Kids of all ages, abilities and backgrounds can reap the benefits of theater. The positive effects of participating in theater are lifelong and far-reaching. Theater programs are a great way for kids to make friends, learn teamwork and develop cultural appreciation. Even watching can be an inspirational experience. Here are five local children’s theaters with programs for and by kids of all ages. Break a leg!
Adventure Theatre & ATMTC Academy
Adventure Theatre offers a wide variety of classes for all ages, from no-experience-necessary to Broadway prep. Teens can take classes in acting foundations and scene study. Both kids and teens can grow their creative skill set and improve collaboration and communication by working with their peers in a fun, expressive setting. Some past productions include “Elephant and Piggie’s ‘We Are in a Play!’” and “The Snowy Day and Other Stories.” Register online to jump into the fall semester!
Alexandria Children’s Theatre
At Alexandria Children’s Theatre, or ACT, children work with others to express themselves creatively. ACT works to provide a supportive environment for kids to learn acting and life skills such as teamwork and creative thinking. ACT’s classes offer children on the quiet side a way to ease into performing and grow their confidence. Classes are available to children as young as 4 years old.
Encore Stage & Studio
Encore Stage & Studio has offered young people the chance to discover themselves through theater for over 50 years. Every year, its team produces age-appropriate shows staffed by young people. Encore also offers workshops and summer programs, including outreach to underserved children and youth. Classes are available for children in kindergarten through eighth grade. Encore also offers private lessons.
Imagination Stage boasts classes and camps for all ages, spanning topics from acting to musical theater, dance, training and performance, early childhood and filmmaking.
Staff work to feed children’s creative spirits by inspiring and helping them overcome their challenges through theater. Recently, Imagination Stage put on a production of “Nate the Great,” the story of a boy who loves detective work and tackles mysteries around his neighborhood. For first-time students, the theater has a handy online guide available to give kids an idea of what to expect.
Mount Vernon Community Children’s Theatre
This children’s community theater offers kids ages 5 to 18 room to develop confidence, character, autonomy and responsibility. This year, the theater has planned productions of “The Lightning Thief,” “The Somewhat True Tale of Robin Hood” and a timeless classic, Disney’s “Beauty & the Beast.” Mount Vernon Community Children’s Theatre also accommodates children with sensory difficulties. It offers Sensory Safety Kits which include hearing protection, sunglasses, fidget toys, ear plugs and a wet wipe.