Active Kids Guide

Whatever your kids are into, there's a camp or program to inspire them

Theater Lovers

Performing arts programs are great for kids who are natural entertainers, extroverted, and dramatic. But even kids who may be less outgoing often enjoy them and learn a lot about being part of a group, too, says Debra Baron, theater arts training director at the Children’s Theatre Company.

“We have very shy kids come to us, and we have kids who are just itching to perform,” she says. “Kids who do well here are really open to the idea of working collaboratively, and they are creative kids who are ready to have fun with their imaginations.”

Participants in Children’s Theatre programs start with a children’s story. They discuss its dramatic possibilities as a group, pursue their ideas, and wind up staging their own unique play. “They hear the story, and the story either gets enlarged by them and they add characters, or the story gives them an idea that takes them in a different direction,” Baron says. “We utilize their natural instincts to play in a performance-art way.” Those who aren’t interested in performing can have fun with set design and other aspects of a production, she says. Along the way, kids develop specific theater skills, as well as “collaboration, problem solving, active listening, and making decisions within the context of a group.”

Where To Experience Theater

Stepping Stone Theatre Company

School-year classes, summer camps, and in-school performances. Ages 3-1/2 and up, St. Paul, 651-225-9265, steppingstonetheatre.org

Children’s Theatre Company

Multiple programs on site and in schools and communities. Preschool and up, Minneapolis (with satellites in St. Louis Park and Chaska), 612-879-5685, childrenstheatre.org

The Guthrie Theater

Year-round and summer camps on various aspects of performance, from Shakespeare to slapstick. Ages 7 and up, Minneapolis, 612-225-6237, guthrietheater.org

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