Classes & Programs


MCA’s Theatre Division offers programming through classes, workshops, children’s theatre productions, and summer camps.

Curriculum includes classes in: acting, musical theatre, audition technique, puppetry, technical theatre, stage combat, make-up, character development, playwriting, theatre games, and improvisation.

Theatre students not only perfect stage skills, but they also develop important life skills such as confidence, teamwork, the ability to adapt to the moment, creativity, and how to observe the world around them.

Let MCA provide you and your child with fun and enriching Theatre education!


Prairie Fire Children’s Theatre is back! Students ages 7-18 will be cast in the original musical production of “Cinderella,” a rock and roll version of the classic tale set in the 1950's. Any student registered will be cast in this week-long production. All cast members are required to participate in the audition process on April 20 to determine their role. Cast members MUST be available for rehearsals Monday- Friday, 4-8:15 p.m. and performances on Friday, April 24, at 7 p.m. and Saturday, April 25, at 2 p.m. Performances are in MCA’s Academy Theatre at the Valéncia Arts Center.

Day/Dates: Monday-Saturday, April 20- 25

Times: TBA (depends on role assigned, see time frames above)

Instructor(s): Professional Actors/Directors from Prairie Fire Children’s Theatre

Cast Member Price: $69

Ticket cost: $6 Adults & $5 Students (Tickets-on sale during MCA business hours April 20-25 and 1 hour prior to performances at the door. Cash or check only.)

NEW! Create Your Own Comedy Show!

Designed for people who like to laugh and want to make others laugh with them, this class will take students through the process of creating a comedy show. Half of the class will be spent learning improv games and doing scene work. The other half will be spent working together to create an original short comedy play. The class will conclude with a performance of the class’s favorite improv games and their 100%-original play, complete with costumes and props! Whether your child is a seasoned improviser, an undiscovered comedy genius, or this is his or her first time dabbling in anything comedic, this class has a place for them to shine. This project is led by Saint Mary’s University theatre student Ahnika Lexvold and guided by MCA staff.

Days/Dates:  Mondays and Fridays, Jan. 20–March 27

Time: 4–5 p.m.

Ages: 10–14

Capacity: 15

Cost: $60

Instructor: A. Lexvold

Peanut Butter & Jelly Players

Children's imaginations will soar as they recreate storybook tales through dramatizations, music and dance. Each week your child will have fun using theatrical exercises. sing-a-longs and movement games as they prepare for a small performance on the last day of class where they will show off their newly-honed skills.

Day/Dates:  Saturdays, Jan. 11- March 21 (No class Feb. 8)

Times: :45-10-15 am

Ages: 4-6 years

Instructor(s): C. Deysach

Cost: $80

Join us on Saturday, Jan. 4th for our 5th Annual Free-4-All to try this class out for free!


“Frozen” Dance and Art Adventure Workshop

There will be miles of smiles as students dance and craft their way through  a magical journey unleashing their imaginations in this workshop centered around the movie “ Frozen” and perfectly timed to align with Winona’s Winter Carnival celebration and Frozen River Film Festival.

Day/Time: Saturday, Feb. 8th, 12:15 pm- 2:15 pm

Ages: Preschool (3-5 years) & K-2nd grade

Price: $19 (snack included)

Instructors: Location: R. Racki & A. Pelowski

Look Within logo

2020 PTA Reflections  

Since 1969, the National Parent Teacher Association (PTA) Reflections program has encouraged students across the nation to explore their artistic talents. The PTA Reflections program is designed to promote cultural arts in schools, encouraging students to create works of art in visual arts, photography, literature, music, dance, film and special artist categories. Every March since 2016 the walls of Galleria Valéncia have been adorned with all of the Minnesota state winners visual arts division of the Minnesota State PTA Reflections program.  For the second consecutive year MCA is now a registered Northstar Minnesota PTA  unit in good standing and any area youth in Preschool-Twelfth Grade is able to submit a work into the Reflections program now- Jan. 15, 2020 through MCA. The program is open to any area youth that has been an MCA student within the past year, as long as the student’s school does not have a PTA unit regardless if they attend a public, private, charter school or are home educated.

Submission Deadline: Now through Jan. 15, 2020 

Reflections Art Exhibit at MCA:  March 2020

Ages: Preschool- 12th grade

Categories:  Visual Arts, Photography, Literature, Music, Dance, Film & Special Artist

Price: Free

More Info

5th Annual MCA Free-4-All & Winter Open House on January 4th

Have you been waiting for just the right time to check out one of our classes? The wait is now over, MCA is having a Free-4-All… a day of free classes on Jan. 4, 2020, for the whole family! This event will feature classes for both youth and adults — so bring some friends and try a class or two. All classes are free. Space is limited so preregistration is recommended online, by phone or in person.

10:00–10:45 a.m.

My Grown-up and Me (18 mo.-3 years with adult) — J. Dienger (only 10–10:30 a.m.)

Irish (5+ years) — A. Pelowski       

11:00–11:45 a.m.

Creative Movement (3–5 years) — J. Dienger  (only 11–11:30 a.m. )

Ballet (7–13 years) — R. Ryan-Dahlgren

Noon–12:45 p.m.

Pre–Ballet (4–6 years) — R. Ryan-Dhalgren

Peanut Butter & Jelly Players (4–6 years) — C. Deysach

1:00–1:45 p.m.

Intro to Contemporary Dance (7–13 years) — J. Dienger

Barre (14+ years) — J. Goyette

Date: Saturday, Jan. 4

Price: FREE

More information

Main reACTion

Main reACTion is a new improvisational theatre troupe made of Winona Area youth. This activity begun in Summer 2019 as part of Artists on Main Street, a partnership between Winona Main Street, the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota, and Springboard for the Arts with support from the Bush Foundation.

The public is invited to eight weekly 1-hour performances by Main ReACTion lead by MCA Theatre Instructor, Catherine Deysach on Tuesdays from June 11th- August 6th, 6:30-7:30pm at different locations on Third Street between Main Street & Layfette Street. Stroll downtown on Third Street and you will be sure to find the young actors and actresses wearing brightly colored shirts accompanied by a sign identifying the group. Locations will also be announced on the MCA Facebook page on the day of performances.

2019-20 School year Main reACTion Auditions

Do you love to perform and are you ready to take your improv skills to the next level? If so, Main reACTion is for you! MCA is seeking 10-15 creative quick-thinkers to form the Main reACTion improv troupe for the 2019-2020 school year. Main reACTion's school year troupe will perform at 1-2 locations/events per month.

Date & Time: Sunday Aug. 11, 6-8pm

Age: 9-15 years

Learn more about Main reACTion Auditions

Learn more about Winona Main Street and Third Space

Dance Repertory Company

In addition to dance classes, an exciting part of learning experience for MCA students is performance opportunities. Students may audition for MCA's pre-professional performing ensemble, the Dance Repertory Company (DRC), or MCA's junior performing troupe, Dance Repertory Company II. DRC produces two production annually. Biannually DRC presents a full-length production of the traditional holiday classic The Nutcracker.  

Important Upcoming DRC & DRC II Dates

DRC II: Animals on Parade: Performances: Friday, Dec. 6- Sunday, Dec. 8.

DRC Annual Spring Dance Concert: Auditions: Jan. 18, Performances April 11-13 at the Page Theatre on the Saint Mary's University Campus

Next MCA Nutcracker will be in 2020.

For more information about auditioning for DRC, ordering tickets or past productions click here.

I wish camp was longer! My daughter loved singing, dancing and making new friends. Thank you MCA for providing inspiring instructors and amazing programming!

Parent of Broadway Bound Camper

The Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts is incredible! My children have truly enjoyed being part of the dance-arts community at MCA. The instructors are skilled artists whose passion shows through as they deliver a developmentally-appropriate curriculum in a child-centered and caring way. All families and community members are always welcome at MCA and encouraged to be part of the arts in Winona. Thank you MCA and MCA staff and volunteers.


Parent of MCA Students

While attending the Winona Arts Camp I learned that I wasn’t shy after all!


8 Year-old Student

7 Life Skills that can be gained in Theatre

7 Life Skills that can be gained in Theatre

Dramatic play and theatre classes not only prepare your child to step into the spotlight but they can also help your child’s development of life skills which will set them on a path for a successful life in which ever career they choose. Below are just 7 of the important life skills children can gain by participating.

5th Annual Free-4-All

5th Annual Free-4-All

Have you been waiting for just the right time to check out one of our classes? The wait is now over, MCA is having a Free-4-All… a day of free classes on Jan. 4, 2020, for the whole family! This event will feature classes for both youth and adults — so bring some friends and try a class or two. All classes are free. Space is limited so preregistration is recommended online, by phone or in person. This year you can try out new classes including our youth contemporary dance class and Balletone, our new adult fitness class!


Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts
1164 West Howard (10th) Street
Winona, MN 55987

Phone: 507-453-5500
Fax: 507-453-5507


Monday - Wednesday
9 a.m. - 7 p.m.

10:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.

9 a.m. - 7 p.m.

9 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Building and Galleria open during programming



sponsor logo

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

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