Plan Ahead for Summer Camps: Theater Camps

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Text Summer camp written with chalk on chalkboard, and some chalk sticks of different colors

Summer is fast approaching, and theater camps are an excellent way for kids to put their energy into something social and creative. Living in the Twin Cities gives families access to a wide variety of camp options for kids. 

Camps offer a wide range of theater aspects, including acting, sets, lights, costumes, etc. so kids with almost any interest can participate. 

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Little boy involved in performance children's theatre Studio in the role of the American Indian. Child perform kids playing Injuns on stage in theater.

Why Theater Camps?

Performing arts camps give kids an opportunity to learn and practice life skills that they might not get from other places. At these camps, kids will build their:

  • Self Confidence
  • Empathy
  • Compassion
  • Social Awareness
  • Cooperation
  • Trust
  • Flexibility
  • Adaptation
  • Creativity

Most importantly, these camps are meant to be fun, and that is what summer should be about for kids.

Check here for some tips on taking your kids to the Hennepin Theatre.

Where to Find Theatre Camps?

Though far from a comprehensive list of camps available, here are some ideas to get you started in your search. No two organizations have the same program, so kids can attend more than one and learn different things at each while meeting new people. The camps below are for kids at any level of theater experience. 

Community Education 

Community Education is a great resource to find theater camps. They are usually run at your local schools and are priced a bit lower than the camps held at performing art spaces. 

Local Parks and Recreation

Many local parks and recreation programs exist that offer theater camps during the summer. Kids can attend camps with other kids from the neighborhood. 

Little boy involved in performance children's theatre Studio . Child perform kids playing greek heroes on stage in theater.

Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis

The Guthrie offers week-long, full-day camps and intensives for students entering grades 3-12. They are run throughout the summer. Scholarships are available to those who qualify. 

Minnesota Dance Theater, Minneapolis

The Minnesota Dance Theater offers classes for kids ages four and up. Though the focus is on dance, there is a component of theatrical performance added to the classes.

Youth Performance Company, St. Paul

The Youth Performance Company offers classes for kids who are in Kindergarten through 12th grade. Sessions for young kids are half days, and older kids are full days. Each session runs one week. 

Twin Cities Theater Camp, St. Paul

Twin Cities Theater Camp offers a five-week intensive camp for kids ages 7 – 15. At the end of the intensive, the participants will put on a full musical. The intensive areas of focus are on acting, dance, music, technical, and art. 

Chanhassen Dinner Theater, Chanhassen

Chanhassen Dinner Theater has a musical theater camp for kids ages 5-18. Younger kids have half-day sessions, and older kids can take full-day sessions. There are week-long sessions throughout the summer for all age groups. 

Morningside Theater Camp, Edina

From the basement of the Edina Morningside UCC, the Morningside Theater Camp offers musical theater camps for kids in grades K-12. Younger kids have a one week camp and the weeks increase for the older kids. Each session ends with a performance. 

Stages Theater Company, Hopkins

Stages Theater Company offers camps and classes for kids ages 4-17. They offer more than 40 opportunities for kids to participate in. Morning, afternoon, and all-day sessions are available. 

Stepping Stone Theater, St. Paul

Stepping Stone Theater offers summer programs for kids ages 3-18. Each camp is one week long, and are offered throughout the summer. 

Children’s Theatre Company 

Children’s Theatre Company offers week-long, half-day camps for kids ages 4-18. The half-day sessions are in the morning and afternoon, so sessions can be put together to make a full day. In addition to their camps, they offer extended care for kids, giving parents a bit more flexibility with schedules. 

Child actor dressed as king with crown brandishes sword as assistant helps him

YMCA Camp Ihduhapi

At YMCA Camp Ihduhapi, students will attend an overnight camp that includes a performing arts component along with other camp components. 

Hennepin County Libraries

The Hennepin County library system offers workshops in Theater and Performing Arts that are not the same time commitment as a traditional summer program. That might be of interest to kids who still want to participate in theater activities but have limited time.

How to Make it Happen

Waitlists are something that you come across. Do not hesitate to get on the waitlist of a program you are interested in if it is already full. Things come up between late winter and summer that cause families to change plans and create openings in waitlisted programs. 

Scholarships may be available for most of the camps. Calling the organization that is running the camp to ask is the best way to find out your options. 

There are alternatives to traditional camps for kids who want to participate in something performing arts-related but don’t find the right fit. These can be done with friends, neighbors, or siblings. 

Reader’s Theater

The internet is full of resources for Reader’s Theater scripts for all ages. They are short scripts that are for 1-10 people. Kids can collaborate with other kids and create their own production of the script in a few hours. It is a great way to use imagination and cooperation to perform something entertaining. 

Cheerful group of child actors stand together and smile at the camera

Neighborhood Theater Camp

This is something gaining popularity, and there are a lot of options to make this work. One house hosts the neighborhood kids for a week in which the kids work to put on a performance using a script for a play (many are available at bookstores), and they create props with household items and materials they can get their hands on. When the week is over, they put on a show for the entire neighborhood. 

Summer is a great time for kids to step away from screens and get involved in performing arts. They may be doing it to learn new skills, build on the skills they have, or just to do something fun. There are many places this can be done here in the Twin Cities.  Join today!

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