Timeout New York Kids

Make the most of your city

Theater classes for NYC kids

Let your drama kings and queens put their talent to work.

  • Photograph: Michael Jurick

    Applause

  • Atlantic Theater Acting School

  • Photograph: Angela Jimenez

    Classes at the Brooklyn Arts Exchange in Brooklyn

  • Photograph: Stephen Michael Rondel

    The New Acting Company at Children's Aid

  • Photograph: Courtesy Tada! Theater

    Tada!

Photograph: Michael Jurick

Applause

52nd Street Project
This program in Hell's Kitchen matches up neighborhood kids with theater pros (past mentors have included actors Billy Crudup and Edie Falco) to create original plays and musicals. Each year, 20 nine- and ten-year-olds are accepted, and most continue with the program through high school. 500 W 52nd St at Tenth Ave (212-333-5252, 52project.org). Free. Sept 12--end of school year; call for schedule. Ages 9 to 10.

Applause

For kids who are serious about becoming the next Dakota Fanning, Applause offers classes taught by Broadway and TV pros. In addition to acting and singing lessons, students practice their big-screen technique in the On-Camera class—all work is recorded, then played for family and friends. 184 E 76th St between Lexington and Third Aves (212-717-0703, applauseny.com). Fall session begins Sept 12. Sixteen classes $800. Ages 5 and up.

Atlantic Acting School for Kids
The Atlantic Theater Company isn't all about angst-filled David Mamet productions: The acclaimed center offers creative classes for kids as young as pre-K. Little ones create their own stories through improv games; older kids learn script analysis and perfect their Shakespearean monologues. 76 Ninth Ave at 16th St (212-691-5919, atlanticactingschool.org). Fall session begins second week of September. Call for pricing information. Ages 4 and up.

Brooklyn Arts Exchange
The littlest kids at this popular Park Slope performing-arts hub start with Drama-Rama, where they learn to develop a character and work as an ensemble; tweens move on to scene work and monologues. 421 Fifth Ave at 8th St, Park Slope, Brooklyn (718-832-0018, bax.org). Fall session begins Sept 12. Eleven classes $216 and up. Ages 5 to 12.

Kids 'N Comedy at the Gotham Comedy Club
If your kid insists on being the class clown, you might as well show her how the pros do it at the Chelsea stand-up joint's young comedians' workshop (which counts Josh Peck from Nick's Drake & Josh among its alumni). Wee wiseacres study their favorite comics on video, learn how to write and perform jokes, and get to bounce material off working comedians. At the end of the class, students perform on the Gotham Comedy Club stage. Gotham Comedy Club, 208 W 23rd St between Seventh and Eighth Aves (212-877-6115, kidsncomedy.com). Fall session begins Sept 24, Sat 11:30am--1:30pm. $550 for nine weeks. Ages 10 and up.

The New Acting Company at the Children's Aid Society
In its final year in the Children's Aid building (the group will find a new location next year), this venerable kids' theater company offers two types of classes. In Skills sessions, kids play theater games; in Playlabs, they rehearse and stage a play. The 6-to-8-year-olds, for example, will perform James and the Giant Peach, complete with costumes and sets. 219 Sullivan St between Bleecker and W 3rd Sts (212-254-3074, childrensaidsociety.org). Fall session begins Sept 19. Seventeen classes $425. Ages 3 and up.

TADA! Youth Theater
Kids master simple footwork and original songs; at the end of the semester, they put on a show for family members. TADA! Also offers programs at community centers around the city. 15 W 28th St between Fifth Ave and Broadway (212-252-1619, tadatheater.com). Fall session begins Sept 24. Eleven classes $240 and up. Ages 2 to 14.

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