For twenty years, Stuart’s has been a community center for the arts. On average, Stuart’s provides 25,000 visitors with over 75 events a year, including concerts, theater performances, free concerts, educational events, and private rentals. Our art programming and educational outreach keep us heavily involved with the underserved population of Nelsonville and surrounding communities through cooperative participation in and preservation of the arts. An average of 7,000 students participates yearly in our Arts Education Program! The goal of the Arts Education Program is to offer an affordable, broad-based program in the performing arts.

Program Information


We are appreciative of the staff and performers at Stuart’s Opera House, as they bring worldly experiences to our students and to our small rural school.

Cathe Blower, Principal, Amesville Elementary

Stuart's Opera House

Cathe Blower, Principal, Amesville Elementary

We are appreciative of the staff and performers at Stuart’s Opera House, as they bring worldly experiences to our students and to our small rural school.
Stuart's Opera House

Our Programs

Spoken & HeardAfterschool Music Program Poetry Out Loud Elementary Drama Club Performing Arts Program Audio Production Program Virtual Visiting Artists Old Time Music Week Performing Art Camp

Spoken and Heard

Spoken & Heard is a seasonal series of literary events hosted by Kari Gunter-Seymour, Poet Laureate of Ohio, featuring award-winning authors, poets and singer/songwriters from across the country.

September’s event will feature Philip J Metres, Crystal E Wilkinson, and Caitlin Kraus. Register here!

Buy Any Perfect black by Crystal wilkinson!

Buy Shrapnel maps by philip metres!

Buy caitlin kraus’ self titled record!

October’s event will feature Tiffany Williams, Marcus Jackson, and Ruth Awad. Register here!

Buy set to a music wildfire by ruth awad!

Buy pardon my heart by marcus jackson!

Buy music by tiffany williams!

November’s event will feature Jessica Jacobs, Nickole Brown, and Alan Holmes and Michael Cody. Register now!

Buy take me with you, wherever you’re goin by jessica jacobs!

Buy Sister and fanny says by nikole brown!

Ages: All ages | Dates: August 19, September 23, October 21, November 18 | Times: 7:00pm | Registration: open

Afterschool Music Program

The AMP program at Stuart’s Opera House is a music program that supports and fosters 12-21-year-olds interested in learning how to play a variety of instruments and form bands. The fall semester of AMP will be in person.

Ages: 12-21 | Days: Tuesdays or Thursdays | Times: 4:00pm-6:00pm | Start date: September 7, 2021

Apply now!

Poetry Out Loud

Stuart’s Opera House announces a school contest for Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest. The competition, presented in partnership with Ohio Arts Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Poetry Foundation, is part of a national program that encourages high school students to learn about great poetry through memorization, performance, and competition. Since the contest’s inception, Poetry Out Loud has reached more than 3 million students and 45,000 teachers from 10,000 schools nationwide. On February 13, students from Tri-County Career Center, Nelsonville-York, Buckeye Local, Rock Hill Sr., River Valley, John Glenn, and Logan High Schools, will participate in the Poetry Out Loud Regional Semifinal contest at Stuart’s Opera House. The competition will not be open to the public, but will be live streamed over Stuart’s Facebook and YouTube channels. The winner and runner up of this competition will advance to the state Poetry Out Loud contest. The Ohio champion will advance to the Poetry Out Loud National Finals where $50,000 in awards and school stipends will be distributed.

Featured speakers and participants will be:
Guest featured poet Kari Gunter-Seymore, Poet Laureate of the State of Ohio
Master of Ceremonies Micah Covert President, Board of Education Nelsonville York City Schools
Guest Judges: Jadey Gilmore, Federal Hocking Schools; Becca Lachman, Athens Public Libraries; Renard Phillips, Athens Public Libraries

To learn more about Poetry Out Loud, watch the Teacher Training Workshops Here: Part 1 and Part 2

Dates: School programs take place September-December | Southeast Ohio Regional: February 13, 2021 | State Final: March 5, 2021 | National Competition: TBD

Elementary Drama Club

Nelsonville-York Only

Non-performance based theater program with the goal of individual growth and development for our area’s youth. Fee: N/A

Performing Arts Program

Non-performance based theater program with the goal of individual growth and development for our area’s youth. Join us for an exploration of identity through playwriting. Students will learn the basic structure of playwriting and hone their storytelling skills. This class will meet weekly for sessions. This class will be taught by Skye Robinson Hillis.

Dates: TBD
Days: TBD
Times: TBD
Fee: TBD

Audio Production Program

Stuart’s Opera House has created a program of study for students in Southeast Ohio designed to teach the basic skills of audio production in the modern recording studio environment. Students will learn the basics of analog and digital production tools and techniques to record performances. Additionally, students will learn how to mix and prepare music for release into contemporary listening mediums, such as streaming, digital download, CD, and vinyl. The program meets a number of objectives and standards set by the Ohio Department of Education and national Common Core Standards. Standards include Music, Fine Arts, English Language Arts, Social Studies, and Technology.

Ages: 12-21 | Days: Wednesdays | Times: 4:00pm-6:00pm | Start Date: September 7, 2021

Apply now!

Virtual Visiting Artists

The MasterClass Series is a series that allows you to learn from internationally acclaimed artists. January features Rachel Weekley teaching the Queerness in Shakespeare course and Brian Koscho teaching a Storytelling course.

Rachel Weekley is a Clown, Performer, and Movement Coordinator based in NYC. They graduated from Ohio University with a BFA in performance and trained with The American Mime Theater. Most recently they performed their original show “Too Many Exits” with No Dominion Theater Co. No Exit Theatre’s Reading of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” As Bottom/Egeus. And several Acts with SCOWL for “Self Isolation Devastation”

For more info go to or visit their Instagram @rachel.weekley.

Brian Koscho lives in Athens, Ohio, where he is currently an MFA Candidate in Communication. Media Arts at Ohio University. His work focuses on podcasting, storytelling, publication design, public history, and the intersection of all of those worlds. Along with media, this MFA program also centers on teaching, and Brian is currently an instructor at the Ohio University School of Visual Communication and has also taught in the School of Media Arts and Studies. He hosts and produces two podcasts: his newest is Invisible Ground, which tells the stories of history that is all around us in southeast Ohio, and the other is The Western Reserve, which covers all things Ohio music. Brian is currently a Folkways Reporter for Inside Appalachia on West Virginia Public Broadcasting and works with WOUB Public Media in Athens on their Our Town documentary series, and will be Associate Producer for the upcoming Our Town: Chillicothe released in 2021. You can see more of his work at Aquabear Legion (dot com), where he has helped to run an Ohio music and art collective since 2004.

How to Join a Google Classroom:
Click the link below to open the Google Classroom. If you have never joined this classroom before, you will be prompted to join using your Gmail account. Once you join, you will be directed to a page with three tabs at the top titled “Stream,” “Classwork,” and “People.” Click the “Classwork tab to access all of the lessons in the course. Some lessons include instructional videos and printable informational sheets. Enjoy!

Access Queerness in Shakespeare classroom here!
Access the Storytelling classroom here!
Join the Storytelling Zoom here!

Old Time Music Week

We are excited to host the return of Old Time Music Week on August 9-13, 2021! Old Time Music Week is a part of the Appalachian music program at Stuart’s Opera House which reflects the rich traditions of music and storytelling of our Appalachian Foothills Region. Classes are offered in some of the common Appalachian instruments and students can participate in an old-time stringband ensemble as well as learn about the historical development of the music and culture.

Classes in banjo, mandolin, dulcimer, fiddle, bass, and guitar will be available. Masterclasses and workshops include flatfooting, Appalachian foodways, quilting in the Appalachian tradition, storytelling in the Appalachian tradition, instrument repair, and more!

This program is produced in partnership with the Athens County Public Libraries and the Southeast Ohio Instrument Lending Library.

Ages: All ages | Dates: August 9-13, 2021 | Times: 9:00am-5:00pm | Registration: closed

Performing Art Camp

We are excited for the return of our Performing Art Camp. Students can participate in one or all of the sessions. Each session develops a song, dance, or combination project.

Participants explore aspects of performance that includes: playing as a band, songwriting, playwriting, acting, and dance through this summer performing arts program. We encourage our teachers and students to engage positively with each other by valuing what everyone brings to the table- theater is a collegiate and collaborative art form which makes it a perfect for facilitating positive interactions and character building. And, students learn to write, sing, and play music in a very short period of time which certainly elevates their sense of self. Students can participate in one or all of the sessions.

Ages: 12-18 | Dates: July 7-August 7, 2022 | Times: TBA | Registration: closed

Our program is financially supported by:

Our education programs received 2020 funding from and is supported by: Epstein Teicher Philanthropies, The Charles G. O’Bleness Foundation, The Ohio Arts Council, The Foundation for Appalachian Ohio: Child of Appalachia Fund, The Kleinpenny Education Fund, The Peoples Bank Foundation, ArtsMidwest Resiliance Fund with support from the Melon Foundation, American Electric Power – Ohio, The Athens County Foundation, The Johnny B and John Spataro Foundation, Meadowview Farm After School Music Program Fund, and many individual donations.