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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: Alexis.Webb@champaignparks.org

Youth Theatre Programs


4th-8th graders

Champaign Park District & Guiding Motivation's Equilusion Theatre: theatre for everyone. Information at champaignparks.org.

Equilusion is a 9-week introduction to Theater for youth who identify as BIPOC and of all ability levels. Too often, the world of performing arts has lacked in reaching the peripheries of those who identify as Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC). The purpose is to provide fundamental instruction of acting in theater. This opportunity will give youth a chance to explore, identify and obtain hidden skill sets that can be utilized now and even later in development. Equilusion is rooted in providing equity, inclusion and understanding the endless limits of Illusion and entertaining as it relates to performing arts. Youth will participate in several structured and interactive weeks of learning, guidance and development consisting of acting, stage blocking and prop creation. Week 9 will culminate with a short performance which will be open to family and friends.

Scholarships are available and can cover up to 50% of the registration fee. Participants need to call 217-398-2573 if they wish to have their registration covered.


  • Gain an appreciation for Theater as a fine art.
  • Become familiar with the components of Theater.
  • Become familiar with the various types of Theater artists.
  • Develop a critical and informed appreciation for Theater in performance.
  • Make connections between the arts and your everyday goals.


Date: Saturday, March 26-May 28, 2022
No Class: 4/16
Location: Berean Covenant Church, 107 S. Webber Street, Urbana
Min/Max: 5/15
Instructor: Prince Robertson
Questions: katherine.hicks@champaignparks.org or 217-398-2573

Deadline to register is March 11, 2022.


3rd-6th Graders
Rebellion is nigh in Matilda JR., a gleefully witty ode to the anarchy of childhood and the power of imagination! This story of a girl who dreams of a better life and the children she inspires will have audiences rooting for the “revolting children” who are out to teach the grown-ups a lesson. Packed with high-energy dance numbers and catchy songs, Matilda JR. is a joyous girl power musical. Come have fun through telling the story of the special little girl with an extraordinary imagination.

Deadline: Monday, March 21
Parent Meeting: Monday, March 28, 6-7p on Zoom
Auditions: Wednesday, March 30, 4-9p at Springer Cultural Center
Call-Backs: Thursday, March 31, 6-8p at Springer Cultural Center

Rehearsals: April 4-May 4
Day: M/Tu/W
Time: 6-8p
Fee (R/NR): $110/$160
Min/Max: 30/40

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

Rehearsal Location: Springer Cultural Center
Tech Week: May 9-11, 5:30-8:15p at the Virginia Theatre
Performance Dates & Location: May 12-14, 7-8p and May 14, 12-1p at the Virginia Theatre
Questions: alexis.webb@champaignparks.org or 217-398-2376

Parents will be asked to volunteer 10 hours per family, and help with their child’s costume.


6th-12th Graders (2021/2022 school year)
This class is designed to introduce the basics to advances techniques of acting within two weeks! We’ll learn character development, improv, physical acting, script reading/notation, and conclude our work with monologues and partner scene performances! This program is an excellent opportunity for those wanting a deeper understanding of performing and a wonderful space to grow as an artist. There is a $35 non-refundable fee for this program.

Date: 6/6-6/17
Time: 12-2p
Day: M-F
Location: Springer Cultural Center
Fee (R/NR): $100/$150
Deadline: 6/1
Min/Max: 6/20
Questions: alexis.webb@champaignparks.org or 217-398-2376



2nd-5th Graders (2021/2022 school year)
Learn the foundations of theatre and performing in this two-week class guaranteed to be super educational and fun! Encourage your child to explore their creativity as we go through the process of learning about acting, writing our own short plays, discovering what kind of directors we are, all ending in performances of our own work. This is a very hands-on class and the perfect way to round out your summer before school returns. There is a $35 non-refundable fee for this program.

Date: 7/25-8/5
Time: 12-1:30p
Day: M-F
Location: Springer Cultural Center
Fee (R/NR): $75/$112.50
Deadline: 7/18
Min/Max: 6/20
Questions: alexis.webb@champaignparks.org or 217-398-2376



6th-12th Graders (2021/2022 school year)
Come join what is guaranteed to be one of your best summer experiences ever! In a musical theatre intensive setting, we’ll be putting on the widely-popular and hugely energetic show, Disney High School Musical! Disney Channel’s smash hit movie musical comes to life as Troy, Gabriella and the students of East High must deal with issues of first love, friends, and family while balancing their classes and extracurricular activities. Disney High School Musical is fun for the whole family. Its large cast size and upbeat numbers make it the ideal show to showcase each cast member’s talent, and ensure every single person is having the time of their life “together, together”!

Deadline: 5/25
Parent Meeting: Zoom 6/1, 6p
Auditions: Thursday 6/2, 4-8p at Springer Cultural Center
Call-Backs: Friday 6/3, 6-8p at Springer Cultural Center

Rehearsals: 6/20-7/15*
No Class: 7/4*
Day: M-F
Time: 12-4p
Fee (R/NR): $149/$199
Min/Max: 30/40
Location: Springer Cultural Center

Tech Week: 7/18-7/20
Day: M-W
Time: 5-9p
Performance Dates: 7/21-7/23 Thursday-Saturday 7p, Saturday 2p
Location: Virginia Theatre
Questions: alexis.webb@champaignparks.org or 217-398-2376

Parents are required to volunteer a minimum of 10 hours per family and help with some of their child’s costumes.


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