FMTA Director, Nikki Tillotson, has been educating youth and producing quality children's theater in Benicia since 2003. A graduate of Solano College's Actor Training Program (ATP) and the American Conservatory Theater (ACT) BA program, she has since become an instructor, director and award winning scenic designer (BHS). Nikki has also been a certified coach and teacher (ASCC) thought the California Teacher Commission since 2010 and a member of California Educational Theatre Association where she adjudicates for the Northern California Middle School Stage Fest Competition each year.
Nikki's love of children's theatre began when her own children participated in and grew confident through small skits in the family backyard. Beginning with a small "backyard" children's ensemble in 2003, she has since created and established the dramatic art department for all Benicia Unified Elementary Schools, including an after school repertory theatre training program at each Benicia elementary school, Benicia Middle School Drama Club, BHS Improv, BHS Drama Productions (scenic design instruction), SCC Theatre (master painter), and a variety of summer camps for children 7-18 yrs. old. The flying family continues to grow with the THE BENICIA UNIFIED PLAYERS, a district-wide ensemble designed to integrate and connect the drama departments at all 6 Benicia schools!
We offer drama clubs and camps for children ages 7-18 yrs. Lead by a dedicated team of artists and mentors, the programs at FMTA connect actors of all ages while boosting self-esteem and teaching camaraderie. Scholarships are available. Register on our classes and camps page, or contact us with any questions.
Flying Monkey Theatre Arts provides visiting artists to Benicia’s four public elementary schools as part of the STEAM Wheel rotations for students in grades 3-5. The STEAM Wheel provides learning opportunities in science, technology, engineering, math, critical thinking and the visual and performing arts, and involves community partners as presenters.
Flying Monkey Theatre Arts seeks to provide children in the community with opportunities to learn life skills through dramatic art.
FMTA takes a unique approach to dramatic art education by focusing on self esteem, ensemble, chivalry and risk taking. Through this "theatre family" approach to learning, the intellectual, social, behavioral and emotional growth of each and every actor is assured.
No two students have exactly the same learning style. It is our goal to create varying situations for children to learn life skills while they form bonds through creative ensemble work. The best part? Every child is having fun while working hard and will experience the reward of feeling successful WITH their ensemble! Sharing in success is an incredibly powerful bonding experience which often spurns more hard work, creativity, camaraderie and growing leadership. One thing is certain: drama students become the leaders among their peers!
Kander and Ebb...headshots 2009