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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: email Alexis.Webb@champaignparks.org


Summer Programs

Summer Cultural Arts program registration is available! More information is coming soon. You can still register for these programs on WebTrac now.

 


 

Youth Theatre Programs

Imagination Makers: Introduction to Theatre-Making

3rd-5th graders
Learn what it’s like to be free to explore your imagination through music and theatre. There will be lots of theatre-making through fun improv, writing, and movement that will also work to teach the fundamentals of theatre. The goal will be to create a foundation for acting, playwriting, and even directing/designing. We’ll play lots of theatre games and have a welcoming space for questions and conversations. Time to get back to using our imaginations more and our screens less! This will be an in-person class with masks and social distancing required at all times.

Date: April 5-May 10
Deadline: March 29


Storytellers: Foundations in Acting, Playwriting, & Directing

6th-8th graders
Similar to Imagination Makers, this class is designed to provide a teaching for the fundamentals of a variety of theatre disciplines ranging from acting to directing to playwriting. This class will differ not just in age, but will include amped up content of other important things like auditioning, reading and writing in theatre, and even some topics in theatre history. Don’t be afraid by the word “history” though, it will all be through creative and active learning exercises. This class is a great step for middle-schoolers to learn more about themselves and gain some artistic confidence. This will be an in-person class with masks and social distancing required at all times.

Date: April 5-May 10
Deadline: March 29


“Folk Tales For Fun”-Multicultural Play For Young People

3rd-6th graders
Folk Tales for Fun is a new play by Carlos Perez, taking us on a journey to Germany, Norway, Turkey, Mexico, Liberia, and Egypt, where we learn just how universal and uniting our stories can be. This play includes different languages, multicultural connections, and a lot of main characters. If you’ve ever wanted a chance to practice having more lines, this is the play for you. We’ll learn about different cultures, and how we’re not so different, all through folk tales told through animals, making it super fun and imaginative for all. We will also do warm-ups, have learning packets to go along with the play, and stage it/ lightly perform it either socially-distanced outside (weather permitting), or record it for viewing. This will be an in-person class with masks and social distancing required at all times.

Date: April 6-May 13
Deadline: March 30


“Puffs, or Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic and Magic

7th-12th graders

“Puffs” is a contemporary comedy that premiered Off- Broadway in 2015. This clever and inventive play gives us a new look at a familiar adventure from the perspective of a group
of potential heroes just trying to make it through a magic school that proves to be very dangerous for children. The Puffs are a group of well meaning, loyal outsiders with a thing for badgers. This hilarious, heartfelt, epic journey takes the classic story to new places. This is mainly an ensemble play with great parts and roles for everyone, so if you’ve ever wanted to practice what it’s like having more lines, this is a great play for you. We will also do warm-ups, open up conversation on what representation has looked like in mainstream culture, have learning packets to go along with the play, and stage it/lightly perform it either socially distanced or recorded for viewing – TBD. This will be an in-person class with masks and social distancing required at all times.

Date: April 6-May 13
Deadline: March 30


Advanced Acting

9th-12th graders

This course will be dedicated to providing a solid foundation in acting techniques, warm-ups, auditioning practice, and script analysis. By the end, each student will have done scene studies and a completed monologue. The “advanced” in Advanced Acting is to represent that this will be a course just for the older students – no previous acting experience required! This will be a great opportunity to experience a mature, safe, and open theatre environment that will be full of great conversation and a lot of fun in our self-discoveries as actors. The skills learned in this class will encourage applicability in other aspects of life and will greatly help in figuring out their theatre paths. 8th graders will be considered if they have taken an acting class before, show enough previous performance experience, or if there ends up being room (email alexis.webb@ champaignparks.org with your information). This will be an in-person class with masks and social distancing required at all times.

Date: April 10-May 15
Deadline: April 3


Downloads & Resources


For more information on programs and special events, please visit our program guide page!

 

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