Give your rising star the chance to shine with classes that teach and encourage personal growth through theater and performance. From the tiniest beginner to the seasoned teen, the choices and the theatrical possibilities are endless in Connecticut.
The Newington Children’s Theatre Company
743 North Mountain Rd
Newington, CT 061119
Price: $200 to $1,250/sibling discount available
Hours: half day (5-7) 9 a.m to 12 p.m.; full day (8-15) 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; evenings (15-18) 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
With programs tailored to ages 5 to 18, no aspiring thespian in your household needs to miss out on the fun this summer. Beginning in July, The Newington Children’s Theater Company offers a two-week, half-day session for 5 to 8 year olds, a full-day session for ages 8 to 15, and evening sessions for ages 15 to 18. No audition is required to enroll, and every child will be cast in the production. From basic theater techniques for the little ones to preparing for performing in a musical, each child takes home a new set of theatrical skills and memories that’ll last a lifetime.
Cirillo Summer Theatre
L. P. Wilson Community Center
599 Matianuck Ave.
Windsor, CT 06095
Price: $120 to $130 for Windsor residents/$160 to $170 for non-residents
Hours: junior division (8 to 14) Mon to Fri – 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m; senior division (14 to 24) – 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Sponsored by the Town of Windsor and open to all, this is an opportunity for actors ages 8 to 24 to learn, grow and perform in a musical. Classes are split into two groups according to age and begin in June. The junior division is reserved for ages 8 to 14 and rehearses weekday afternoons from 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. daily for five weeks. The senior division, for ages 14 to 24, rehearses weekday evenings from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. with variations in time according to role and production schedule. Casting is guaranteed for the junior division with a maximum capacity of 40 children. The Senior Division requires an audition and casting is based on performance. With the understanding that not every child’s dream is to be on the stage, children who wish to work backstage as volunteers are encouraged.
Connecticut Family Theatre
20 Jefferson Ave, Suite #1
West Hartford, CT 06110
Price: $40 to $185
Hours: Mon to Fri – 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m
Connecticut Family Theatre offers something for everyone ages 6 to 18. Workshops are different each day of the week and include audition preparation, solo singing, improv acting, puppetry and mask making. Two age-appropriate time slots for each workshop are offered daily. Workshops run all summer and enrollment is available by the day or by the week with discounts offered for multiple workshops. Walk-ins are welcome, but everyone is encouraged to call the day before to ensure availability. This is the best way to maintain a flexible schedule while keeping the kids happily entertained in a positive and creative environment.
Curtain Call, Inc.
1349 Newfield Avenue
Stamford, CT 06905
Price: $725 to $800 Summerstock/$50 Summer Youth Theater
Hours: Summerstock Mon to Fri – 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Summerstock Junior Mon to Fri – 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Summer Youth Theater Mon to Thurs – 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Offering workshops for 6 to 16 year olds, Curtain Call, Inc. is located inside the Sterling Farms Theater Complex. It promotes a comfortable environment where children may learn about acting, improvisation, Shakespeare and musical theater. Summerstock is open to those ages 11 to 16, while Summerstock Junior is for the 6 to 11 crowd. Both offer two-week sessions culminating in a musical production staged for an invited audience. The Summer Youth Theater held in the Kweskin Theater provides an evening program with creative direction for ages 10 to 21 both on the stage and behind the curtain. Starting mid-June and running until the early August production, auditions and crew sign ups for the Summer Youth Theater are held in early June.
Community Music School
90 Main St
Centerbrook, CT 06409
Price: $20 to $285
Hours: vary by activity
If your resident performer is of the musical variety, the Community Music School offers private lessons, ensembles, cabaret singing, theory and performance as well as a rock and roll song writing and recording class. Opportunities are available for all skill levels and are classified by age group. For 5 to 9 year olds, there are two, one-week Broadway beginners programs that end with a performance on the final day. Kindermusik classes are open to children from ages 6 months to 5 years. Class sizes are limited, so early registration is recommended.
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Theodora DeBarbieri is an animal advocate, columnist and local TV show host residing in Connecticut. She is owned by a number of dogs, cats and birds. Find her work at Examiner.com.