Theater camps and classes to keep your kids active this summer

Theater camps and classes to keep your kids active this summer

It may feel wrong to be thinking about summer camps already, but experienced parents know that February is the make-or-break month to get your kids into their summer camp of choice. DMV residents are nothing if not practical planners, and by March, many great camps are full! To save all you drama mamas and papas some time, DCMTA has compiled a list of theater summer camps and classes available to young thespians in a 30-mile radius of Washington, DC. (Let us know if we missed any!)

Theater camps and classes to keep your kids active this summer
Young Artists of American summer camp students. Photo courtesy of Young Artists of America.

MARYLAND

Adventure Theatre MTC (Glen Echo Park, MD)
Summer musical theater camp, grades 1-6
In these two-week, in-person elementary camps, students can experience musical theater in a fun, full-day camp that culminates in a performance of a musical for family and friends!

Summer musical theater training program, grades 6-12
This three-week, in-person secondary training program is committed to the development of the next generation of performers by providing focused instruction in an immersive musical theater environment.

Online summer camps
ATMTC Academy is excited to continue digital summer camps for Grades 1–12! These camps are specifically created for an online and screen-based medium with a live teaching artist to guide your child step-by-step through the process.

Camp Joe’s at Joe’s Movement Emporium (Mount Ranier, MD)
Camp Joes (Summer Arts Learning) provides youth ages 5-12 with exposure to the arts. Joe’s offers weekly sessions for elementary school-aged children to explore world arts traditions through performing and visual arts disciplines. Over the course of the summer, students will spend 2 to 4 hours in motion each day and socially distanced. Children experience dance, step, vocals, drama, percussion, creative movement play, jump rope, hooping, and so much more!

Imagination Stage (Bethesda and Rockville, MD)
Kids ages 3.5-18 can join Imagination Stage’s summer camps in acting, musical theater, performance, dance, and filmmaking. We offer camps at three different convenient locations (Imagination Stage in Bethesda, MD, Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School in Rockville, MD, and American University in Washington, DC). Pick your favorite or mix and match each week to create a memorable summer experience that fits your schedule! Students can participate in camps ranging from “Kids in Space” and “Dance: Disney’s Descendants” to “Stage Combat” and “Filmmaking.” Financial aid and before- and after-care is available.

Olney Theatre Center (Olney, MD)
Olney Theatre Center Summer Stock is a one-of-a-kind theater arts program for students in grades 4-6 (rising). Students will work with OTC theater artists daily, taking classes in Acting & Improvisation, Voice & Singing, Dance & Movement, and Scene Creation. At the end of the two-week session, students will live-stream a final performance of their music, dance, and writing pieces to be shared with their parents upon completion of the camp. Session one: July 5-15, 2022. Session two: July 18-29, 2022.

Olney Theatre Center Musical Theatre Intensive is for students in grades 7-9 (rising). Working with Olney’s best musical theater performers and teachers, Musical Theatre Intensive students will hone their individual singing, dancing, and acting skills while crafting a unique musical theater review that showcases their growth and skills. At the end of the two-week session, students will record a final performance of their music, dance, and writing pieces to be shared with their parents upon completion of the camp. Education staff will edit the video and provide a private link for participants’ families. Season dates: August 1-12, 2022.

Ovations Theatre (Rockville, MD)
Ovations Theatre’s newest programming is Ovations Summer Stock. Starting in early summer, students in grades 8-12 will be able to work alongside current Musical Theatre College Students as well as up-and-coming artists in the DMV for a summer of workshops, productions, and a whole lot of fun! Auditions for Ovations’ summer stock productions will begin in March 2022 for the July 2022 show and in May 2022 for the August 2022 show. Rehearsals begin in June 2022 with a few occasional rehearsals or photoshoots scheduled prior based on the cast’s availability. Rehearsals will take place Monday to Friday evenings 6:30-9:30 and some weekend afternoons. Each production will typically have a 3-week rehearsal process with two weekends of performances. A full rehearsal schedule will be provided no less than two weeks prior to the start of rehearsals.

Round House Theatre (Bethesda, MD)
Round House’s teaching artists nurture students’ individual talents in an environment of creative collaboration and ensemble building. Students in our summer programs not only have a great time and build connections with fellow artists; they also gain confidence and the ability to access their imaginations and articulate their ideas. From the five-year-old learning to imagine, plan, and create their costume to the fifth-grader devising a scene with their partner, or the teen editing a scene for their film, students of all ages and backgrounds can experience the joy of creating and sharing theater in programs that inspire creativity, exercise imaginations, and promote artistic risk-taking. Students of all ages will leave each action-filled day excited to return for more learning! Round House Theatre Education will continue to follow best practices based upon the guidance of the Maryland Department of Health, the CDC, and the American Camp Association. All campers 5 and above will be required to have up-to-date covid vaccinations in order to attend camp. Questions? Email [email protected] or call 301.585.1225.

The Free Theatre (Rockville, MD)
The Free Theatre, a tuition-free, student-led, teen theater company in Rockville, MD, will be offering FREE Musical Theatre Intensive workshops and classes for high schoolers this summer! Our focus is on training students who are interested in creative and production leadership including Directing, Choreography, Music Directing, Stage and Production Management, Lighting, Sound and Scenic Design, as well as Acting and Auditioning skills. An emphasis will be put on the application of skills, and collaboration across disciplines, and will be taught by professionals working in these specific fields. Dates, times, and details will be announced by March 31. To get onto our mailing list or ask questions, email [email protected]. You can also follow us on Instagram (@thefreetheatre) and Facebook (The Free Theatre) or check out our website at thefreetheatre.org.

The Gaithersburg Arts Barn (Gaithersburg, MD)
The Gaithersburg Arts Barn is offering an exciting array of weekly theater camps for young performers ages 5 – 15. Students attend a full day of camp and perform the show in front of an audience on the final day of the session:
June 27 – July 1: Young Playwrights for ages 8 – 14
July 11 – July 15: Improv Ensemble for ages 11 – 15
July 18 – July 22: Scene-Stealers for ages 8 – 14
July 25 – July 29: Magical, Musical Mary Poppins for ages 8 – 14
August 1 – August 5: Musical Disney for ages 8 – 12
August 8 – August 12: Broadway Boot Camp for ages 12 – 15  and Musical Disney Jr., a half-day camp for ages 5 – 7

Young Artists of America’s Summer Performing Arts Intensives (three locations)
Named one of the Best Summer Camps by Washington City Paper Reader’s Poll again and again, YAA’s Summer Performing Arts Intensives (SPAI) offer a rigorous and inspirational environment for elementary school, middle school, high school, and college students interested in growing their musical theater or instrumental music skills from the region’s top-performing arts faculty! Now with three campuses throughout Maryland offering daytime and overnight options. Learn more and save with early bird pricing until March 1.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

Arena Stage
Join us this summer at Camp Arena Stage — where community and art make magic. It’s a place to explore, discover, and create, with a myriad of arts activities to choose from. Campers, ages 8 to 16, learn by doing — expanding their creativity in theater, dance, music, visual art, filmmaking, writing, and more through the encouragement and guidance of professional artists and educators.

GALA Hispanic Theatre, Paso Nuevo Youth Program
The Paso Nuevo Youth Program is GALA Theatre’s FREE, year-round program offered to students between the ages of 14 and 19 that involves the teaching of all aspects of the theatrical process, from conception to technical direction and marketing. This bilingual, inclusive theater education program provides a safe environment in which youth can explore issues of identity and cultural differences, articulate their values, increase self-esteem, and gain skills that will enhance their academic performance and future career opportunities. Every summer, Paso Nuevo also welcomes participants from the Marion S. Barry Summer Youth Employment Program (MBSYEP), a locally funded initiative that provides DC youth ages 14 to 24 with enriching and constructive summer work experiences through subsidized placements in the private and government sectors. (Paid opportunities and work experience are available by registering through Mayor Marion S. Barry’s Summer Youth Employment Program Application. Participants may earn SSL hours by registering through GALA’s Registration Form.)

Imagination Stage (at American University)
Kids ages 3.5-18 can join Imagination Stage’s summer camps in acting, musical theater, performance, dance, and filmmaking. We offer camps at three different convenient locations (Imagination Stage in Bethesda, MD, Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School in Rockville, MD, and American University in Washington, DC). Pick your favorite or mix and match each week to create a memorable summer experience that fits your schedule! Students can participate in camps ranging from “Kids in Space” and “Dance: Disney’s Descendants” to “Stage Combat” and “Filmmaking.” Financial aid and before- and after-care is available.

Keegan Theatre
Attention, rising first-to-third-graders: Everyone is an actor with Keegan Theatre’s summer camp program. Come PLAY at Keegan this summer! Students build their theater skills through an immersive exploration of design, movement, music, games, and more. Every week is a new adventure so you can join us for one week or many! Camp will follow all DC Camp Guidelines. Camp runs 9:00 am – 5:00 pm Monday-Friday June 27-August 26. Before- and after-care is available.

Shakespeare Theatre Company
Every summer, Shakespeare Theatre Company gives students between the ages of 6 and 18 the chance to dive into the world of one of the most celebrated playwrights in history: William Shakespeare. Camp Shakespeare offers multiple classes for youth (ages 6-11) and teens (ages 12-18) with each two-week session focused on a different play. Returning teens can also audition for a three-week intensive. Camp Shakespeare Teaching Artists create a unique curriculum aimed at optimizing students’ physical, intellectual, and artistic development. All teaching artists are classically trained, professional actors and educators. Camp Shakespeare provides a safe and supportive environment for everyone regardless of ability, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, cultural background, national origin, citizenship, faith, ideology, and income. Together we ensure that everyone feels secure and has the opportunity to build confidence in the power of their own voice, imagination, and artistic ability.

Young Playwrights’ Theater (YPT)
Young Playwrights in Progress (YPIP) is an opportunity for young, early-career playwrights ages 14 – 24 to engage in a script-development and workshop-reading process of original, not-yet-produced one-act or full-length plays with Young Playwrights’ Theater (YPT). The length of engagement in YPIP will be mutually agreed upon by the playwright and YPT and can vary from 6 – 12 months. Each month, playwrights will meet virtually with YPT Artistic Director Farah Lawal Harris for in-depth script advising sessions. Between sessions, playwrights will complete writing assignments and script updates, as well as get virtual assistance from a dramaturg. Additionally, YPT may produce up to five (5) virtual workshop readings of the playwright’s script. Applications are accepted year-round on a rolling basis. There is no fee to register.

VIRGINIA

Arts on the Horizon (Alexandria, VA)
Arts on the Horizon, a theater company whose programs are designed specifically for children ages 0-6, offers weekly creative drama summer camps. Activities utilized in each camp enhance fine and gross motor skills, expand vocabulary, and support social and emotional development. Each weekly session has a different theme that will be explored through music, movement, stories, games, crafts, and more.

George Mason University’s Community Arts Academy (Fairfax, VA)
Celebrating 25 years in 2022, Acting for Young People (AFYP) has provided programs in the Northern Virginia area since 1997. Named one of Northern Virginia Magazine’s Best Summer Camps, a frequent recipient of Washington Family Magazine’s Best Children’s Theatre/Drama Instruction award, and a Washington Parent Magazine’s Parent Pick, our summer programs for ages 5-17 include production showcases and fun, fast-paced camps taught by professional teaching artists. Acting, on-camera, musical theater, improvisation, and more! Weekly sessions with final showcase performances. Presented in conjunction with Mason Community Arts Academy.

Signature Theatre’s Stage One Program (Arlington, VA)
Stage One is a two-week (July 25 – August 5) musical theater workshop for young, aspiring musical theater students with an emphasis on reaching the individuals where they are. Stage One’s emphasis is on personalized, intimate training that helps each individual student reach their level best and helps them overcome their personal weaknesses. Auditions are required for the program and are due by February 15.

Synetic Theater (Arlington, VA)
Movement and magic are what Synetic Theater is dishing up for our 26th year of highly engaging summer camp programming! With 10 different camp options to choose from, geared to elementary through high school, students will work with Synetic’s professional team of teaching artists to create and learn a play written just for them! Synetic offers one-week and two-week camp options to fit any schedule. Students will get to explore new art forms and areas of interest — all while making new friends and staying active. No theater experience is necessary, just a desire to have fun and be creative! Come see why parents are calling us “the best theater program in the DC area”!

The Little Theatre of Alexandria (Alexandria, VA)
Children ages 3 through 8th grade are invited to join us for a memorable summer at our beautiful Old Town theater. Now in its 14th year, LTA is the premier Alexandria location for performing arts summer camps, featuring Acting, Musical Theater, Shakespeare, Improvisation, Playmaking, and a variety of specialty-themed camps. In-person camps are full-day, mornings, or afternoons and include an optional extended day program. We are now also offering an online camp for 9th to 12th graders!