Twenty middle school and high school actors dressed as school children singing the song "Revolting Children" from Matilda, the Musical onstage.

Purple Door Youth Theater

An educational program of the Northfield Arts Guild Theater

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In Purple Door Youth Theater, students are led by our staff of theater artists to produce a quality theatrical production. Students receive training and hands-on experiences in acting, technical and administrative theater. Students may choose an acting or a technical theater track. In addition to mounting the show, PDYT emphasizes building character off stage with skills like collaboration, critical thinking and citizenship. Check out what’s coming up!


If you’re looking to step up your acting game, this is the online course for you.  Students will work with instructor Rachel Haider to gain experience staging beats, character and physical development, pacing, acting choices, raising the stakes, and having a blast. The online class will result in a virtual performance shared with the public at the conclusion of class. Interested students in grades 7-12 must audition and be cast to register for this program. Actors should prepare a short monologue to recite at the online audition. To schedule your online audition, fill out this form:

Monday, December 14 | 4-6:30pm

Guild Members: $135 | Non-Members: $150

Important dates:
January 4 – 22 Online Class/Rehearsals
Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays: 4:00-6:00pm 
January 25 – 29 Online Tech Week/Filming
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday: 4:00-7:00pm
January 31 Virtual Performance of The Importance of Being Earnest in a Pandemic premiering on the Guild’s YouTube channel, Sunday: 2:00pm

The Hobbit – POSTPONED UNTIL 2021

The Northfield Arts Guild has made the difficult decision to postpone our Purple Door Youth Theater production of The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien and adapted by Patricia Gray, until 2021 to ensure the safety of our staff, participants and audiences. Please know that this decision was not made lightly or easily. Details about dates and auditions will be announced as soon as we know more!

“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.”  And so, begins Tolkien’s beloved and epic tales of Middle-Earth. Bilbo Baggins has to leave the comfort of his home to recover an important treasure. His wonder-filled and magical journey is filled with intrigue, discovery, vicious goblins, disgruntled elves, new friends, and one very angry dragon. This production requires actors and technicians. Open to grades 4-12.


Auditions and tech interviews will be announced soon. Once announced, students should sign up for a 30-minute actor audition or tech interview time. 

Those auditioning for the cast will be asked to perform a short monologue. You should choose ONE from those found HERE. Memorizing your monologue is the best way to show off your skills; but if you must read it, that’s okay, too. Find one that you like, and have fun developing a character. 

Those interviewing for a Dedicated Technician role need not prepare anything in advance.


The rehearsal schedule will be announced when the performance dates are schedule. Rehearsals are generally held 4-6:30 pm Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Tech work times are generally held from 6-8 pm Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, and some Saturday mornings.


Performances of The Hobbit will be held in 2021. Details are yet to be determined.


You must audition/interview and be selected to register for this program. Tuition is $157.50 for Guild members and $175 for nonmembers.


Purple Door Youth Theater is an immersive educational theater experience. Elementary, middle and high school students are involved with every aspect of producing a show like performing, designing, building, marketing and ushering in a safe and supportive environment. Project Purple Door is an extension of PDYT and focuses on ensemble-based storytelling, building productions through imaginative theatricality and minimal stagecraft.

Who works with the students? Director Rachel Haider manages PDYT and teaches acting, character and production skills. Joining the artistic team for Matilda, the musical is Music Director Liz Shepley and Choreographer Jana Hirsch. Deb Clark is our technical director and teacher, and Kate Stuart is our costumer and teacherThe Prince and the Pauper is led by Director Rachel Haider and Stage Manager Kate Stuart.


PDYT is a tuition and audition/interview based educational theater program. Registration is available to those in the cast or crew following auditions/tech interviews. Scholarships may be available.


“Thanks for a great experience and a hilarious show!”

“(My daughter) had an absolutely fabulous time, and it’s been great to see her so happy and learning so much!”

“The Purple Door Theater is a real treasure.”

“As a parent, I was beyond impressed and look forward to future experiences.”

“My daughter learned so much and made great friends! It is a safe and nurturing environment for her to take risks and try new things!”

“Seeing the friendships and cooperative spirit among the cast and crew was so inspiring!”

“The tour was a neat experience for the kids. The close friendships made/relationships built were a highlight. Wearing such elaborate costumes was fun. Leading audience members in activities after the shows gave the kids another chance to show their confidence.”

“For my child, performing in the theater was a big highlight as were costumes. She also enjoyed making new friends. For me, I was thrilled to see her confidence increase and for her to have the opportunity to perform in multiple settings for a range of audiences.”

“The children came together as a ‘family’. They learned from each other and had a great time making new friends, having fun, learning new things.”

“I volunteered several days “wrangling” the kids, and they listened well and knew what was expected of them.”

“These kids are so fortunate to have this opportunity! You do wonderful things! These kids lives are molded by your belief in their abilities and gifts.”

“Thank you so much for providing such exceptional opportunities for kids. Northfield is blessed by having the Arts Guild in our town. Our kids are so lucky to be able to learn and grow from your classes and the community you provide is supportive and fun! Excellent work!”

“Thank you so much for this program – it was a very positive experience for my child and for our family. I was SO proud on opening night!”

“I think the PDYT is a really great organization that fits in so well with Northfield and the arts that this town provides. It’s a bonus that children who are elementary age can participate and that they learn so much about theater as opposed to just performing in a play. We also really liked the fact that professionals were teaching the children. This just adds to the experience. PDYT is fantastic!”


Contact PDYT Director Rachel Haider at or Guild Education and Volunteer Manager at


The audition/interview process is fun and low-pressure. However, the decision-making process begins the moment you walk through the door.

Be prepared, be nice, (never smug) and enjoy the opportunity to show your stuff. It’s okay… everyone is nervous. Try to stay positive, have a good attitude and enjoy the experience.

Previous acting or technical experience is not required.

We expect all artists with PDYT productions to be committed to doing and behaving their best – on and off stage.

It’s important that we’re able to assess each student’s independent abilities. Unless a special circumstance or need demands a parent’s assistance, this is your young artist’s time to shine. Parents will be asked to stay in another area.


Pick a monologue (from our choices) that you like. Memorize it and show us the appropriate emotion for the character. That face of yours is great for that. But keep it real. Crazy isn’t acting.

Move and speak simply, clearly and with confidence. Practice introducing yourself by name.

Wear comfortable clothes and shoes in which you can freely move.

No need to use any props to do your monologue or reading; just use your imagination.

Show us your best self, forget your nerves and have fun. 


The interview won’t be scary; it’s more like a discussion. The tech director will chat with you about some of your strengths and about things you like to do. She might ask you about your ideas for things you imagine in the show. She might ask you why you want to be a technician. There’s not really anything to prepare in advance. Just relax and be yourself; that’s the best assessment as to if this will be a good fit.

Past Purple Door Youth Theater Productions

The Prince and the Pauper (touring Project Purple Door show) – 2020

Matilda, the Musical – 2019

The Wizard of Oz – 2019

The King’s New Clothes (touring Project Purple Door show) – 2018

Les Misérables School Edition – 2018

A Christmas Carol – 2016

You Can’t Take It With You, a radio play (touring Project Purple Door show) – 2016

Robin Hood – 2016

Alice@Wonderland – 2015

The PDYT logo was designed by Louisa Lawler. Check out her work at

More educational theater is available all year-round. Check out our ongoing Education Programming and summer Young People’s Theater Workshop.

2019-20 Purple Door Youth Theater sponsored by

2019-20 Education programs sponsored by

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