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This article by Lynn Miller was prepared for the May 29, 2002 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.
Summer Camps for Young Performers
Making it big in the Big Apple does not depend solely
on luck, but also on looks, talent, and training.
If it is your child who has the ambition to be the next John Lithgow
or Ethan Hawke, you can’t do much about the looks or the talent, but
you can at least arrange for the training. Both Lithgow and Hawke
trained at McCarter — Hawke made his professional acting debut
there in "St. Joan."
If our story about a child actress (page 14) inspires you to help
your own child embark on a professional career, here are some places
to start. Of course any of these programs are also excellent for achieving
what has become a cliche (but is actually true), Poise and Grace.
omitted exact dates, times, and costs. Call the program for those
Acting, drama, scene setting, and improvisation for grades kindergarten
Columbus, 609-581-9622. One-week session for grades 4 to 6 features
writing, improvisation, character, scene building, and acting techniques.
908-722-8392. Studio and field shoot experiences, acting for television,
script writing, story boards, production, and editing. One field trip
per week. World premiere of student work at end of session. $595.
Princeton, 609-921-7600. (www.hunschool.org) Four-week intensive
programs in everything about production from design and budgeting
to actual performance. Interview and audition required. For ages 12
1020 Route 31, Lebanon, 908-782-1158. Music, dialogue, inventive staging,
choreography, sets, and costumes. Taught by Flying Ship Productions,
an original musical is staged for family and friends.
Old Trenton Road, West Windsor, 609-586-4800. (www.mccc.edu) Theater
classes for children in kindergarten through fifth grade during the
school year. Saturday morning, eight-week session. Times vary by age.
Performance at the end of each session.
Arts , 1860 House, 124 Montgomery Road, 609-921-3272. (www.montgomerycenterforthearts.org)
Monday to Friday, July 15 to 19. First to third grade from 9:30 a.m.
to noon; fourth to sixth grade from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Create stage versions
of story characters, theater games, movement, and arts and crafts.
$365 for non-members.
Place, Princeton, 609-258-6510. Five-week program includes acting,
improvisation, combat, make-up, mime, movement, Shakespeare studies,
and stagecraft. Auditions were held earlier this month, but other
educational programs are held during the school year. For high school
students accepted after audition. Program Season ends with three public
performances each of "Hamlet" and "Much Ado About Nothing,"
James Kearney Campus, Broad and Hanover streets, Trenton, 609-392-0766.
(www.mccc.edu) Professional conservatory program in theater and dance
includes acting, musical theater, scene study, ballet, and jazz.
1795 Oak Road, North Brunswick, 732-821-6644. Two-week workshops for
grades 3 to 9, 9 a.m. to noon. Dance instruction, vocal coaching,
stage directions, and behind the scenes activities. Evening performance
at end of each session. $150 per session; $200 for both.
(www.nyfa.com) Four-week filmmaking workshop, $2,000. Six-week filmmaking
workshop, $3,000. Four-week acting for film workshop, $2,500.
Millburn Middle School, 973-379-3636. Summer program for ages 10 to
18, by audition only, includes musical theater, music theory, acting,
improvisation, speech and diction, jazz, ballet, tap, ballroom, stage
make-up, mime, audition techniques, stage design and management, and
the history of musical theater. Year-round theater classes for ages
4 to over 60.
101 Drakes Corner Road, Princeton, 609-921-6499. Miming, pie-throwing,
make-up, unicycling, juggling, stilt-walking, costuming, tumbling,
and acrobatics. For ages 9 to 16.
Princeton University Campus, 609-921-3682. Intensive 10-week pre-professional
acting training program in movement, voice, and acting. Master classes,
audition, work backstage and front of house. Shakespeare production
at conclusion. Housing on campus available. $1,000.
to acting and drama for grades kindergarten to 3. $235 a week. Teen
Comedy Improv Workshop, for grades 6 to 8, is held during the school
Age group 6 to 8 in the morning, and ages 9 to 12 in the afternoon,
explore the art of puppetry, Monday to Friday, July 15 to 19. Construct
a puppet, build theater and scenery, and stage a performance.
Pike, Oaklyn, 856-858-5230. Year-round theater program for children
Station , 908-638-4880. (www.academyofdancearts.net) Two-week
session for ages 12 to 18, Monday, July 8 to Friday, July 19; ages
7 to 11, Monday, July 22, to Friday, August 2; and Monday, August
5, to Friday, August 16. Performance on the last day of class. Audition
635 North Delmorr Avenue, Morrisville, PA, 215-295-3694. (www.actorsnetbucks.com)
Acting, music, and dance workshop for kids age 7 to 17. $300 for the
four-week course, Monday, July 22 to Friday, August 16.
Princeton. (www.artscouncilofprinceton.org) One-week dramatic arts
programs for ages 4 to 12. Performance on the final day of each workshop.
$260. The Teen Scene is held during the school year.
Rutgers University, New Brunswick, 732-932-9772. Two-week acting clinic
with the professional, non-profit theater company. From Tuesday to
Saturday, August 6 to 17, 9:30 a.m. to noon, for grades 4 to 8. $200.
(Auditions have been held, but check to see if places are still available).
Lane, Somerset, 732-873-2710. 11th year of theater arts program for
ages 6 to 16 includes dance, movement, acting, voice, and production
Cranbury School, 212-674-4300. (www.cranburyartscouncil.org). Acting
workshop, Introduction to TV production, Make-up and Special Effects,
Music Composition, Rockin’ Jammin’ Ensemble, all Monday to Friday,
July 8 to 19.
Mead, 908-874-4351. Age-appropriate workshops in music and art for
ages 1 1/2 to 15. Music and art appreciation, band, choral singing,
theater, story-telling, sculpture, painting, printmaking, and pastels.
York Road, Lahaska, PA, 215-794-7491. (www.mccc.edu) Three two-week
sessions. Visual and performing arts for first through eighth graders.
Unitarian Universalist Church, Cherry Hill Road, Princeton, 609-895-2981.
Eight-day workshop from Wednesday to Friday, June 19 to 28, for children
ages 5 to 13, includes modern dance, improvisation, mime, creative
drama, rhythm drumming, dance gymnastics, and musical vocalizing.
Road, West Windsor, 609-586-4800. (www.mccc.edu) Advanced chorus,
Fun with Shakespeare, I Wanna Dance, and Star Search are Camp College
choices for ages 10 to 12. Two sessions of Monday to Thursday classes
from Monday, June 24, to Thursday, August 15. $775 for four weeks;
$2,317 for eight weeks.
Road, West Windsor, 609-586-4800. (www.mccc.edu) Visual and performing
arts summer workshop for 5th through 12th grade students with interest
in theater, dance, music, or visual art. Students major in one area
and choose classes in other disciplines. Performance at the end of
the session. $425 to $525.
House, 124 Montgomery Road, 609-921-3272. (www.montgomerycenterforthearts.org)
Art classes throughout the day during the June 24 to August 16 camp
include multi-cultural art, printmaking, self portraits, drawing,
watercolor painting, mixed media, weaving, and silk painting. See
above for drama.
Avenue, Edison, 732-906-2556. Camps in theater, dance, and arts available
for ages 6 to 18.
Road, Lawrenceville, 609-882-7900. Performing arts is one of the workshops
for 7th to 12th grade students. Tuesday, July 9 to Friday, August
609-490-7550. (www.peddie.org/arts) Theater camp, Green Apple Theater,
and visual arts program for ages 7 to 15. Acting, creative drama,
dance, drawing, musical theater, voice, painting, and sculpture.
School , 1200 Old Trenton Road, West Windsor, 609-586-3550. (www.mccc.edu)
Three-week course in dance and drama techniques for grades 8 to 12.
Monday, July 22, to Friday, August 9. $100. Production at the end.
635 North Delmorr Avenue, Morrisville, PA, 215-295-3694. (www.actorsnetbucks.com
(new)) Acting, dance, singing, and piano. Year-round program for young
performers age seven through teens.
Mead, 908-874-4351. Each two-week session includes acting techniques,
activities, games, group vocal singing, creating scenery and backdrop,
and a music production for families and friends. Call for dates, times,
Princeton. (www.artscouncilofprinceton.org) Classes in performing
and visual arts throughout the year.
320 South Broad Street, Philadelphia, 215-717-6430. (www.uarts.edu)
High school programs in musical theater, drama, screen directing,
video production, and instrumental jazz.
1200 Stuart Road, Princeton, 609-921-2330. Improvisation, mime, jazz
dance, musical theater, printing, watercolors, and quilting.
Middle School, West Windsor, 609-799-6141. (www.wwparks-recreation.com)
Modern dance, drama, vocal music, and filming. Two one-week sessions
for ages 11 to 14. $175 for one week; $325 for two weeks.
Shopping Center, Cranbury, and New Brunswick, 609-921-7758. Ballet,
modern dance, jazz, and composition. Audition required.
Rutgers University, Nicholas Music Center, Douglas Campus, 732-932-8497.
For children ages 4 to 12 to gain physical coordination, explore movement,
introduction to modern and ballet dance technique.
Monmouth Junction, 732-329-1150. Introduction to a variety of dance
movements and music. Ages 6 to 10; Monday to Friday, August 5 to 9,
9 a.m. to 1 p.m. $130.
New Falls Road, Levittown, PA, 215-946-0100. Four-week program for
ages 8 to 18 with a gala at the end of the session. Daily classes
in ballet, pointe, pas de deux, and variations.
Four-week sessions in July for ballet, tap, jazz, hip-hop, and jazz
for all ages.
Manalapan, 732-792-0111. Dance arts for ages 2 1/2 to adult. Call
for dates, times, and cost.
South, West Windsor, 609-799-6141. (www.wwparks-recreation.com). For
ages 5 to 14. Monday to Friday, July 8 to July 19, and July 22 to
August 2. Full and half days. $225 to $400.
School, 732-477-2550 (fax). (www.famefestival.org). Students from
over 20 countries study in classical or jazz, orchestral instruments,
and piano. Auditions required.
609-921-7104. Three children’s choirs for students in grades 2 to
8. Youth Choral is an honors choir for high school students. Wind
Ensemble for students in grades 9 to 12.
Lane, Princeton, 609-921-7104. (www.westminster.edu) Musical Jamboree,
Opera Workshop, and Flute Camp are choices for ages 4 through high
As we were sending this issue about the child actors
to press, the chance for one child’s Big Break came over the fax.
Sony is holding an open casting call for a boy age 12 to 14 to play
Peter Pan in a feature film. To begin production this summer, "Peter
Pan" will be directed by P.J. Hogan, director of "Muriel’s
Wedding" and "My Best Friend’s Wedding."
No acting experience is necessary, just bring a picture no larger
than 4 x 6 inches to Marty Keener Cherrix, location casting director,
on Saturday, June 1, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Princeton Marriott in
— Lynn Miller
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