About Us 2018-03-09T22:50:25+00:00

About BG Onstage

BG OnStage is committed to encouraging the artistic and personal development of local actors through drama and music with live performances that expand the hearts and minds of our community. We offer our actors enriching hands-on opportunities to perfect their acting and music skills while promoting the love of theater arts.


In 2009, Flora Templeton Stuart founded the Art Education Task Force (AETF, Inc.) for ages 6 through adult from all backgrounds to explore the depths of their creativity and experience the thrill of live performances. Since its inception, BG OnStage has become one of the region’s premier educational arts organizations providing school day performances for thousands of children and young adults ranging in age from 6 to 18. In 2016, the theater presented its first summer musical, Sweeney Todd, which expanded opportunities for actors ages 14 to adult and offered the community a unique musical theater experience. The summer musical series continues in 2017 with Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. In 2017, BG OnStage added its Gaslight Theatre Series – plays that target teens through adults and feature poignant, relevant issues. Our staff consists of local, professional educators and working artists. This gives our performers better chances for professional casting, while being mentored by some of the best in the region. BG OnStage is committed to the community. We donate free tickets to performances for underserved groups or schools; we offer needs-based scholarships for play participants, and we provide volunteer opportunities for the community.

BG OnStage provides extensive resources and programs year-round for local actors ages 6 through adult. Director Elise Charny holds a BA from Marymount (NYC)Gaslight-TheaterV3 in Theater and a Masters from Emerson (Boston) in Theater Education. Elise attends workshops in New York City each summer.

  • Private lessons: BG OnStage offers superb private lessons with credentialed instructors in acting, voice and audition prep at affordable prices to offer opportunities for talented youth and adults to develop and enhance their skills.
  • Van Meter productions: BG OnStage offers musical and dramatic theater productions featuring local actors ages 6 to 18 throughout the year. The school day performances are attended by schools around the region at WKU’s Van Meter Theatre. Our school day performances culminate with public, evening performances, giving our talented local actors the experiences of performing in front of diverse audiences. BG OnStage is the resident community theater at Van Meter.
  • Gaslight Theater productions: BG OnStage’s Gaslight Theatre Series offers actors ages 14 to adult an enriching theater experience in a smaller setting at our Gaslight Theater. These plays feature poignant, thought-provoking subjects. Community actors also enjoy performing on our Cabaret Nights.
  • Summer musicals: BG OnStage’s summer musicals expand opportunities for actors ages 14 to adult, with a large musical theater production at Van Meter.
  • Classes, workshops & camps: At our classes and workshops, participants develop their skills, receiving one-on-one quality instruction in a group setting with our directors and staff. Our summer camps give children a fun-filled educational theater experience.

The Art Education Task Force, Inc. is a Kentucky public charity recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) under Internal Revenue Code § 170. AETF, Inc. dba BG OnStage is a 501(c)(3) organization incorporated in the Commonwealth of Kentucky as a not for profit.

Local Actors Mentored by Professional Instructors With Top Credentials in Acting and Music!

Elise Charny – Artistic and Education Director, MA, Theatre Education, Emerson, Boston, BA, Theatre, Marymount, NYC 

Maddie Hughes – Director of Music, BA, Music, Western Kentucky University