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Local Theater Camps and Classes Are Going Digital

Awaken your inner superstar with remote acting, singing, and dancing lessons for all ages

By Thomas Cooney

When most people think of activities they can do at home, live theater is probably not high on the list. This is too bad, since local theater companies are still keeping up their summer acting classes and other educational programs—with slight modifications for remote learning. Whether you’re just in it for fun or looking to make it big (or need an outlet for all your kid’s summer-break energy), there are options available for every age, skill, and interest.


Diversionary Theatre

Catering specifically to the LGBTQ+ community and their allies, Diversionary Theatre’s Teen-Versionary Online program is totally free; participants will create a theater production that will feature in the 2020 San Diego Virtual Pride Festival July 18–19. Rehearsals start on July 6 and go through the 17th, and are available from age 13 to recent high school grads. All rehearsals will be conducted over Zoom.


Intrepid Theatre Company

Two camps are available here—a Young Actors Camp for ages six to 15, and a Performance Camp for ages 12–17, both at $100 per week. Each camper gets a role in an adapted performance like Shakespeare’s Star Wars or Marvelous Magical Matilda, which will be edited into a movie compilation at the end of the week. All classes are held via Zoom. The next Young Actors Camp starts July 6 (one week), and the next Performance Camp July 13 (two weeks).


La Jolla Playhouse

Currently there are two programs offered: For $79, grades 6–8 and 9–12 can join the Young Performers Lab and “learn while doing” as they produce a new play every week. The lab’s first week opens July 6. The second program is an intensive playwriting class for ages 13–17 at $149. Running from July 20 to August 31, the class will teach the basics of writing characters, setting, plot, and dialogue for beginners. Both programs are conducted entirely online.


Oceanside Theatre Company

OTC is running six roughly concurrent classes as part of their Summer Theatre Arts Academy, where children ages eight to 17 can learn about stage makeup and cartooning via 60-minute Zoom classes at $20 per, with a discount if you buy all six. Unlike other programs highlighted here, these classes are recorded, so you can catch up on any you might have missed. The first classes began June 29 and the next ones start July 6.


The Old Globe’s Arts Engagement

The Old Globe’s Arts Engagement program is offering some slightly different options for summer classes compared to the other theater companies on this list. Two classes are available, both of them streamed via Facebook Live: The first is an opportunity to learn “how to write, develop, design, direct, and present your own Living Room–inspired short plays” starting July 2, while the second is the Creative Youth Studio, which focuses on high school students and starts August 8. Both classes are totally free and streamed once per week.


Palomar College Performing Arts

Palomar College is in the middle of its totally free Cybertheatre Exploratorium that started June 22, but drop-ins are welcome. On Mondays they do theater games and acting exploration, then Tuesdays and Wednesdays are dedicated to exploring and creating anti-racist theatre (these sessions request “sustained commitment,” so inquire directly for more information on joining). No age group is specified, and all sessions are held via Zoom.


San Diego Junior Theatre

The longest-running youth theater in the country is offering virtual camps and classes in musical theater and acting, with options for kids from pre-K to 12th grade. Prices range from $100 to $300 and registration is now open for all classes. The first begin July 6 and the last finish up by August 28; the camps and acting classes run for one week and the musical theatre goes for two. The camps specifically will have four different sections per day: acting, voice, dancing, and a theater specialty. The website warns that classes fill up quick, so act fast!


San Diego Musical Theatre

SDMT Academy has three unique programs for students age eight to adult: First is a dance program that includes jazz, tap, hip-hop, and ballet, with both in-person and online options available starting July 6. Second is a series of four master classes on July 11 only, highlighting Wicked, Hamilton, Jersey Boys, and vocal performance taught by professionals in each subject. Finally, there is the unique option of making your own class, choosing your own topic, and receiving professional teaching for you and up to five friends. Prices are $80 for the dance classes and $40 for the master classes (no price listed for the build-your-own).


Trinity Theatre Company

Registration is still open for Trinity Theatre Company’s last three sessions of virtual summer camp; the next session begins July 13. There are two-week sessions available for kids under eight, kids eight to 12, and teens; and one-week sessions for adults. Camps will teach skills such as auditioning, or center on performing a play, like The Lion King, or the work of actor Uta Hagen. Each session is $250, with a discount for attending two or more.

Local Theater Camps

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