Once school is out and children are free of their educational duties for the summer, it’s “I’m bored” time. Even though summertime should be relaxing, kids need playtime, which offers parents the opportunity to keep educating them all summer long. These summertime theater camps, the best in Minnesota, may be the remedy that every family needs for a boredom-free summer break that will nurture young performers.
SteppingStone Theatre for Youth Development
55 Victoria St. North
Saint Paul, MN 55104
Price: $50 nonrefundable deposit required for class with the balance due two weeks before class starts/from $135 to $500 for programs
Click here for scholarships and discounts
Hours: Mon to Fri – 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
SteppingStone Theatre of St. Paul, winner of the 2005 Sally Ordway Irvine award, offers a number of education theater programs for children and teens of all ages. This theater was founded in 1987 from the former Chimera Theatre, and more than 750,000 children and families have come through its doors since. Classes here focus on the main stage, education and outreach. Its summer program is available for ages 3.5 to 17, with camp dates from June through the end of August.
Chanhassen Dinner Theatre Musical
501 W. 78th St.
Chanhassen, MN 55317
Price: from $225 to $450
Hours: Mon – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Tues to Sat – 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sun – closed
Chanhassen Dinner Theatre, known for its high quality dinner theater experience, also offers a summer theater camp for children and teens. The Youth and Teen Camp teaches the fundamentals of theater in a professional environment. For 2012, youths ages 8 to 12 will study musicals of the ’90s, and ages 13 through 18, musicals of the new century. Other options include the teen intensive camp and Build-A-Musical all day sessions. Plus, all campers receive one show-only ticket for the main stage summer production, “Xanadu.”
919 W. Saint Germain St.
Saint Cloud, MN 56301
(320) 258- ARTS
Price: $36 to $195
Hours: Mon to Sat – 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
If you are interested in finding a smaller type of theater camp, check into Great Theatre of St. Cloud. It offers camps for children ages 3 through 18 from kinderplay camps to technical theater training and all-day intensive camps for productions such as “Hairspray.” The upside to smaller local theater camps is that students stand a better chance at getting spot in the camp and a top role, and parents often pay less. Registration for any of the camps online or by phone.
Rochester Civic Theatre
20 Civic Centre Dr. Southeast
Rochester, MN 55904
Click here for prices
Hours: Mon to Fri – 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sat – 2 p.m. to showtime; Sun – noon to showtime
If you happen to be in the southeastern part of Minnesota, the Rochester Civic Theatre provides a number of summer programs for children and teens. The STAR2012 (Summer Theatre Academy of Rochester) consists of two-week musical sessions that teach acting techniques and dance, Summer Theatre Academy GLEE Extravaganza (S.T.A.G.E.) and one-week drama sessions. Rochester Civic Theatre has performance classes available for ages 5 and older.
Minnesota Dance Theatre
528 Hennepin Ave., Sixth Floor
Minneapolis, MN 55403
Price: form $200
Click here for summer hours
The Minnesota Dance Theatre’s summer intensive classes are available June through August and focus on dance forms including ballet, contemporary, jazz and ballroom. Its young children’s division includes week long sessions that focus on “Swan Lake,” “Cinderella” and “Sleeping Beauty” ballets for spotlight junkies ages 4 to 7. The theater offers discounts to families that enroll students in more than one summer class. At more than 50 years old, this theater promises comprehensive contemporary and classical training to every dancer.
Christina Majaski is a full-time legal assistant and freelance writer for online and print publications and has a growing fondness for all things related to social media. She currently resides with her daughter in central Minnesota. She writes a sometimes humorous blog at http://www.solitarymama.com and welcomes you to follow her on Twitter @cmajaski. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.