ISSAQUAH, Wash. – May 19, 2020 — Village Theatre will provide a safe and engaging space for Puget Sound children and teens to learn and grow this summer. Although the theatre’s critically acclaimed mainstage productions are postponed indefinitely due to social distancing orders, the theatre’s Youth Education program, KIDSTAGE, will allow students entering Pre-K to age 20 an opportunity to participate in arts-based learning beginning June 6, 2020.
After a successful trial of virtual classes during the spring quarter, KIDSTAGE will roll out an expanded catalog for the summer session. “When the ‘Stay Home, Stay Healthy’ order went into effect, we pivoted to an online class system right away,” said Director of Youth Education Kati Nickerson. “Connecting with peers and having a safe place for self-expression has really helped our students deal with the isolation of quarantine.”
Each KIDSTAGE camp is tailored to specific interests. Themes like Frozen, Star Wars, and Harry Potter keep younger kids stimulated, while introduction to technical theatre, acting for the camera, and songwriting are designed for teens who may be interested in pursuing a career in the entertainment field. Over 30 classes will be held virtually from June 6 to July 24 and will be offered via zoom. Camps taking place after July 27 are currently planned to be held in-person at both the Issaquah and Everett locations if social distancing restrictions are lifted by the state.
“Of course, we want to be in a room together,” said Nickerson, “theatre is all about collaboration and public gatherings! Having had online classes for the last six weeks with an average of 300 students per week, we know what works and have discovered some surprising benefits to virtual programing. These classes create an environment that allows every student to be center stage without interruption. Our teaching artists are able to celebrate online youth culture though activities that involve videos and memes. Students can blend their artistic and technical skills, and, since we are virtually everywhere, a student can take a class with a friend or relative who might not be located in the Greater Seattle Area.”
The theatre’s youth education program is one of the largest and most extensive musical theatre education programs in the country. Serving over 5,000 students annually, KIDSTAGE is uniquely designed to build critical life skills in each participant and encourage creativity, collaboration, problem solving, concentration, public speaking, and a strong work ethic. While some students are on a path to Broadway, all students are improving their futures and increasing self-confidence.
In addition to camps and classes, KIDSTAGE also offers opportunities for students to participate in a variety of fully-produced musicals, apprenticeships and internships, intensive year-round institute training, and in-school programming. Generous financial assistance is available for all programming, and no student is ever turned away for financial reasons.
Summer camps and classes are on sale now. For more information, including a full list of classes please visit the website.
About Village Theatre
Based in Issaquah, with operations in Everett, Village Theatre is the largest fully producing theatre in the Pacific Northwest, and a leading producer of musical theatre in the United States. Cultivating entertaining and quality productions since 1979, Village Theatre has grown into one of the country’s best attended theatres, with approximately 20,000 Subscribers and 220,000 attendees each Season. The theatre’s new works program, Village Originals, is nationally recognized for its commitment to the advancement of new musicals, having supported the development of over 150 new works to date. Village Theatre also takes pride in nurturing tomorrow’s audiences through its youth education and outreach programs, serving over 57,000 young people and their families annually.