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Welcome to the St. Paul Institute!  We are a private, Catholic fine arts cooperative for grades 3-12. The St Paul Institute is beginning our 14th season of providing intelligent theater for the whole family, in line with our motto, To Virtue Through The Arts.  


  • New Families:  To register your child(ren) for our theater productions, please first request membership in our organization by clicking the "Join" link at the top of the page.  Thank you.  New families require an interview with the director, Lisa Irlbeck.  Contact her at randylisairlbeck@gmail.com.
  • Returning Families: You will need to update your registration form online and pay the annual registration fee prior to enrolling your children in productions.


Announcing the 2023-2024 Season!

The St Paul Institute is beginning our 14th season of providing intelligent theater for the whole family, in line with our motto, To Virtue Through The Arts.  We are so excited and proud to announce our 2023-2024 season shows!  Please see below for more details on the fall shows.

  • FULL Fall Musical: Gilbert & Sullivan's The Mikado, directed by Nancy Bartke and Grace Morris, February 8-10 2024
    • 60 actors, 12-15 tech; partially or fully double cast is a possibility 
    • Auditions:  Thursday, July 27 and Friday, July 28 9:00am-12:00pm at the Bartke house
    • Children interested in only chorus do not need to sign up for an audition slot.
    • Rehearsals:  Bartke House, 3:15-5:00 beginning August 4th
    • Tech Week February 4-7, 2024
    • Performances:  February 8, 9, 10 (matinee and evening show), Location TBD
  • Fall Sr. Shakespeare: A Midsummer Night's Dream, directed by Ellis Sargeant, January 25-27 2024
    • 38 actors, 12-14 tech; partially or fully double-cast
    • Auditions:  August 12, August 19 at Irlbeck house
    • Rehearsals:  Irlbeck House, 5:15-8:15 Friday evenings beginning August 24th
    • Tech week:  January 21-24, 2024
    • Performances: January 25, 26, 27 (matinee and evening show) at Mainstage Irving 222
  • Save the dates for our spring productions:
    • Jr Shakespeare: TBD, directed by Ellis Sargeant, May 5-11
    • Spring Sr Shakespeare: As You Like It, directed by Catherine Morrel, June 3-8
    • Sr Musical: TBD, directed by Nancy Bartke (?) and Grace Morris, June 22-29
    • Alumni Production: Macbeth (or Julius Caesar), directed by Catherine Morrel, July 21-27

23-24 Tuition and Fees:

  • Registration, per family: $150 until August 5th, $200 after August 5th. (10% cash discount available)
  • Tuition, per child, per production:
    • $100 1st Child
    • $75 2nd Child
    • $50 3rd Child
    • $35 4th or more children
  • Production Fees, per child, per production (10% cash discount):
    • $50 1st Child
    • $40 2nd Child
    • $35 3rd or more children
  • Other costs:
    • Costumes--SPI maintains and shares costume pieces but some or all will need to be provided by the family; most can be purchased at thrift stores but occasional items need to be purchased new.
    • Entry tickets to shows--$8/person; $32 family cap per performance; all non-actors pay admission.

Family Committment:

  • For each production, each family must work approximately 7-10 volunteer hours, depending on how many families sign up or opt out.  Parents have the option of paying a $100 opt out fee per production in lieu of volunteering.
  • We began a new policy last year with the older troupe, which will now apply to all shows, requiring students to be ‘off-book’ around midway through the practice period for every show.  This off-book status is demonstrated to Mrs Irlbeck during an “Italian run” of the show, at which point students will be marked as penalized  should they not fulfill their obligation.  This failure to fulfill the obligation they undertake by auditioning for a show will preclude them from auditioning for main roles in the following semester’s shows, and can also include losing the privilege of participating in the shows for an entire season.  We have worked with many children of varying ages and degrees of interest and capacity over the years, and I can say with confidence that if they have auditioned for a main role and been given one, they are truly capable of memorizing the lines of their character.  Doing so does require a decision on their part to put in the time and effort to achieve success, and to find the techniques and tricks that work for them.  


Midsummer Night's Dream Performance
January 25 - Thursday
07:00 PM
Midsummer Night's Dream Performance
January 26 - Friday
07:00 PM
Midsummer Night's Dream Performance
January 27 - Saturday
07:00 PM

Contact Us

St. Paul Institute Director/Coordinator: Lisa Irlbeck
(214) 783-8480