EncoreSTL is a collective of performance artists and creatives located here in Dutchtown at Thomas Dunn Learning Center. They produce live theater performances as well as digital media with a mission to impact and transform communities.

This summer, EncoreSTL is introducing their Encore4Youth Leadership Program, a paid opportunity for young people ages 16 to 24 to gain experience in the performing arts, digital production, and other vocational areas. EncoreSTL provides training and mentorship to participants, in addition to a $1,200 stipend. Read more about the program and learn how to participate below.

Who Is EncoreSTL?

EncoreSTL is a digital media and live production company based on the South Side of St. Louis. Their mission is to create high-quality productions while making the arts accessible to everyone who wants to experience them. Through culturally relevant theater productions and youth programs, EncoreSTL is dedicated to enriching the lives of members, patrons, and the St. Louis community, “because everyone deserves an Encore.” EncoreSTL’s activities mainly focus around its theater and youth programs, run under the names Encore! Theater Group and Encore4Youth, respectively.

Encore4Youth Leadership Program.


Effrem Grettenberger, founder and CEO of EncoreSTL, crafted Encore4Youth to be an innovative and engaging youth program. Having come from a rough background himself, Grettenberger found stability and structure in the arts and theater. From that experience, he saw the need for genuine and enriching youth programs.

Encore4Youth Leadership Program participants.

Grettenberger and Encore4Youth want to teach kids “how to act”—both literally and through soft skills. Encore4Youth supports kids’ passions, teaches a variety of skills, and provides mentorship in addition to pay.

The EncoreSTL team works to meet participants at their strengths and interests. While EncoreSTL primarily focuses on theatrical productions, they can also help kids interested in, for example, producing their own music. EncoreSTL provides resources, equipment, and mentorship to help realize the visions of Encore4Youth’s participants.

Encore4Youth Leadership Program participants at Busch Stadium.

Encore4Youth Leadership is a year-round program with opportunities varying depending on the season. Youth will participate in stage crew activities throughout the year, and the leadership program also includes immersive drama therapy in the summer. For more information on how to participate, email info@encorestl.org.

This summer, Encore4Youth has teamed up with STL Youth Jobs to provide paid employment to several participants. The young employees assist with staging shows and providing administrative support, in addition to participating in the immersive drama therapy program which will culminate in a final artistic presentation led by the youth later this summer.

Upcoming EncoreSTL Programs and Performances 

Encore Theater Group Murder Mystery Dinner Theater

Encore! Theater Group and Chakq Nation bring dinner theater to Cherokee Street! Join Encore on July 22nd for a murder mystery at Empire Hall, 3407 California at Cherokee. Call 314-814-6808 or click here to reserve your table and dinner for four. Additional shows with different themes take place on August 5th and August 19th.

In September, Encore! Theater Group performs Fade by Tanya Saracho. Fade is the story of writer Lucia and janitor Abel, and approaches issues of class and race within the Latinx community and the world at large. EncoreSTL is currently casting roles and seeking a director for Fade. If you’re interested in performing or participating in the production, contact info@encorestl.org. Performances will be on September 17th–19th and September 24th–26th.

Stay up to date with EncoreSTL’s performances and programs by visiting the EncoreSTL website or following them on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. You can also find upcoming programs here on the Dutchtown Calendar.