About Us

FIRSTheatre is an Orlando-based nonprofit theatre organization for youth, founded by Laura and Maria Manitta. After growing up in the theatre capital of the world, New York, Laura and Maria were excited to create Youth Theatre in Bloomington, IN as they finished their college studies at the prestigious Jacobs School of Music. Imagined to bridge the gap between amateur and professional theater, Youth Theatre was established in 2009 to give students the pre-professional experience and training they need to transition into the entertainment industry today. Seven years later, L and M decided to relocate their organization to Florida in order to draw on the growth and increasing opportunities of Orlando’s  emerging theater scene. Now, FIRSTheatre is ready to continue its mission of preparing the youth of today to be the theater professionals of tomorrow.


During or following training in our educational program, students have been offered equity contracts and have obtained employment in some of the nation's most preeminent entertainment venues (national touring companies, opera companies, Walt Disney World Entertainment, Music Theatre Wichita, television ads for international distribution, etc.) To find out more about the history of our program, please visit our Press page to see how FIRSTheatre has grown over the years.



Surrounded by 11 national parks, a booming theme park industry, and several impressive college campuses, eclectic Orlando is a thriving environment for performers to develop their skills.




1. an introductory act or step; leading action




We are proud to be a part of the growing performing arts community in Central Florida.


“Almost everything that is great has been done by youth.”


-Benjamin Disraeli


We are dedicated to providing quality entertainment offerings to the public, and strive to benefit the community through the support of local businesses and charitable organizations.