Click the + above to see past YADA shows!

Where Kids Find Their Voice

YADA® (Youth Academy of Dramatic Arts) has been offering comprehensive theatrical training to youth in Los Angeles for 27 years. YADA offers a safe and exciting environment in which students can learn, grow, and enrich their lives while practicing the skills of theatrical performance.

Classes are delineated based on age (3-17 yrs) and ability (TOTS-Master & Company).  And each class culminates in an unforgettable performance.  We also have Improvisation for kids, to encourage creativity, self confidence and ease anxiety. Private coaching is also available in voice, acting, and dance.  

We are pleased to bring you the highest quality theatrical training for youth that Los Angeles has to offer. For the children, we offer spontaneity, enthusiastic imagination and fun ways to implement personal growth. For the parents, we offer a safe, encouraging, communicative environment for both parent and child. What makes YADA come alive is the unique element that each child brings to the theatre.

YADA was created by co-owners Lani Shipman and Kim Harrigan to encourage children to grow as people as well as performers. YADA instructors are trained and dedicated to providing each student with a sense of emotional maturity and self-confidence, while at the same time giving them a quality theatrical experience. Not only do YADA students learn techniques in dance, voice and acting, they learn the basic tools for life: respect for self and others, commitment to a goal & the courage to try their best. They learn not only to find love for theatre, but also to discover love for themselves.

In March 2020, when our doors were shuttered due to COVID-19, we didn’t let the magic of theatre stop.  We took all of that wonderful creativity and YADAVISION was born, online.  We got to see the joy the YADA students had in zoom rehearsals - seeing their friends, laughing with their teachers, and getting a break from a very real-world situation that is happening all around them. It was a lot for our children, & YADA’s mission is to always uplift and encourage our students.

Now, YADA is back in person and the theatre is again filled with the joyful voices of kids laughing, singing and dancing! 

YADA has always been about creating and nourishing a supportive community of dreamers and doers, and right now, we need that more than ever! The magic of YADA is not contained within our walls - it lives in our incredible kids and staff.

Be safe, healthy and happy, 

Kim Harrigan & Lani Shipman, 

YADA Co-Owners


We want to express our gratitude for the scholarship for our daughter.  She so enjoyed coming to YADA and fell in love with her role. She showed so much enthusiasm at our place.  Last night’s performance was incredible and so much fun.  It wouldn’t have been possible with your support.  She is extremely eager to continue with MATILDA and she enjoyed making new friends. Thank you for making this all possible.

Rainer is thriving at YADA and we are so happy to have found such a nurturing, amazing place for
him to learn.

You guys are epic… So amazed by the work and love that goes into each and every production. You help your students grow and shine. You deserve all the applause. We are blessed to be part of the YADA family.

Becoming part of the YADA family has been an amazing experience for David!

Mutual love fest here!!!!

Thank you so much. I have already enrolled Janey for the next season. She tells me that she wants to go to YADA forever!

Skylar absolutely loves YADA and would not think of missing it. I enrolled her the very first day of registration so we should be all set!

Our daughter is thriving and extremely happy in your program!

Thank you again to you, all the teachers and Yada for this opportunity for Lourdes, her heart is so set on this.

YADA Mission Statement

In a city exploding with film and television, The Youth Academy of Dramatic Arts offers theatrical training for the young people of Los Angeles. YADA's mission is to impart a professional theatrical discipline, as well as to offer young people a safe and nurturing environment in which to grow. Besides the training and experience that YADA offers, children are guided in building self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-awareness. At YADA, our students are encouraged to find their own voice and freely express themselves. YADA...where kids find their voice.