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Camps Offer Flair for Dramatic

From beginners to master thespians, Patch has it all for local summer theater options.

Tired of all the toddler to teenage drama?

Well, put all than youngster angst to good use at a local summer theater camp. Patch has everything from starter camps to rigorous Shakespearean training for those kids for whom "all the world's a stage"!

  • As part of the SYLS Camp experience at Heritage Middle School in Livingston, campers will be offered the opportunity to participate in the 2011 Camp Play "Annie," which will be performed on August 4th at 6:30 p.m.  Children will participate as actors and crew members who will be responsible for lighting, sound, sets, etc. under the direction of play directors Jill Murano and Michelle DeNick. This value-added activity will take place during the course of the camp day and is open to children who are enrolled in the town camp in grades 1 through 7.  A materials cost of $20 is required and registration for this activity is being accepted now at the SYLS office and online

  • SYLS "From Here To Broadway" Theater & Dance Camp is being offered from Aug. 8-Aug. 12 and Aug. 15-Aug. 19 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m at the Monmouth Court Community Center.  Livingston Senior Youth and Leisure Services is bringing New York level dance and theater training to New Jersey.

This two-week intensive program is a great opportunity for all children to dance, sing and act in a comfortable, non-intimidating environment.  Training will focus on ballet, tap, jazz, and Broadway musical theatre repertoire along with introduction to vocal technique, song interpretation, monologue, scene study and improvisation. 

The program will finish with a Camp & Cabaret Show for parents and friends which will be performed at the Livingston Senior/Community Center on August 19.   This event is open to children from the ages of 6 through 16th with the kids being grouped by age and ability. The cost of $350 for residents and $375 for non-residents includes two weeks of instruction plus family admission to the Cabaret Show.

  • JCC MetroWest in West Orange offers Triple Threat Theater Camp for grades K-3 and grades 4-10 in 3, 4 or 7-week sessions. Campers study voice, acting and dance with working theater professionals, see Broadway matinees, have master classes and put on a showcase performance for each session.

  • The South Orange/Maplewood Adult School Children's Summer Program offers classes on Auditioning for Musical Theater and Jazz Dance.

  • The Summer Theater Camp of Montclair has camps for ages 5-18. The program is working-parent friendly with before- and after-care.

  • The Theater Camp of New Jersey, located in Clark, runs from June 27 to July 22 from 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. for grades K-12. Campers are divided into three groups  Young, Middle and Senior — with each division putting on a show at the end of the camp session. Cost is $530 ($510 for returning campers).

  • The New Jersey School of Dramatic Arts in Bloomfield has Summer Theater Camp programs for grades 3 through 12. You can sign up for 5 different session by the week from June 27 through July 29. Sessions include Auditioning Workshop, Acting for Film & TV, Musical Theater, Improv Comedy and Acting Intensive.

  • The All Children's Theater offers day camps throughout New Jersey, including in Livingston. Camps run all day with drop-off between 8-9 a.m. and pickup from 4-5 p.m. The camps run in 2,4,6,8 or 10-week sessions. "The children become involved with comedy, acting, singing, dancing, as well as staging and scenery design and development. The camp program culminates in a dress rehearsal and one or more public performances on the last day of camp."

  • The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, located in Madison, offers intensive training in Shakespearean comedy and drama for ages 11-14 (juniors) over two-week sessions (July 11-23 or July 18-30 at $550 per session) from 1-6 p.m. Monday through Friday; as well as for seniors (ages 14-17) in three-week sessions from June 20-July 9 or August 1-20 ($750). These sessions also run Monday-Friday, 1-6 p.m.

A few more options include:

Super serious, more expensive and competitive:

Farther afield:

  • Stagedoor Manor Camp, Loch Sheldrake, NY (also goes under "super serious" — with an international draw and alums including Lea Michele, Robert Downey Jr. and Natalie Portman)

  • Appel Farms, Elmer, NJ

L. Klonsky contributed for Livingston Patch.

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