Harry Potter fans practice the dark arts, and Ninjago nuts, the martial variety, but if kiddo is ready for her close-up, the dramatic arts are where it’s at, and across the Washington Metro area, there is more than just a class or two for that.

little-princess-at-encore-stagePhoto: Larry McClemons

Adventure Theater
 Merging with another arts education provider in 2012, Adventure Theater now known as Adventure Theater Musical Theater Center or ATMTC, capitalized on 60 plus years of creative energies to expand not only performance opportunities, but also its reach into Montgomery County. Offering a jam-packed schedule in Glen Echo, and Rockville for all age groups, advanced performers in grades four through twelve, also hone their acting chops in ATMTC’s Student and Pre-Professional Programs. Plan ahead for September auditions in the Student Program culminating in January productions, and July for the Pre-Professional Program, a year-long intensive of music, acting, and dance instruction.

7300 MacArthur Blvd. (Glen Echo, Md)
837-D Rockville Pike (Rockville, Md)
Online: adventuretheatre-mtc.org

Encore Stage and Studio
Encore celebrates 50 years in 2017 of working with young people to develop their creative talents and promote lifelong dedication to the arts. Auditions are not required to enroll in the company’s intensive training program where participants ages 8 and older build their confidence right along with acting and technical skills, from props and scenery, to lighting and front of the house management. With multiple performance opportunities throughout the school year, Encore’s Theater for Kids, by Kids motto translates to a tight audition and rehearsal schedule that pays off, with even the shyest of wallflowers getting the chance to make a splash. Look out too for Encore’s new Theater for the Very Young production debuting February 9 – 25.

4000 Lorcom Ln. (Arlington, Va)
Thomas Jefferson Middle School and Community Theater
125 South Old Glebe Rd. (Arlington, Va)
703-548-1154
Online: encorestageva.org

Imagination Stage
Funneled across four different disciplines of theater arts, performance, dance, and film, Imagination Stage’s school year classes and upcoming Summer camp options are indeed the product of some very creative thinkers. Easy to use age and date filters on the website direct parents to sign-ups for kids as young as age three, who take part in half day Arts Explorer camps. Elementary through high school students take their pick of flexible week long, or two week sessions focused on everything from basic acting and Legends of the Greeks, to musical theater production camps. A leader in accessible arts education, Imagination Stage also has a number of specially designed inclusive programs. Finally, students as young as fourth grade may be eligible to audition for Ensembles or Conservatories, one and two year intensive commitments which may lead to roles on the mainstage as it did for two metro area students sharing the role of Chip in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast this past season. 

4908 Auburn Ave. (Bethesda, Md)
301-961-6060
Online: imaginationstage.org

Synetic Theater
The Winter session is now underway, with classes for ages six to nine in puppetry and acting at this Crystal City area theater focused on the physical aspects of performance, combining kinetics and the concept of synthesis for unique mainstage shows, many without dialogue. See also the Spring Break camp and Summer session options including a session of Camp Creation and Imagination for children ages four to six. Synetic’s Teen Company is a year-round program dedicated to training young performers.

2155 Crystal Plaza (Arlington, Va)
703-824-8060
Online: synetictheater.org

Theater Lab School of Dramatic Arts
Is your eight year old camera ready? Sign-up at Theater Lab’s Northwest D.C. facility for Introduction to On-Camera Acting beginning March 4. Take advantage also of Spring Break camp, or Summer camp opportunities for kids grades one to eight. Teenagers may audition for the Musical Theater Institute featuring two sessions of four weeks each culminating in July and August performances, or the Acting Institute, taking on Macbeth, and staging a performance at GALA Hispanic Theater.

733 8th St., NW
202-824-0449
Online: theatrelab.org

Have your kids enrolled in any of these acting programs? Give us the rundown in the comments.

–Carolyn Ross