SHAYNA TURK, Producing Director and Founder
The theater has always played a major role in Shayna’s life. At 5 years old, her musical theater career began and she performed in dozens of musicals at various local community theaters. For many years, she enjoyed the thrill of performance and the excitement theater added to her life.
It was not until 2002 that Shayna began questioning theater programs. When her younger, and very talented sister, Talia joined her on stage, Shayna realized that the local theater companies were casting based on age and not on ability. While this was truly discouraging for her at the time, she did not realize that this insight would lead to the opening of her own theater company.
Thus in 2003, at 11 years old, Shayna founded Shayna Turk’s Academy of Rising STARS. Thanks to Talia’s friends who joined the cast and believed in her dream, STARS became a reality for Shayna. Through this first experience, Shayna immediately realized her true passion in life: helping children build confidence and explore their creativity through performance.
While continuing her camp, Shayna attended the University of Southern California and earned her B.S. in Psychology in May of 2014. By taking classes that focused on children and adolescent development, she has gained a greater understanding of youth. This understanding has and will continue to help her as she expands STARS. She is thankful to have had the opportunity to expand her knowledge and bring that to her camp.
In 2015, Shayna attended Cal State Northridge's Michael Eisner School of Education, where she earned her Multiple Subject Credential. In 2016, she began her teaching career at CHIME Institute in Woodland Hills. Since then, she has been a third-grade teacher and has further explored her passion for working with students of all abilities.
In 2017, Shayna and Alex Yorke (STARS Assistant Director) brought the STARS program to CHIME Institute. This experience has further contributed to STARS impact on the community!
Since 2003, Shayna has dedicated every summer to her STARS campers. Additionally, since 2013, she has turned STARS into a year-round program, allowing her to continue her passion throughout the year. Working with children is Shayna’s true passion, and being able to watch them grow is the most rewarding gift for her. She hopes STARS can be as transformative in your life as it has been in hers.