DMV-area organizations plan for a virtual summer camp experience

Many summer camps are moving to a virtual platform during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As the end dates for social-distancing recommendations keep being pushed further toward the end of the year, many DC, Maryland, and Virginia arts organizations are committing to an effort to connect online. Most schools have already cancelled in-person classes for the rest of the year, and colleges are already considering staying closed in the fall, so any organizations that usually offer a summer camp may have to make their offering online.

Some organizations are already registering students for their newly reimagined summer camps. This list was created on May 20, 2020, and will be updated as information is received. The last update was made at 7 PM on July 6.

Photo courtesy of Adventure Theatre MTC.

The Academy is excited to announce digital summer camps specifically created for an online and screen-based mediums, with a live teaching artist to guide your child step-by-step through the process. Each camp is tailored to the age served, through time commitments, goals, and subject material of the class. Any student currently registered for an in-person camp can exchange their registration to an online offering. Grades K through 12 – check website for details and pricing.

ASC Theatre Camp photo by Lindsey Walters.

ASC has designed a dynamic, coast-to-coast daily schedule for their #SHXCamp. In addition to working with Shakespeare’s text within a particular play, #SHXCampers will be able to customize their camp experience by enrolling in different elective classes taught by #SHXCamp staff and develop a personal portfolio. And, just as at in-person ASC Theatre Camp, campers can earn college credit from Mary Baldwin University, hang out with other campers in virtual lounges during downtime, and join their friends for beloved camp life activities in the evenings and on weekends. #SHXCamp will take place July 12 – August 3, 2020. The high-school age campers will collaborate with each other and with camp staff synchronously and asynchronously via the video-conferencing platform Zoom and the communication platform Slack. #SHXCamp staff come from a diverse background of arts careers, including professional directors, actors, scholars, and educators. All virtual camp attendees will receive a SHXBox “Starter Kit” containing a camp shirt along with the materials needed for all-camp activities. The SHXBox is designed to spark campers’ imaginations and inspire them to get individually creative from a collective starting place. Applications for #SHXCamp are now open. Application details can be found on the ASC website. Financial aid is available for qualifying campers. Apply by June 20 to receive your SHXBox Starter Kit on time.

Virtual Camp Arena Stage will provide young people ages 8–15 with the opportunity to explore, discover, and create art while building long-lasting, meaningful relationships. This online format allows campers in the Washington Metro area and around the country to participate in this engaging summer experience. Virtual camps are half days—morning or afternoon—and run Monday through Friday for two weeks. Call 202-488-3300 for more information, or you can see all the info on the Virtual Camp Arena Stage website.

AOTH is offering 2020 Summer Camps online. They have been adjusted from a half-day experience in favor of limiting screen time, while including the same fully interactive, immersive, and caring foundation. Summer camps will range from 45-60 minutes, and will offer a time for interaction with teachers and each other on a secure password protected platform. Each camp will come with its own supply kit, so your child will have an interactive and enriching experience. There are also supplemental non-screen activities that can be completed at family discretion each week. More info is available on the Arts on the Horizon site.

Charm City Comedy is offering virtual summer camps in two sessions through the Enoch Pratt Free Library. Do your teens love to laugh, and make others laugh? Everyone has the ability to create rich, honest comedy by listening, reacting, and being natural in the moment. Scene work is the heart of comedy, and how people engage and interact with one another is key. All you need to bring to this class is the ability to spontaneously be yourself, and the openness to trust your group. Teens will play games, build leadership skills, and learn to craft hilarious scenes with satisfying relationships, wonderful characters, and dramatic arcs. This class is a perfect starting point for anyone wanting to get into acting, motivational speaking, politics, stand-up, improv, or sketch comedy! Week One Cohort: June 29th-July 2nd – Week Two Cohort: July 6th-July 9th. You can find more information and sign up on the Enoch Pratt website.

CityDance School & Conservatory and CityDance POP! are providing virtual summer camps for children ages 3-16. Online Summer Dance Camps are half-day and week-long from June 15-July 24. Dancers take classes in ballet, modern, jazz, hip hop and world dance forms and learn challenging choreography in multiple styles. Learn more about CityDance Summer Camps on their site.

CityDance School & Conservatory has transitioned its Summer Intensives in partnership with Dance Theatre of Harlem, Koresh Dance, and International Artists online. CityDance Online Summer Intensives run from June 15-July 31. Intensives are ideal for intermediate and advanced dancers, ages 8-20, interested in a challenging exploration of classical and contemporary training with daily classes in ballet, pointe, modern, contemporary, jazz and African. Learn more about the CityDance Summer Intensives on their site.

CityDance DREAM School for Dance, a tuition-free scholarship training program for talented youth living in the District’s most underserved neighborhoods, will transfer their Summer Intensives online. Learn more about the CityDance DREAM School for Dance on their site.
To learn more about CityDance’s online summer programming, contact Megan Piluk, CityDance Senior Manager of External Relations, at [email protected].

The Educational Theatre Company (ETC), a theatre education non-profit based in Arlington, is offering online summer camps for all ages. On Saturday May 30 at 10 AM, they will host a zoom open house where kids can meet the camp directors, ask questions, and get a clear understanding of what camp will be like. The schedule is below. Log on with your kids, introduce them to the camp director for their grade (PreK – 12), and see other kids that might join, too. RSVP on the ETC website to join the Zoom.

10:00am – 10:20am – ETC Beginnings for Preschoolers
10:20am – 10:40am – Creative Drama for K-2nd
10:40am – 11:00am – Acting Out Youth and Teen – All Sessions
11:00am – 11:20am – Musical Debut, Musical Revue, Young Songwriters
11:20am – 11:40am – All Film Camps – Intro to Film, Camp Comedy, Shake the Screen, That’s a Wrap
11:40am – 12:00pm – Twelfth Night: A Shakespeare Camp Youth and Teen Sessions, Page to Stage

The George Mason Community Arts Academy and Acting For Young People is offering Summer Acting Programs online for children ages 5-18. Programs are in a half-day format and they welcome students with all different levels of acting experience. Within these programs, students will work with theater and film industry working professionals who will lead students through a variety of acting and improvisational exercises to build fundamental theater and life skills. Upcoming programming includes:
· Weekly Acting Camps (through July 24)
· Advanced Actors Showcase: The Hamlet Murders (July 13-17)
· Advanced Actors Showcase: Dungeons, Dragons & Beyond (July 13-17)
· Musical Theater Repertoire Workshop (July 14-16)
· Acting for the Camera Workshop (July 13-17 & July 20-24)
· Musical Theater Bootcamp (July 27-31)

In addition to acting programs, the Academy offers music, visual art, and adult online programs throughout the summer. For program details, visit their website.

Imagination Stage’s summer programs, which start June 8 online, are available now for registration. There are mini-camps and short classes for all ages and attention spans, K-12, and cover everything from hip-hop dance to fundamentals of filmmaking to staged readings.

Keegan has just opened up registration for their half and whole-day virtual summer camps, which will let kids explore storytelling, design, movement, music, games, and more. Keegan’s camps start on June 1.

MET’s FUNCamp offerings have been re-imagined for a digital platform. Space is limited to ensure every camper can be given the attention they need to succeed. More info is available on the MET site.

Maryland Opera is sponsoring an Opera Camp this summer for 25 vocally talented Maryland High School students in grades 9 through 12. This program will be by video audition only and completely free of charge to those selected. Potential campers should have vocal aptitude, an interest in opera, movement and theatre. This program is highly successful in promoting students’ awareness of opera and the vocal and theatrical arts. More details and an application can be found on the MO website.

Daily sessions will take place Monday through Friday from 9am to 3pm with a one-hour lunch break. All classes and activities will be held remotely. Campers will receive daily classes in movement/dance, acting/improvisation, and chorus/vocal techniques, in addition to twice weekly yoga sessions. Visiting artists and professionals will give classes on all aspects of opera and singing. Campers will write, produce, and virtually perform in their own opera, which will more than likely be a series of small ensembles with a unifying theme. Instead of a final performance, a video will be prepared and curated that will feature arias and ensembles, choral and dance selections, and the final opera to be written. Please contact Jim Harp, Program Founder and Director, at [email protected] or 410-591-2853 for more information.

For the summer of 2020, theatre camps will be held virtually. Round House Theatre Teaching Artists will lead students through LIVE activities in acting, movement, design, and playmaking. Camps will happen in small virtual groups, allowing your student to enjoy interacting closely with their teaching artists and fellow young artists. They will ship art supplies, templates for crafts, and activity sheets directly, and welcome family into a session each week to share experiences and creations. Each day students attend multiple sessions and never visit the same place twice! Sessions for grades K-3, 6-8 and 9-12 – check website for pricing and details.

Camp photo courtesy of Round House Theatre.

Virtual Camp Shakespeare allows for budding Bards and young thespians from all over the United States to partake in a Shakespeare-focused theatre camp with dedicated and inspiring STC’s Teaching Artists. Virtual Camp Shakespeare offers creative and social outlets through classes reimagined for an online format, with smaller rehearsal groups, one-on-one coaching, virtual lunchrooms, and more. All tuitions have been reduced by 35-50% and scholarships are still available at all age ranges. Each virtual session will be led by two STC Teaching Artists and a college intern currently studying theatre. Camp days include a variety of both instruction and physical activity, and class sizes are small to maximize engagement. Every camper receives a 15-minute one-on-one coaching session with an STC Teaching Artist. More information is available on the STC website.

Synetic Theater’s Summer Camps are going virtual, and they will send each family who is enrolled a personal “Camp in a Box” specifically designed for that session which will contain everything campers need to have a successful camp experience. This includes art supplies, props, activity sheets, scripts, and anything else required for campers that week. Plus there’s a relaxed schedule with age-appropriate Screen-Time for each group. Grades K-5 & 6-8 – check website for pricing and details.

Join The Theatre Lab for fun, collaborative, nurturing, and highly personalized online summer drama camps for kids entering grades 1-8. Choose from one to four hours of programming per day, and select the modules based on your child’s age and interests — from musical theatre for middle schoolers, to stage combat, clowning, acting, improv, dance, Shakespeare, and more. Camps are taught by The Theatre Lab’s faculty of highly skilled teaching artists with small class sizes and plenty of movement. Virtual Drama Camps run from June 22-August 28, 10-3. You may choose the modules that fit your schedule. All modules require live participation and require the use of Zoom. If technology needs are an obstacle, please contact us and we’ll work to provide technology devices and solutions to fit your child’s needs. You can also sponsor a child’s camp experience if you are financially able. More details available on The Theatre Lab website.

Summer is here and WIT is heating up its class offerings by launching new virtual summer programs for children, families and teens! Taught by experienced improviser (and parent!) Samatha Watson, these classes will introduce the “fun”-damentals of improv while engaging the imagination and building the valuable life skills of communication and connection. You can find all the details on the WIT website. Have more than one child interested in improv? Sibling discounts are available.

YAA will hold Virtual Summer Performing Arts Intensives, an online version of their award-winning summer musical theater program. The summer intensive will be two different programs, a half-day model for both middle school and high school students, respectively, and a full-day model for high school students and rising college freshmen. Students can sign up for one or both sessions, the first running from June 26 to July 10, and the second from July 11 to July 24. Students will have the opportunity to study acting, dance, and voice in private and small group sessions with top faculty and teaching artists from the region while experiencing a learning environment focused on artistry, excellence, mentorship, and community. You can find more information on the YAA Summer Camp site.



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