To Our Academy


Directed by: Frank Sierra and Jill Burdick

The Boys & Girls Club’s Stage Door Academy is committed to providing all children the optimal summer performance experience by providing engaging, experienced and talented instructors/performers that have a robust background in all facets of musical performance including stage direction, acting, singing, and dancing.

Our young actors will be prepared to enter the stage for their very best performance through workshops focused on skill-building, high yield learning activities, social bonding, performance resume building, and confidence-building.

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Meet The Team


Frank Sierra

Frank Sierra is a staple of the Youth Theatre community in Kern County and has been sharing his creativity and passion for the arts with students for the past 21 years. Since 1999, Frank has been the director of the popular Performing Arts Academy at Bessie Owens Intermediate where he has directed and choreographed such memorable productions as The Lion King, The Wizard of Oz, and The Jungle Book. He makes it his mission to work with students and teachers to create high-quality performances, cross-curricular creative opportunities, and talent shows throughout the school year. Frank was part of the founding team to develop the Performing Arts program at the Boys and Girls Club of Kern County. He coordinates the summer Performing Arts programs and is the director and choreographer for their popular youth performing arts group, Music Fusion, who perform at various events both locally and nationally as they have been chosen as the headlining group for numerous national Boys and Girls Club conventions. Frank served as the artistic director for the Bakersfield Youth Fine Arts Academy for several years and is now the artistic director for the Stage Door Academy for the Boys and Girls Club. He also coaches the acting and modeling students at Extraordinaire Model and Talent Agency, where he has won several awards from the International Model and Talent Association for his inventive runway choreography. Frank also finds the time to continue his own passion for performing at Stars Theatre Restaurant where he has portrayed such roles as Harry in Mamma Mia, Judah in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Radames in Aida and John in Miss Saigon.

Jill Burdick

Jill is no stranger to the Bakersfield stage! This seasoned actor/singer has been performing Shakespeare, musical theatre, dramatic plays and opera for over 25 years at multiple reputable theatre companies in the community. She has studied classical voice for 20 years and is currently the Vocal Director at The Boys & Girls Club of Kern County for the nationally acclaimed kids' performing group "Music Fusion". Jill loves educating and working with young talent and believes that growth in the fine arts is an essential addition to the standard curriculum.

Kelci Cerri

Formerly known as Kelci Lowry, she has grown up in the performing arts arena in front of the camera, on the live stage and in the study of many types of dance. At the age of 13, Kelci got her big break when she was cast in her first film that was accepted into the Brussels International Film Festival. Her favorite claim to fame was being able to film on the Universal Studios backlot. Kelci shines as one of Bakersfield's up and coming actors/choreographers. She has choreographed and starred in many shows at BMT/Stars and is currently the choreographer of CSUB's "Pippin". She is also a drama teacher at Bessie Owens Elementary. Kelci offers a young, fresh style to our workshops this year!

Mary  Bellah

Mary has a passion for both music and children. This is exactly why she is a perfect  fit for BYFA’s summer program. Aside from being an onstage performer, she is one  of the best music instructors in Bakersfield. She is currently a vocal/piano instructor at Bakersfield College and she has her own private studio of students. She is a professional piano accompanist for several churches around town, as well. She is overjoyed to be working with such an experienced staff this summer and is excited to be doing what she truly loves doing…sharing the blessing of music with our youth.

Jake Wattenbarger

Jake Wattenbarger is beyond thrilled to be a director for Stage Door Academy! He has been performing in Bakersfield for over 20 years in various musicals and plays! He is mostly known for his roles as Joseph in the show “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” Davie “Newsies,” and Sky “Mamma Mia.” However, his big start in the Bakersfield community scene was the summer workshops he attended when he was 10 years old! He is excited to be on the other side of the table this year and knows how to make this summer one that the kids will never forget!

Charlotte Smith

Charlotte is a sophomore at Bakersfield College majoring in Theatre Arts and Education.  She has been performing since the age of four years and has studied dance locally at the Civic Dance Center, American Kids Dance Program, and Experience Dance.   Through local theaters in the past year, she has performed in “The Outsiders,” “Addams Family,” “A Christmas Story,” “Les Miserables,” and much more.  Charlotte has been attending the Boys & Girls Club programs since she was an infant and enjoys working with children as they develop their skills, talents , and passion for the stage! She is excited to be back this summer assisting with choreography and other aspects of the theater experience.




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