four years. Pyoca's sprawling campus and gorgeous lake provide the perfect backdrop for our outdoor rehearsals and performances, and their summer staff guide our campers through ropes courses, kayaking, and competitive camp games. 

the directors:

Our shows will be directed by Ryan Mullins and Georgeanna Wade, theatre professionals who both have years of experience in creating original theatre that is unique to the location in which it is performed. 

Georgeanna smith-wade

Georgeanna Smith Wade is the Artistic Director of Young Actors Theatre. She has been the Artistic Director since 2017, where she manages the day to day operations and artistic programming at YAT. A cum laude with high honors graduate of the Jordan College of the Arts at Butler University and the Phoenix Theatre’s Meisner Training Program. She is the former Executive Artistic Director of the award winning organization, NoExit Performance, which NUVO Newsweekly has called “Indianapolis’ most adventurous theatre group.” She continues as a company member of NoExit and continues to work as a free lance actress throughout the city. She was named one of IndyStar's Top 15 to watch in 2015, as well as being named as one of 2013’s “Most Compelling Performance Artists” by The Examiner. She received numerous collegiate awards and studied in St. Petersburg, Russia with internationally renowned director Alexander Anisimov. She was formerly a lead actor/interpreter at the Children's Museum. She has studied with Brian Bedford, Dan Kamin, Anne Bogart, Kristin Linklater, Joe Goode, and more.

A former dancer, she has trained at the Academy of Dance Arts, the Jordan Academy of Dance, Gary Geis Dance Company, and Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre. She has been seen onstage at the Children's Museum, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, NoExit, Q Artistry, Eclectic Pond, Defiance Comedy, SiteLines, Susurrus Dance, among others. She is a published author on the topic of creating museum programming for actors (IMTAL journal), as well as a featured presenter at the International Museum Theatre Alliance conference. An experienced director, Georgeanna’s work has been praised by critics city wide. She has previously worked with students at Pike High School, Fishers High School, Heritage Christian School, the Project School, Christel House Academy, and Herron High School. Georgeanna is also a certified Pilates instructor and a Black Belt in Taekwondo.


Ryan mullins

Ryan Mullins is the Technical Director of Young Actors Theatre and the Artistic Director of NoExit Performance, Indy's premiere site-specific theatre company. As a graduate of, longtime collaborator with the Children's Museum and Indiana State Museum, and actor and director for NoExit Performance, Ryan has deep roots in Indy and innovative theatrical methods. As Tech Director for YAT, Ryan brings performances to life with professional lighting and set design. He has been a longtime director at YAT as well, and strives to produce shows that empower youth through engaging and unorthodox adaptations of classic stories.

Every year at the Experiment has a different theme. What is it this year?

the circus is in town...


A group of kids come in expecting trapezes and trained lions, but they get more than they bargained for. This is a magical circus, and you become part of the incredible act. If you aren't careful, though, you might get trapped in the circus for good. Our cast of performers must work together to face their greatest fears and discover their greatest strengths.

At YAT, every cast member has the opportunity to have their voice heard. Our collaborative process means that every actor has a speaking role, and their ideas help create the show's direction. Through individual character-building exercises, small group work, and full-cast improvisation activities, each actor can create work they are proud of.


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“All 3 of my children  LOVED their experience.  They are still talking about it!!”

 - camp parent 


“I expected it to be awesome, but it was so much more! It was like,  awesome, with  legit sauce on top!  ” 




will we see you there?

Contact Managing Director, Gara Gaines at to learn more about the camp, our staff, or how you can get involved. Payment plans and financial assistance available. Please contact Gara for more information.