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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

Footloose 

7th-12th graders
When Ren and his mother move from Chicago to a small farming town, he is prepared for the inevitable adjustment period at his new high school. But he’s not prepared for the rigorous local edicts, including a ban on dancing instituted by the local preacher, who is determined to exercise control over the town’s youth. To the rockin’ rhythm of its Oscar and Tony-nominated Top Forty score, augmented with dynamic new songs, Footloose celebrates the wisdom of listening to young people while guiding them with a warm heart and open mind. This heartfelt musical brings up important topics of freedom of expression amidst generational battles and learning how to use your voice. Come participate in what is sure to be a BLAST of a show!

This production is family-friendly, with age-appropriate content.

Deadline: Tu, Dec 28
Parent Meeting: Tu, Jan 4, 6-7p on Zoom
Auditions: Th, Jan 6, 4-9p at Springer Cultural Center
Call-Backs: F, Jan 7, 6-9p at Springer Cultural Center

Rehearsals: 1/10-2/23*
No Rehearsal: 1/17*
Day: M/Tu/W
Time: 6-9p
Fee (R/NR): $135/$185
Min/Max: 30/40

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

Rehearsal Location: Springer Cultural Center
Tech Week: February 28-March 2, 5:30-8:45pm at the Virginia Theatre
Performance Dates & Location: March 3-5, 7p and March 5, 2p 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.


Matilda Jr. 

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, 2-3p 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.


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