Parents whose kids are curious about the theater have more than one way to introduce them to the performing arts. Miami’s children’s theaters and big-name playhouses offer a range of programs that both foster a love of performance and develop talent with classes, productions suitable for and starring youngsters, and backstage experiences with real Broadway actors. For everyone from precocious tots to tweens with real theatrical aspirations, here’s where Miami’s next generation of entertainers earn the spotlight.
Founded in 1996, MCT bills itself as a “children’s theater for children and by children,” offering a range of performance options from its home base at the multimillion-dollar Russell Theater at the Dave and Mary Alper JCC. In addition to no-audition-needed beginner classes for actors ages 6 to 13 (which close with a final show) and full-scale company productions that you can take the kids to see (up next: Ragtime), MCT partners with Pinecrest Gardens and Coral Gables Youth Center for off-site performances.
This South Miami theater company gives youngsters a glimpse into its world via a constant stream of kid-friendly productions and a range of classes that cover acting, voice and dance. Programs are available to students ages 5 to 25 in both group and private settings, but it’s the near-monthly shows featuring tons of local talent that will both entertain and impress children onstage and off. This summer, the conservatory’s teenage group takes on Eric Lane's Ride, about three teenage girls on a life-changing road trip.
A Gables staple, Actors’ Playhouse stacks its Saturdays with children’s classes broken down by age and experience, ranging from “Let’s Make Believe” for younger children to musical theater and scene study for more seasoned thespians. In addition to training, the company regularly plays host to schools and camps with innovative child-focused productions. Plus, Actors’ Playhouse offers all-kids-included sensory-friendly performances of each show. Onstage now: Jack and the Beanstalk.
Students ages 10 to 17 looking for an immersive taste of theater life can enroll in Camp Broadway, which features five days of singing, acting and dancing led by professionals from the Great White Way. Campers get a chance to meet the Arsht Center’s production crew, participate in a Q&A session with visiting artists and experience master classes before taking part in a special musical performance for friends and family at the end of the week.
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