Starting August 3, Chicago Children’s Theatre intends to bring back in-person camps at their West Loop home, The Station, 100 S. Racine St.
The safety and well-being of students is CCT’s top priority, so in-person camps will be held only after the city successfully enters Phase 4 of Chicago’s reopening plans, and in careful compliance with the latest health, safety and social distancing mandates.
Registration is open at chicagochildrenstheatre.org for virtual and in-person camps, as well as virtual classes in clowning, music, puppet building, playwriting, and more. Reserve early as space is limited.
Chicago Children’s Theatre plans to make an announcement in late June regarding in-person camps in August and September. If you register for an in-person camp that’s canceled due to COVID-19, refunds will be offered.
Virtual summer camps and classes are already happening, register now!
A super cool roster of one-week camps will start remotely on June 22. All kids need is a smart device with the Zoom app, their imagination, and simple, easily found craft materials from around the house. CCT teaching artists will lead campers through writing, rehearsing and filming camps throughout the week. Performances will be edited together for a screening for parents, family, and friends to watch together via Zoom. The video will be given to families at the end of the week as a keepsake.
“Summer camps and classes at Chicago Children’s Theatre are a healthy mix of online group instruction with offline work to get kids’ creativity flowing and everyone out from in front of the screen,” said Dexter Ellis, Director of Education and Community Programming, Chicago Children’s Theatre. “We were one of the first theaters in the country to test our virtual learning model over spring break and did so with much success. Since then, we've made some "fine-tuning" adjustments and are eager to share and connect families across Chicago and beyond.”
“We are so thankful to have found your theater program and to have been able to join remotely via Zoom,” wrote a parent of a CCT virtual spring break camper. “Your staff is exceptional and provided so much joy and a sense of normalcy by creating a way for the kids to create, socialize, learn and work together. Thank you for finding a way to have the teachers organized and energized to teach, bring happiness, and continue to give the kids something to work on and enjoy!”
Virtual summer camp names, dates, themes in June and July follow with sample descriptions. Each camp runs Monday through Friday, 12 p.m.–4 p.m. with a final online performance for family and friends Friday at 4 p.m. All experience levels welcome. Tuition is $300 per week. Financial aid is available.
Virtual Camp: The Fall and Rise of the Unicorn Ages 7.5–11
Using the frameworks of legends and fairy tales, campers will learn the basics of acting, songwriting, singing, dance choreography, collaborative story development, scene and prop construction. They will gain new skills as they work together virtually to create an original story, all from the comfort of their own homes.
Virtual Camp: Acting for the Camera Ages 8–12
June 29–July 2
Students will learn to make wild and unimaginable special effects-driven scenes in this introductory course on how to use green screen technology. With the guidance of CCT teaching artists, the group will collaboratively write, act in and shoot their own mockumentary-style film. Camp will end with a red carpet screening via Zoom with paparazzi from all over the world.
Virtual Camp: Curiosity vs. the Cat Ages 7.5–11
Virtual Camp: Tales from Outer Space Ages 7.5–11
July 13–17 (1 week)
20 more Play@Home Classes to keep kids active, entertained and learning this summer
In addition to full camps, Chicago Children’s Theatre is offering 20 virtual Play@Home classes that pack in a lot of fun and learning without the full camp time commitment. The following virtual classes are Pay What You Can with suggested donations:
Set Design: Let’s Make It Personal with Lydia Milman-Schmidt Ages 9–13
June 8–12, 4:30–5:30 p.m.
Action Adventures with Emily Daigle Ages 5–7
June 9 and 11, 3:15–4:15 p.m.
Imagination Exploration with Nate Burrsma Ages 4–6
June 10 and 12, 3:15–4 p.m.
Acting with Accents with Erin Sheets (all new!) Ages 8–13
June 15, 17 and 19, 4:30–5:30 p.m.
Summertime Stories with Sivan Spector Ages 5–7
June 16, 18, 23 and 25, 3:15–4:15 p.m.
Improv to Performance with Abby Thompson Ages 8–11
June 16, 18, 23 and 25, 4:30–5:30 p.m.
Pajama Jams with Kate Leslie Ages 2–5
June 20 and 27, 9:15–10 a.m.
BeatBox for Kids with Yuri “The Human Beatbox” Lane Ages4–6
June 22, 24 and 26, 3:15–4:15 p.m.
Silly Scenes with Bernadette Carter Ages 5–7
June 22, 24 and 26, 4:30–5:30 p.m.
Improv Troupe 101 with Allison Grischow Ages 5–7
June 29–July 2, 3:15–4:15 p.m.
Virtual Flipbooks with Sharon Krome Ages 6–8
June 29–July 2, 4:30–5:30 p.m.
Clown Car with Sivan Spector Ages 5–7
July 13–17, 4–5 p.m.
Comics Class with Sharon Krome Ages 8–11
July 20–24, 10–11 a.m.
World of Tomorrow with Terry Guest Ages 9–13
July 20–24, 2–3 p.m.
Film Noir with Lizzy May Ages 5–7
July 20–24, Time TBA
Clown Show with Sivan Spector Ages 8–11
July 27–31, 10–11 a.m.
Designers, Make it Work with Nicole Nienow Ages 8–11
July 27–31, 2–3 p.m.
Friday Afternoon Live with Kay Kron Ages 6–8
July 27–31, 4–5 p.m.
In-person summer camps set to launch in August at Chicago Children’s Theatre
Chicago Children’s Theatre intends to start in-person camps the week of August 3. In-person camps run one, two or three weeks. Time is Monday through Friday, 9:30 a.m.–4 p.m. Free before-care is offered 8:15 a.m.–9:30 a.m. Free aftercare runs 4–:5:45 p.m. Tuition is $485 for one week camps; $970 for two week camps. Limited financial aid is available.
Mainstage Show Camp: X-Marks the Spot Ages 8–11
August 3–7 (1 week)
Children will rehearse, create costumes, paint sets, act, sing, and dance as they prepare to star in a live production of one of Chicago Children’s Theatre’s recent mainstage shows. This camp springs from CCT’s multisensory theater experience X-Marks the Spot, inspired by children with vision impairment but intended for all audiences. It’s ideal for kids who want an inclusive camp experience.
Specialty Camp: Camp Myth with Silk Road Rising Ages 6–11
August 10–14 (1 week)
Silk Road Rising explores what it means to be Americans by shifting and expanding our communities’ narratives. In this camp, students will explore the enchanting stories of Egypt and India. Campers will then use these stories to create their own show using acting, dance, song, and craft, concluding with a show in CCT’s Pritzker Family Studio Theatre for family and friends.
Camp Red Kite Ages 8–14 and Ages 15–22
August 10–28 (3 weeks) Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m.–12 p.m.
Camp Red Kite is a summer arts camp tailored specifically to the unique interests and needs of young people on the autism spectrum. The program is led by a team of artists, administrators, and special education teachers dedicated to creating a safe, welcoming, and comfortable environment for children affected by autism. Each day, Camp Red Kite campers will move between classes in Drama, Art, Music, and Movement. Red Kite staff ensures a comfortable environment for all campers and a highly-structured schedule. Each camper receives a Social Story prior to camp, and plenty of personal attention. Campers are encouraged to participate in activities in their own unique way. Camp culminates in a final sharing of the Camp Red Kite experience with family and friends and a potluck lunch.
Mainstage Show Camp: Hip Hop Alice Ages 6–11
August 17–28 (2 weeks)
Over the course of two weeks, children will rehearse, create costumes, paint sets, act, sing and dance as they prepare to star in one of Chicago Children’s Theatre’s mainstage shows. On the final day the campers will perform the musical live for family and friends on the stage of Chicago Children’s Theatre’s Pritzker Family Studio.
Theatre Adventure Camp: The Monster Chronicles Ages 6–11
August 31–September 4 (1 week)
Make new friends while creating a big, wonderful show. Wield a sword, fly to the sun, build a kingdom, live underwater, battle giant monsters and befriend beasts. Travel the universe! At the end of the week, campers will perform a live, original monster saga in CCT’s Pritzker Family Studio Theatre.
Note: In-person camps will be held in strict, careful compliance with the state and city’s health, safety and social distancing mandates. Register early at chicagochildrenstheatre.org as space is limited, but please know: if you register for an in-person camp that’s canceled due to COVID-19, refunds will be offered.
About Chicago Children’s Theatre
“The Chicago theater scene is legendarily vibrant, so naturally a number of companies tailor productions to younger audiences. The cream of the crop is Chicago Children’s Theatre.”
– Chicago Tribune
Chicago Children’s Theatre was founded in 2005 with a big idea: Chicago is the greatest theater city in the world, and it deserves a great children’s theater. Nearly 15 years later, Chicago Children’s Theatre is the city’s largest professional theater company devoted exclusively to children and young families. CCT has established a national reputation for the production of first-rate children’s theater with professional writing, performing, and directorial talent and high-quality design and production expertise.
In January 2017, the company celebrated the opening of its new, permanent home, Chicago Children’s Theatre, The Station, located at 100 S. Racine Avenue in Chicago’s West Loop community. The building, formerly the Chicago Police Station for the 12th District, was repurposed into a beautiful, LEED Gold-certified, mixed-use performing arts, education and community engagement facility that now welcomes all Chicago families.
Chicago Children’s Theatre continues to grow its performing arts and STEAM education programs, offering classes, workshops, winter and spring break camps, and summer camps for ages 0 to 13. CCT believes, and research supports, that access to high-quality theater arts learning experiences is essential to enhance individual development and improved functioning in school, work and community settings. Studies show exposure to live theater can increase a child’s capacity for empathy, ultimately cultivating a more accepting society.
Inclusion and access are core values at Chicago Children’s Theatre. We believe every child should have access to our programming regardless of financial position. Thanks in part to the Susan M. Venturi Fund in memory of James and Roslyn Marks, CCT provides scholarships for children and families with demonstrated need. As a result, one in five youth at CCT receive financial assistance annually. Additionally, tens of thousands of free and reduced price tickets are distributed to under-resourced schools each season in partnership with Chicago Public Schools.
Last year, Chicago Children’s Theatre won the 2019 National TYA Artistic Innovation Award from Theatre for Young Audiences/USA for its pioneering work creating and presenting live theater experiences that tear down barriers for persons with disabilities. In addition, Chicago Children’s Theatre has garnered six NEA Art Works grants, and in 2017, became the first theater for young audiences in the U.S. to win a National Theatre Award from the American Theatre Wing, creators of the Tony Awards.
Chicago Children’s Theatre is led by Co-Founders, Artistic Director Jacqueline Russell and Board Chair Todd Leland, with Board President Armando Chacon.
For more, visit chicagochildrenstheatre.org.