Summer Advanced Actors Showcase

Acting students performing in a summer play



Who can rehearse and perform a full-length play in one week? We can! This very unique and highly intensive program gives actors the experience of performing a full-length production while receiving top-level training.


Summer 2019 Production:  AFTER WILL

World Premiere Play by Lisa Nanni-Messegee &  Todd Messegee
Directed by Lisa Nanni-Messegee

It’s 1616 London, England. William Shakespeare has just shuffled off his mortal coil, leaving his royal theatre company without a leading playwright. A rogue publisher is selling fake versions of his plays and his true works are in danger of being lost forever. Will’s grieving family and friends see only one solution – but can they find a way to publish Will Shakespeare’s first folio?

Actors will have the opportunity to develop complex characters while working on this world premiere play!

On the first Monday we meet, a group of actors audition for roles in a play that they’ve never read.  By the end of the day, they have begun learning songs and choreography, or blocking the play. This continues through mid-week, along with focus on specialty skills that may be needed in the production (stage combat, for example).  By Thursday and Friday the actors are running the show off-book and memorizing their material, all the while developing their characters.  By the weekend the ensemble is performing for an audience, on stage, with simple technical elements (lights, basic set, props, costumes and sound.)  This is a very advanced and exciting challenge for any actor!  The plays are always ensemble in nature, meaning each actor is given time to shine onstage.

Tuition includes Show T-shirt and two performance tickets.  Early Bird Special:  Register by May 15th for $10 off with code EARLYBIRD19.


SEE SUMMER 2019 BLOGPOST (coming soon!)

Ages:  12-18 years
Dates:  July 29-August 2, 2019 + performances Aug 3 & 4
Times:  Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.
Saturday performances, 2pm & 7pm
Sunday performance, 2pm
Tuition:  $370
Location:  Mason Fairfax Campus,  Performing Arts Building


Register Now


An “After Care” option is available for this program from 3-6 pm for $90/week, located in Mason’s Performing Arts Building and staffed by the Academy’s Summer Staff. After registering for this program (but before final checkout/ payment!), search for and add “After Care/Extended Day” to your cart (be sure to choose the correct week).


Lisa Nanni-Messegee, Acting Lessons Director: Lisa Nanni-Messegee
Read about Ms. Nanni-Messegee

Lisa Nanni-Messegee is a published playwright (Just So, Mr. Kipling as solo writer, The Value of x, Carol vs. Christmas co-written with her husband Todd, all published by Eldridge Plays and Musicals) and produced screenwriter (Christmas Homecoming – Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, Romantically Speaking – Hallmark Channel and PiXL, both co-written with her husband Todd.) Lisa has consistently worked academically and professionally as a theater director since 1994. Recent credits include Dead Man’s Cell Phone, Proof, Sea of Tranquility and Fierce Creatures (for AFYP.) As an actress, Lisa has worked professionally on stage (Durang/Durang – Marsha, Tamarind Theater and Hollywood Court Theater in Los Angeles) and on camera (Thurston – an award-winning Western Drama for the web – in the recurring role of Jo for three seasons.) Lisa has an M.A. in Acting and an M.F.A. in Directing Theater. She is a senior teaching artist and Resident Playwright for AFYP and is also on the theater faculty of George Mason University.


Mary Lechter AFYP Director:  Mary Lechter, Faculty at Mason’s School of Theater
Email questions to
Read about Ms. Lechter

A graduate of University of Maryland, College Park with a Bachelor of Arts in Theater and Speech Communications, Mary has been working professionally as an actor in the metropolitan Washington-area, Los Angeles, and New York since 1985. She has worked at Washington area theaters including Theater of the First Amendment, Arena Stage, Studio Theatre, and Source Theatre. Television, radio and film credits include ABC’s All My Children,Barry Levinson’s Avalon, Diesel Films’ Dracula’s Mother, the MGM/Lionsgate thrillerHit and Run, and several spots for NPR’s Morning Edition.

Mary founded AFYP in 1997, and has seen the company grow from being its only teacher with a sporadic program schedule in rented spaces to where it is today: a year-round program with a full staff, working in conjunction with Potomac Arts Academy, for which she is Associate Director.

She is a longtime member of Mason’s School of Theater faculty in the areas of Performance and Theater Education. She was named a 2013 “Teacher of Distinction” and was a 2014 TEDxGeorgeMasonU speaker (“Magic Moments: the Transformative Power of  Theater“). She previously taught at the Studio Theatre Acting Conservatory and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Her professional memberships include The Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, Actor’s Equity Association, and the Educational Theatre Association.

Mary’s directing credits include An Experiment with an Air Pump and Shakespeare in Hollywood (George Mason University); Still Beating Hearts and A Godless Man (Theater of the First Amendment First Light Festival); Happy Holidays, Charlie Brown, 101 Dalmatians, It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play; Willy Wonka, Jr.; Peter Pan, Jr.; A Seussified Christmas Carol; Alice in Wonderland, Jr. (AFYP).







To register by phone or request a paper registration form, please call the Academy office at 703-993-9889.