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Best acting camps and performing arts summer camps

Try these acting camps and performing arts summer camps—your little ones will love their time in the spotlight

Photograph: Courtesy Val Andrews and Broadway Bound Kids

It's time to silence your phone and enjoy the show. These acting camps and performing arts summer camps are a surefire way for your little ones to get their time in the spotlight—and for you to witness their capabilities on stage. From theater, music, dance and everything in between, performing arts are alive and well in NYC this summer, no matter your age. Take a gander at these acting camps, dance camps and music camps, among others, to see what's best for your kiddos. 

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to summer camps in NYC

There's a little something for everyone, no matter your children's interest. Explore our roundup of sports camps, STEM and science camps, creative art camps and family camps. Your children have plenty of choices for summer 2018! 

Best performing arts camps

A Westside Experiment—Young Actor's Laboratory at IRT Theater

Downtown’s IRT Theater works to create highly original productions from deaf, hard-of-hearing and hearing-abled
 tweens and teens. In addition to acting, improvisation and script writing, participants use mime, spoken
word, dance, music and inventive storytelling to stage their productions. Ages 13–18. 

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West Village

Calhoun Summer Camps

If your kid is interested in the arts, Calhoun Summer Camps offer programs for movie buffs (Calhoun Movie-Making Camp for 2nd–6th graders, where kids can create original films) and musicians (Calhoun Summer Music for 6th–11th graders, where they'll get coached by professionals). Kids can also learn all about jazz improv and theory (Calhoun Summer Jazz for 14–18-year-olds) or attend a two-week Story Pirates camp for 2nd–6th graders focused on story writing, puppet/prop-building and acting. All ages.

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Upper West Side

Bandwriting Collective

With a strong emphasis on letting kids' inner voices ring out proudly, the intensive two-week summer program brings young musicians together to write, play and record their own songs. The campers form bands and collaborate with the help of musicians and recording technicians. Kids will go home with a CD of the songs they created... after performing at a major NYC venue! Ages 10–16. 

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Midtown West

Broadway Bound Kids Camp

Kids who love being on stage will thrive at this exciting theater. During the two-week programs, kids will learn and perform an original music review featuring amazing songs from kid-friendly Broadway musicals and movies. Look out for the Hamilton-inspired summer program, a surefire hit. Camps are held at various locations. Ages 5–12.

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Midtown West

Brooklyn Acting Lab Young PLAYers Camp

Brooklyn Acting Lab’s young actors’ program teaches kids the skills needed to put on their own show. In addition to acting exercises that include improvisation, singing and dancing, campers also try their hands at playwriting and crafting props and sets. 1012 8th Ave, Brooklyn (718.238.8383, brooklynactinglab.org) 330 Smith St, Brooklyn (718-238-8383, brooklynactinglab.org). Ages 5–9. 

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Midtown West

TADA! Theater Camp

Throughout the program, talented kids take the TADA! stage to star in musical adaptations of favorite stories. Each week follows a theme, such as EMOJI: The Musical, World Turned Upside Down and I Speak Fluent Show Tunes. Lights, camera, action! Various locations. Ages 4–12.

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STREB Summer Circus Camp

Step right up and get ready to star in your own amazing three-ring circus. Young acrobats will swing on the trapeze, flip the day away on the trampoline and balance on a tightrope. They'll learn the techniques of real-life action hero (and Macarthur Grant winner) Elizabeth Streb, whose motion lexicon Pop Action combines stage and street performance art. Campers 6–13 years old: July 9-13, July 16–20, July 23–27, July 30–Aug 3, Aug 6–10, Aug 13–17; Campers 3–5: Aug 20–24, Aug 27–31. Ages 3–13.

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NYC Kids Fairy Tale Camp

Little ones will let their imaginations run wild during this summer arts camp that encourages city kids to create their own original fairytale. After being inspired by the week's featured story—showcased through music, movement and storytelling— campers will have time to craft props, costumes and sets. Mom and dad will love taking in the whimsical production at week's end. Ages 3–5.

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West Village

Acting for Film, TV and Theater with Red Carpet Kids

Little stars, step right up! In this acting camp, young creatives attend classes such as Acting for Film, How to Deliver Commercial Copy, Cold Readings, Scene Study, Audition Strategy, Monologue Preparation and Industry Coaching for Representation. Each week finishes with a showcase with an actual kids agent and manager. How cool is that? Ages 6–14.

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Lenox Hill

Usdan Center for the Creative and Performing Arts

Whether your kids' creativity is focused 
in one area of the arts or if their passion for performing, creating and imagining cannot be contained, Usdan
 allows campers to curate a program that is right for them. From a variety of classes in music, dance, theater, creative writing and visual arts, children choose a major and minor to fill their days at the beautiful Wheatley Heights campus. Classes appeal to both traditionalists and contemporary performers, with options that include ballet or hip-hop for dancers or musical theater and game-heavy actor’s craft for thespians. For kids who want to work with their hands, classes in metalworking, archery, organic gardening and LEGO design keep their bodies and minds occupied. Ages 7–18. 

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Upper East Side
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I agree Rita. Their list has several newbies. Young Actors Camp Los Angeles is going on 18 years as a residential film acting immersion.


Rita L

I also recommend ACTeen, and ACTeen Juniors! Over 30 years of success for middle school and high school actors! I am the director and glad to answer any questions!