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Youth Theatre

The Champaign Park District Youth Theatre program gives young children the opportunity to learn the basics of live theatrical presentation – on the stage of a freshly-restored historic theatre! Through immersion in everything from acting and singing to set-design and prop creation, participating children take away a new appreciation for the arts at the completion of each 7-week course. The program is typically offered 5 times annually: twice a year for youth grades 2 through 4, twice a year for youth grades 5 through 8, and once a summer for youth grades 5 through 8. Each program culminates in a live stage musical presented at the Virginia Theatre over a period of 2-3 days in front of a large and lively audience.

Every child who registers for the program is cast in a part, learns the music, lines and movements involved in bringing the selected play to the stage. They also receive instruction in selecting costumes, understanding stage directions, proper use of stage make up, and more. Each program begins with a Parent Meeting (following your registration) where details about the audition and rehearsal process are shared. Youth Theatre Staff are experts in the fields of drama, comedy, choreography, and music and have extensive early educational experience. And, most importantly, they always make it fun.

Young performers at all experience levels are encouraged to register.

Questions: melanie.kahler@champaignparks.org

Youth Theatre Programs


Parent Meeting: September 11
Auditions & Call-Backs: September 14 & 15
Rehearsals: September 17 – October 25
Tech Week: October 30 – November 4
Performances: November 2 – 4
Questions: Call 217-398-2376 regarding openings and waiting list placement, or Melanie Kahler at 217-819-3919


6th-12th Graders (2022/23 school year)
James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim take everyone’s favorite storybook characters and bring them together for a timeless, yet relevant, piece… and a rare modern classic. The Tony Award-winning book and score are both enchanting and touching.

This story follows a Baker and his wife, who wish to have a child; Cinderella, who wishes to attend the King’s Festival; and Jake, who wishes his cow would give milk. When the Baker and his wife learn that they cannot have a child because of a Witch’s curse, the two set off on a journey to break the curse. Everyone’s wish is granted, but the consequences of their actions return to haunt them later with disastrous results.

There is a $35 non-refundable fee for this program.

*Patrons registered for Summer 2023 show may keep their spot and transfer to the Winter/Spring 2024 session or receive a full refund. 

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