About

Group of actors in dark colored clothes on rehearsal in the theater
Welcome to Stage and Screen Academy

Where the Professionals Train

Stage and Screen Academy strives to cultivate a community of passionate and skilled professionals working in Stage, TV, and Film. Our vision is to create a supportive and inclusive environment where you can develop and grow your craft, express your creativity, and successfully navigate a career in the entertainment industry.

From above-the-line, to below-the-line, from onstage to backstage, our mission at Stage and Screen Academy is to offer high-quality training that covers all aspects of the performing arts. The fundamental techniques and advanced strategies of our courses will instill a sense of discipline, perseverance, and collaboration that will help you succeed in any endeavor. 

We are committed to fostering creativity, diversity, and innovation in our curriculum and creating a safe and nurturing environment that inspires and supports our students.

Meet Our Crew

Marissa Barreto

Founder and Owner

As a Substitute Teacher for Albuquerque Public Schools, Marissa has worked with children for over ten years. Seeing the need for on-camera, off-camera, onstage, and backstage training, Marissa has created a curriculum for Youth and Adults. This curriculum teaches the skills needed to bring New Mexico talent and crew to the same level as her home state of California.

Chris Martin

Head of Marketing and Acting Coach

As a young actor on Nickelodeon, Chris gleaned valuable insights into on-camera production, learning to navigate the industry while safeguarding himself in its challenges. Afterward, he earned a Bachelor's degree at UNM, focusing on marketing and Latin American studies. Returning to acting, Chris landed a recurring role on Netflix's American Primeval while concurrently serving as a Special Education Teacher in the Albuquerque Public School district.

Amy Benavides

Business Manager

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FAQs

Here are answers to some of the commonly asked questions OF our staff

Absolutely not. Stage and Screen Academy is a transformative environment where passion meets opportunity. Beyond traditional acting and crew training schools, we offer a comprehensive platform for those in the stage and film industry to learn and excel in the vibrant entertainment world.

Our programs are designed to create an ecosystem of diverse backgrounds, providing the skills and connections that allow our students to succeed in these dynamic industries and benefit each other through collaboration and networking resources.

At Stage and Screen Academy, we provide comprehensive training programs covering every aspect of stage and film, from acting classes to crew training. Our curriculum is carefully crafted to ensure that students understand the craft deeply, preparing them for success in low-budget indie projects, large-scale film productions, and from community to professional theatre.

Absolutely. Unlike most employers, both the stage and film industry value individuals with diverse and unique life experiences. However, they also demand professionalism and expertise when you’re on set. Stage and Screen Academy bridges this gap by offering top-notch training while embracing individuals from all backgrounds.

Our commitment to diversity and inclusion means we actively seek students from low-income, minority-status, indigenous, veteran, disabled, or formerly incarcerated backgrounds to provide scholarships, financial assistance, and tailored support services to ensure equitable access to quality education.

We understand that access to quality education is only sometimes equitable, so at Stage and Screen Academy, we continuously seek partnerships with nonprofits and organizations that share our commitment to diversity and inclusion. Through scholarships, financial aid, and support services, we strive to make film industry training accessible to individuals from all backgrounds.

Beyond technical training, Stage and Screen Academy offers hands-on projects, mentorship programs, and industry partnerships to help students develop their talents and build professional networks. Our commitment doesn’t end when classes end. We provide ongoing career support, including job placement assistance, networking events, and access to production facilities, to help navigate the competitive landscape of these competitive industries.

Stage and Screen Academy is not just a school; it’s a community dedicated to empowering individuals to make their mark in the performing arts industry. Once professionally trained, our students have a much better chance of making their mark on stage or in the film world. So, join us, and together, let’s create a more inclusive, vibrant, and well-trained workforce.

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How We Protect Your Child

At Stage and Stream Academy, we follow comprehensive hiring practices for Instructors and Instructor Assistants (IA) for our Youth (17 & under) classes. For example, they are all background checked every two years, and our youth classes will always have two instructors per class.
 

Further information is listed below from page 6 of the Stage and Screen Academy’s Employee Handbook:

Staff members are mandated to establish and uphold appropriate personal boundaries with students. They must refrain from any behavior that is prohibited by law, regulation, or this Policy, or that gives the appearance of prohibited behavior. This is a crucial requirement to ensure a safe and effective learning environment at Stage and Screen Academy. The Policy addresses a spectrum of behaviors, including clearly unlawful or improper interactions with students, precursor grooming, and other boundary-blurring behaviors that may lead to more serious misconduct.

This Policy applies to Stage and Screen Academy employees, volunteers, student teachers, independent contractors, and their employees who interact with students and are present on Stage and Screen Academy property or at SSA events. Independent contractors doing business with Stage and Screen Academy will ensure that their employees who have direct interaction with or unsupervised access to minor students are informed of the provisions of this Policy and complete a criminal background check process, which complies with NMSA 1978 Section 22-10A-5.

This Policy is designed to safeguard the educational environment and does not intend to disrupt appropriate personal or family relationships between staff and students and their families. It also respects participation in civic, religious, or other outside organizations that involve SSA students.

The interactions and relationships between staff and students should be based upon mutual respect and trust, an understanding of the appropriate boundaries between them in and outside of the educational setting, and consistency with SSA’s educational mission.

Staff will not intrude on a student’s physical and emotional boundaries unless the intrusion is necessary to serve an educational, physical, mental, and emotional health purpose or to prevent an immediate risk of injury or harm to the student.

Staff members play a crucial role in our school community. If they become aware of a situation that may constitute a violation of the law or this Policy, they must immediately notify the administration or the person in charge of human relations for SSA. This obligation is in addition to the statutory responsibility to report suspected abuse and neglect under the law as implemented by Policy JLF, “Child Abuse Neglect and Reporting,” or its equivalent.

Students and their parents/guardians are strongly encouraged to notify the administration or the person in charge of human relations for SSA if they believe a staff member may be engaging in conduct that violates the appropriate boundaries as specified in this Policy, puts a student at risk, or may violate the law.

Anonymous complaints involving inappropriate boundary invasions by staff members with students will be investigated as if a student, parent, or staff member reported the violation.

Allegations of inappropriate conduct shall be promptly investigated following the procedures utilized for harassment complaints.

It is understood that some reports made under this Policy will be based on rumors or misunderstandings; the fact that the reported staff member is cleared of any wrongdoing shall not result in disciplinary action against the reporter or witnesses. If, as the result of an investigation, any individual, including the reported staff member, the reporter, or a witness, is found to have intentionally provided false information in making the report or during the investigation or hearings related to the report, or if any individual deliberately obstructs the investigation or hearings, this may be addressed as a violation of this Policy and other applicable laws, regulations and Stage and Screen Academy policies. Obstruction includes but is not limited to violation of “no contact” orders given to the reported staff member, attempting to alter or influence witness testimony by threat or intimidation, and destruction of or hiding evidence. Intimidation of a witness violates the NM Criminal Code and must be reported to appropriate law enforcement authorities immediately upon discovery.

Employees who violate the policies and procedures in this manual may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment. The type of disciplinary action taken will depend on the severity of the violation.

It is prohibited to retaliate against students or staff members who report an improper staff/student relationship or participate in related proceedings. 

Appropriate action will be taken against students or staff members who retaliate against any student or staff member who reports alleged harassment or participates in related proceedings.

Before becoming an SSA employee, a comprehensive background check consisting of prior employment verification, professional reference checks, education verification, licensure and certification confirmation, and a criminal background check is conducted per applicable laws. A driving records check will also be completed if appropriate to the employee’s position.

Employees are required to undergo a background check every two years. Individual employees are responsible for any associated fees. Background check information shall not be disclosed to unauthorized personnel or individuals.

For more information or any questions regarding background check requirements and procedures, contact the administration or the person in charge of human relations for SSA. They can provide the necessary details.

We aLSO teach classes in Santa Fe!

Conveniently located for those of you who reside in Los Alamos, Espanola, Rio Rancho, Bernalillo, and of course Santa Fe