Theater camps and classes to keep your kids active this summer

Now's the time to pick and choose for them a creativity experience.

  1. 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!)
Young Artists of America 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.

BlackRock Center for the Arts (Germantown, MD)
Performing Arts Camp, grades 3-8
Our professional, artistic staff will guide campers through this joyful musical theater program. Campers will be grouped by age and are cast in an original show where they will learn stage directions, character development, choreography, music, set design and art. Each 2-week session explores a different theme. On the last day, campers will perform their production on our Main Stage for family and friends.

Broadway at BlackRock, grades 9-12
Our professional artistic staff will guide your teen through a full-length musical process from casting to the final performance in this intensive Musical Theater program. The rehearsal process will include choreography, blocking, script and song rehearsals, and backstage design projects to get the performance up on its feet for a live audience. Casting is at the sole discretion of the director and no refunds will be provided after casting.

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.

Levine School of Music (Bethesda, MD, DC, Falls Church, VA)
Camp Levine will offer a three-week summer camp at four different locations this summer. Celebrate summer with music, dance, stories, art, and more! Camp Levine provides an engaging, fun-filled artistic experience for children of all musical backgrounds and levels of ability! Camps, classes, and private lessons are available for students of all ages.

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 Education@RoundHouseTheatre.org 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 mshego@verizon.net. 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.

Studio Acting Conservatory
Young Actors Program Summer Intensive! Classes meet daily for three weeks. Specialized morning classes focus on ensemble work through movement, voice, and musical theatre training. Afternoon classes focus on acting technique through monologues and scene study from both contemporary and classical literature. The program culminates in a public showing of their work. Two sessions run June 28 – July 16 and July 19 – August 6.

The Theatre Lab School for the Dramatic Arts
The Theatre Lab’s summer camps are fun, creative, and high-energy programs that allow young actors to fully engage their imaginations and experience the thrill of live theatre. Novices and experienced young actors alike will learn to harness their creativity and build their confidence all while having a great time in a safe and fun environment. Sessions take place from June-August for 1st-8th graders. Teens ages 13-19 may audition for placement in Summer Institutes for Acting, Musical Theatre, and Performance.

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.

Creative Cauldron (Falls Church, VA)
Creative Cauldron’s Spring Summer Camps incorporate drama, music, movement, and visual art following a designated theme. Campers work with professional teaching artists with extensive experience in their fields and explore folklore, myth, and art associated with each theme. Each camp session culminates with a final performance and an art show of the camper’s work. Grades K-8, with aftercare optional.

Educational Theatre Company (Arlington, VA)
From in-person half-day camps for preschoolers to multi-week teen and high school intensives, ETC has a camp for everyone! Campers work with professional teaching artists to develop theatre skills while working with their peers to make their own creations on stage and on film all within CDC-approved guidelines. ETC follows CDC, state, and local health guidelines and will continue to adjust programming as needed. For camp locations, descriptions, and in-person guidelines, please visit our website.

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.

New York’s The LM Project (Reston, VA)
Taught by a team of NYC professionals, the LMproject Summer Programs are what you need to become the best performer you can be, no matter if you are brand new or a performing veteran! Our staff of seasoned performers travel from NYC to the DC area to teach Broadway performance basics, advanced techniques, and bring all the inside scoop on what it’s like to be on Broadway! The Broadway Beginners program (Ages 9-13) will be held on July 11-15 at Capital One Hall, Tysons Corner, VA. The Broadway Bound program (Ages 13-18) is an elite audition-only intensive and will be held July 18-29 at Reston Community Players’ Rehearsal Hall, Herndon, VA. Broadway Bound auditions will be held May 7-8.

Mount Vernon Community Children’s Theatre
Children will build self-confidence, teamwork skills, focus, imagination, and much more in these creative play-centered camps. Camps are taught by professional performers and teaching artists. Four sessions run as follows: Session 1 – June 20 – July 1: Marvel(ous) Adventures, Session 2 – July 18 – 29: Retro Days, Session 3 – August 1 – 12: Broadway Bound, Session 4 – August 15 – 19: Mash-up Mania. Half and full-day options are available. For students in 1st through 8th grade.

Reston Community Players’ Apprentice Program, Newsies (Reston, VA)
RCP’s Apprentice Program is a unique program that combines RCP’s high-quality theatrical productions with a focus on student education that seeks to engage local youth in community theatre and provide them with hands-on experience and training in all aspects of mounting a mainstage musical theatre production. RCP engages participants as either Performance or Technical Apprentices and is open to students in grades 7-12 (2021-22 school year) including graduating Seniors. This summer the Apprentice Program will be producing Disney’s Newsies The Musical. Auditions will be held on May 7-8 and performances will be held July 8-17, 2022 at the brand new Capital One Hall in Tysons Corner. More information including audition and application forms can be found on our website.

Riverside Center for the Performing Arts (Fredericksburg, VA)
Riverside Theatre and its non-profit sister organization, The Riverside Foundation for the Performing Arts, are partnering together to host summer camp this year! It is a 2-week day camp where students will work on putting together a full-scale production. Campers of all ages will receive training from seasoned professionals and get to perform in Wehman Theatre. The two weeks of camp will culminate in the production of our show, Aladdin Jr. A light breakfast and hot lunch will be provided daily. We also offer tuition sponsorship for students who are economically disadvantaged. The camp accepts students aged 7-18 and runs from June 13th – 24th, Monday – Friday, 9 am-2 pm

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!

Traveling Players (Leesburg and Tysons, VA)
Great theater in the great outdoors! Traveling Players offers a three-week sleep-away camp for students in grades 6-12 in Leesburg, VA. Auditions are required. Students in grades 4-6 can attend a day camp in Tysons Mall. Traveling Players Ensemble is a nonprofit educational theatre company in the Washington, DC area, dedicated to bringing great theatre into the great outdoors through an innovative summer camp and year-round acting classes and workshops.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here