Play On! Studios

Things to do, Camps Upper West Side
5 out of 5 stars
(7user reviews)
Play On! Studios
Photograph: Courtesy Play On! Studios

Encourage your littles to get in touch with their creative side at this music and drama-focused Upper West Side studio. Catering to kids ages Pre–K–12, Play On! offers engaging after school and summer programming. Expect fun activities like drama games, improvisation and musical workshop activities, plus the opportunity to put on amazing shows. Last but not least, Play On! offers top-notch private youth music instruction. Ages 4–18.



Venue name: Play On! Studios
Address: 263 W 86 St
New York
Cross street: between Broadway and West End Ave
Transport: Subway: 1 to 86 St
Static map showing venue location

Average User Rating

5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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Our family couldn't love PlayOn! more.  My daughter has loved singing and musical theater since she was small, but she was always too shy to sing in front of anyone.About 3 years ago, I heard great word-of-mouth reviews about PlayOn, so we gave it a shot. I could say that it’s the best thing we've ever done (because it is), but that wouldn’t fully convey the wonderful effect PlayOn has had on all of us.The past three years of year-round PlayOn (summer camps and Saturday classes) have been a life changing experience for my daughter, and an exciting, moving, fun experience for our entire family. PlayOn's founders/teachers Lena & Elisa are energetic, funny, kind, and talented women who know exactly how to tap into and expand each child's talents and interests. Our once-shy daughter has gained so much confidence and discipline in PlayOn.She loves transforming into her characters, and now she can’t wait to sing for an entire audience!Even better, she has found her “tribe” of like-minded kids who have become her close friends. Any time I’m waiting outside of the theater with other PlayOn parents, the conversation revolves around how great the shows are (the costumes! the sets!) and the amazing effects PlayOn has had on the kids.PlayOn! Studios is truly a treasure for NY families.

My son goes to the Play On! musical theater programs, on Saturdays during the school years and the five-week camp in summer. It's incredible! Not only does he have a wonderful time, he's also getting better and better at a craft he truly loves through the direction, coaching, and theater games. And it's not just endless rehearsal -- the kids participate in building the sets, they learn about technical aspects of theater, in summer they see a Broadway show and take other field trips and eat outdoors every day (weather permitting), and just generally get to be kids. Lena and Elisa said that they designed the camp they wish they had existed when they were children, and it shows. The result is that my son, who was very shy and did his best to melt into carpet at school, finally found his confidence and started participating not only in class but in life. He's more involved with everything and everyone, and he emceed the annual show at his school he had previously refused to participate in. I can't say enough good things about Play On!

Confession.  We absolutely love Play On!  Our daughter has developed an infectious love of musical theater that has been passed on to her little four year old brother.  They sing along at home to Broadway songs and we credit this to the love and humor that is part of the instruction and performances at Play On! We have seen our kid literally grow up at Play On, from her first after-school class when in Pre-K to now in third grade participating in the most amazing musical theater Saturday program.    

 Our son has been going to Play On! ever since he was old enough. He goes during the year and to the summer camps and loves it. He was singing and dancing to a version of Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" that they sang in one of the plays all summer! They have a blast and really keep it light and fun for the kids while still finding teachable moments. We don't have any big theater/acting goals for him, but we love that he's learning how to interact with kids and adults in a fun way. One of the biggest changes we've seen in him since he started is how he's getting much better at reading other people's social cues. There are lots of life lessons even if he never pursues acting seriously. 

Highly recommended. Great people great classes, professionally run. 

We found Play On! Studios five years ago when my daughter was in elementary school. While she seemed interested in singing and enjoyed performing, it hadn't been a passion of hers initially. My daughter began with the 5-week summer camp with Play On! She would come home each day talking about Broadway shows, Les Mis, Fiddler, Evita, etc. I was happily surprised that she was working on a show, having fun and learning about theater classics. She has always loved all of the counsellors at the camp. They are all so nurturing, kind and made the day so encouraging and fun for the kids. Lena and Elisa are passionate about theater and know how to introduce it to kids in a lighthearted fun way while still being serious about doing the best they can and putting on a great show. My daughter continued with Play On! for several summers and loved every day spent there. When we were heading into the public HS process we decided to begin vocal lessons, Play On! was the natural choice. She had weekly lessons to work on vocal technique and audition skills. Lena and Elisa would check in too prior to the HS auditions to offer and tips, answer questions and as always, be encouraging. She ultimately did get into her top choice performing arts school, certainly thanks to Play On! My daughter has worked with several voice teachers on the Play On! staff, due to teacher moves, each were so wonderful with her. The personnel has known her from a tween to a teenager and my daughter has loved and felt supported by each. I absolutely thank them for introducing my daughter to musical theater. It is now her passion, a fondness we now share, and get excited about together.

My daughter does PlayOn year around - Saturday classes during the school year and 5 week camp in the summer.  This is her 3rd year and she loves it.  It makes me wish I didn't find it sooner.  She has played many different types of characters and taken on each one enthusiastically.  It is a great drama group - fun but serious, challenging but doable.  The kids really thrive and keep coming back for more.  I can't thank Lena Moy-Borgen and her vision more.  She understands kids, exposes them to different types of shows, and encourages them to try things they couldn't imagine.  We look forward to the next show!!!

We have had absolutely the best experience with Play On! studios. For seven (!) years, my daughter has enjoyed music lessons (piano, and later voice, guitar) with Elisa Winter, and musical theater camps (weekends during school year, summers) with Lena Moy-Borgen. The studios have been a wonderful addition to our lives, and I feel lucky to  have discovered them when my daughter was finishing up kindergarten.  It's been uphill ever since in terms of her music education, not to mention her love of music, which Elisa helped her weave together in a very special way, each reinforcing the other.  A few years ago, she started to do the music theater workshops and camps with Lena, and had a wonderful time. The productions were very high quality, and all our friends and family who saw them thought they were terrific.