Acting, Drama & Theater
Berkeley Parents Network >
Classes & Lessons >
Acting, Drama & Theater
My almost-5-year-old is getting in touch with his inner
Michael Jackson and he wants to sing and dance onstage. We
live in Oakland, near Lake Merritt.
Is there any program that I can take him to where he can
learn the performing arts? Preferably a weekly class; he was
accepted into COVA but we chose not to go there.
Stage mom, who me?
Kids Take The Stage
in Alameda has programs for kids of all ages. My child
has been taking their classes and camps for several years. Their classes are
hosted by several Alameda schools, but they also have a weekly program to
serve home-schoolers, or those who attend private schools and public schools
that do not host a program. KTTS theater programs are stable, and their
directors are creative and fun. It's a terrific way for kids to experience all
aspects of putting on a musical production. My child has made great and lasting
friendships through this experience. I believe KTTS has just started a new group
for 3-5 year old children. Check out their website for more information:
I have a 7-year-old son who absolutely loves watching and
imitating the singing and dancing performances on 'Glee,'
especially the pop songs. Does anyone know of a program
that offers pop singing and performance for boys? So far I
have only been able to find a class for girls.
Danceversity has fantastic week long dance sessions (Camps)
at Ashkenaz in Berkeley. Boys and girls they are very
theatrical and interactive. They run all August long.
DanceVersity Programs Danceversity World Dance Camp offers
girls and boys (ages 7-16) a ...
Berkeley Playhouse (http://www.berkeleyplayhouse.org/) has
wonderful co-ed classes that teach musical theater singing
and dancing. There may be mostly or all girls who attend,
but they have a great male teacher, Dane, who has taught all
of my daughter's classes there.
Any ideas for a preferably group acting class for a four year old?
I don't know that I would call Glitter & Razz
per se - as they don't go through the different METHODs or make kids memorize lots
of lines, but the Itty Bitty Drama Camps they do (kids 4-6) are fantastic for
little ones who love being on stage, using their creativity and imagination and
making these dreams come to life using their words and bodies. My five year old
has been attending G&R drama classes and play in a day camps since he turned 4.
The staff there have taught him much beyond what I expected. Last summer, they
not only practiced art, drama, and fun movement, they also discussed and did role
plays about conflict resolution, sharing, and being nice. You can check out their
programs at www.glitterandrazz.com or call 510.654.7166. Also they are really
convenient - right in Rockridge.
My 4 year old daughter spent two weeks at
Glitter & Razz's Itty Bitty camp this
past summer (for 4-7 year olds) and she absolutely loved it! With the help of the
teachers, the kids dream up characters and storylines for plays that they perform
for their parents at the end of each week. They put together their own costumes
and do the artwork for the set. The process is collaborative, creative and fun!
Every child's ideas are valued and they each participate in a way that is
appropriate for their age, personality, etc. Lynn and her staff are simply
fabulous and I was very impressed by the way they work with the group. They
nurture imagination and confidence while also helping the kids develop
self-awareness, empathy and social skils such as conflict resolution. I can't say
enough about Glitter & Razz and I just signed my daughter up for the ''Play in a
camp on November 11th. In addition to their website, I'd encourage you to check
out their Facebook page where Lynn sent out daily updates during the camp. You
are also more than welcome to contact me if you'd like to hear more. - Deb
I am looking for a class or program in musical theatre for my 9
year old son. He loves to dance and sing (not on key but with
much enthusiasm) and perform. He has been to drama camp but Ib1208>Young Drama Queen looking for Venuem
looking for something on weekends (preferably Sunday) or after
school. It doesn't have to be super-organized - a neighborhood
group or informal production would be just fine. Thanksamundo.
in Oakland down by Lake Merritt runs a
children's theater program: kids (ages 8-10 by Jan. 1) audition in
January, and they choose a bit over 30 kids to assign to three
different casts. The kids rehearse on weekends in the spring (every
third weekend, both Sat/Sun, for each cast) then perform, again every
third weekend, two performances each Sat/Sun, beginning June and
running through October. Our daughter is in her third year, and
loves it; each year they have one classic production (this year's is
from Beatrix Potter), one native Americas production, and one from
some other foreign culture. The new stage, opened last year, is
stunning. More information here:
I highly recommend Contra Costa Civic Theatre's Musical Juniors
program. Kids put on a full musical over a 10 week period. There is
emphasis on all drama skills -- vocal work, character creation,
dancing, ensemble work, etc. Nina Meehan the director is awesome.
I've seen her work with the kids and her emphasis on supporting each
other and teaching drama is wonderful. I volunteer at the theatre
(it is a community theater) and while my 5 year old son isn't old
enough to join in yet, we have seen many rehearsals and performances.
My son is eager to join in once he turns 7. CCCT is in El Cerrito.
You can find out more at www.ccct.org.
Kids 'N Dance and Theater Arts!......They have a FABULOUS musical
theater program for kids with age groups that start at 4 and end at
14. What I love about them is they work hard at giving all the kids a
great experience. Scripts are customized for each cast and everyone
is given a chance to be challenged and have fun. The quality of the
productions is amazing considering the broad range of talent. We
have done three shows already and our daughter loves it and has made
a great community of friends. An added benefit that I wasn't
expecting is that she is learning about responsibility and teamwork.
She insists on practicing with the CD they give her everyday so that
she is ready for class. Usually we are in the car and she happily
sings at the top of her lungs wherever we go!
They do musical theater in both of their studios (Laurel District -
Oakland, and Lafayette) and also do productions at the Orinda Rec.
happy low-key stage mom
I would recommend
Berkeley Playhouse for a kid with the acting bug.
http://www.berkeleyplayhouse.org Their summer program is apparently
full, but the fall music theatre session will begin registering in
late July/early August. They staged Roald Dahl's ''The BFG,'' and
''Peter Pan'' will be running July 17 through August 23 at the Ashby
Stage. They have a number of other classes... I took their most
recent Adult Musical Theatre class, and had a great time... it was a
perfect intro to musical theatre for the parent who's realized that
the kids shouldn't be the only ones getting up on stage! They've
also held one ''open-mic'' night for singing (both as a group and
performances by students, etc... three of the performers from ''Once
on This Island'' sang pieces from other shows) at the Julia Morgan
and plan to hold those every 3-4 months. A fine organization. Ross
I have an 8 year old budding actress. She has taken some theater
classes, but now she is interested in being in a ''real play''. Not
being much of a stage mom myself, I'm not really sure where to find
such an opportunity. I grew up down the Peninsula where there was a
children's theater in town, is there such a thing in the East Bay?
will be holding auditions for next year's productions in
They select three casts of ten 8-10-year-olds, rehearse from March or so and
then perform starting in June and running through October. Each of the casts
generally performs every third weekend, two shows on Saturday and two on
Sunday (i.e., they rotate the casts so there's a two week break, then a heavy
performance weekend, for each cast). After that there's a holiday show that
performers can volunteer for, combining players from all three casts... the
2008 performers will be doing that this coming weekend, and next, and it might
be a great opportunity to meet and talk with them (and see the performance
venue... this year was on the brand new $3M stage). Our daughter has been in
it the last two years, and it's been wonderful.
I would reccomend Kids Take the Stage.
I want to recommend the
Berkeley Playhouse http://www.berkeleyplayhouse.org/
They put on kid-friendly plays and also run theater classes and other
programs. We went to see the BFG (based on Roald Dahl's book) with two jaded
7-year-old boys last month and it was fabulous - funny, wildly inventive, lots
of great kid and teen acting. Our kids were totally transfixed the entire
time, and that's saying a lot.
Check out their website. I think it's a wonderful thing for kids to be
able to see live theater that is fun for the parents too -- we are lucky to
have this group in Berkeley!
You don't say what city you're in, but I'll recommend
Town Hall Theatre's
children's programs in Lafayette. It is very near BART and HWY 24, so it is
easy to get to from Berkeley, Oakland, Lamorinda (obviously), Walnut Creek,
and Pleasant Hill. Their kids' programs are great. Each culminates with a play
on the theater stage, sometimes on multiple nights, depending on the program.
The directors are fabulous and they have several programs based on age that go
from age 4 to to 18.
If you are looking for a great
musical theatre class for kids, there is a hidden gem at
Kids N Dance
in the Laurel district in Oakland and in Lafayette and Orinda. In the
Oakland studio they have a Beginning Theatre on Thursdays (age 6-12),
Intermediate Theatre on Mondays (age 8-14) and a lot of ''Little
Theatre'' classes for age 4-6. The classes culminate in two full
performances. Check it out!
My nine year old is ready to start Performing Arts and theater classes. Can
you recommend an after school theater program in the North Oakland/
Emeryville/ Berkeley/ Albany area?
Drama Queen parent
A great place for performing arts is Kids N Dance in Oakland's Laurel
District! They have several choices for a 9 year old, depending on the
experience she already has. Beginning Theatre is lots of fun and can
be very low key for the timid (chorus roles) and more challenging
roles for those who are ready for it. Intermediate Theatre focuses on
more skills and has more challenging roles. There is also a Audition
and Theatre Skills class, and a class for parents to do with their
children (Family Theatre). You should definitely check them out.
Does anyone know of any Bay Area opportunities for a parent and child to
act/perform in an amateur stage production together? We recently visited
some relatives in the LA area who are about to perform as a family in
''Annie.'' We'd love to do something along those lines. Any leads would
be most helpful. Thank you.
I have a great recommendation for parent/child acting opportunities --
Costa Civic Theatre (in El Cerrito). They have been around for 50 years and
produce high quality theatre that the whole family can be involved in.
Many families perform together (or a parent could run spotlight.) In fact it
was founded by a husband/wife team whose children grew up acting and
participating and now their children are involved.
They usually do 2 musicals per year, a comedy and a drama. They also have
afternoon/weekend children's programs.
My husband directs, acts and is on the Board of Directors. It's a great group
of folks, and we really enjoy being involved. Our son is 3 and we plan on
getting him involved very soon.
Check out www.ccct.org. Or feel free to call us at 510-665-7795.
Anyone know of any on-going drama classes during the school year
for a 10-year old?
YES! I will repeat a recent recommendation for kids in grades
3-5. I don’t know if it’s too late for the fall session, but I
highly recommend First Stage.
It meets Tuesdays, 3:45-5:50,
usually at Wildcat Studio (8th Street Berkeley, near Dwight).
They do a few rehearsals, and perform, at the Julia Morgan
Theater. They run two 10-12 week sessions each year. Give the
director, Sue Walton, a call. Her phone number is 415-647-
0914. The plays are written to include interesting parts for
every actor, and the kids have a great time.
Try Berkeley Rep School of Theater. They have four sessions a
year. for ages 5 and up. My 6-year-old has had just 3 weeks of
her class, but she is thrilled with it.
I am looking for a drama experience for my kids in an after
school program. I'd love for at least my 7-year-old to be able
to be a part of a play, the kind that rehearses throughout the
semester and then has a performance or two at the end.
I suppose many schools do this, but not the one my daughters go
to. Also, I have checked the website, but the recs I saw were
either for older kids or for the Julia Morgan center (which I
think seems to follow more of a workshop-type, develop-your-
actor's-skills method rather than staging a production of Oliver
If it's not too far for you, you might check out Young
Performers Theatre at Fort Mason. They have drama classes for
kids age 3 through 12, as well as performances featuring kids.
I'm not sure how many of the students perform, but call and find
My 9-yr-old son and his friends have enjoyed the First Stage
after school drama class since third grade. (The flyer says
age 8-11, but if your daughter is close to 8, they might take
They do not do something like “Oliver!”, but a musical play
written or adapted by the co-directors. They have been doing
this for over 15 years, and the instructors are wonderful.
They write the plays so there are not just a few “star” roles
while everyone else is in the background. Instead, while parts
vary in size (as kids vary in their comfort level), every child
has a role that is important to telling the story.
Everyone sings and dances (simple steps, no dance experience is
needed), as well as acting. The kids can also help make the
scenery and props.
The class meets at Wildcat Studio (on 8th street in Berkeley,
near Dwight), and perform at Julia Morgan (a REAL theatre!).
Classes meet on Tuesday afternoon from 3:45-5:30, with a couple
of extra Monday rehearsals close to show time. It runs 10-12
Contact Registrar KC Chapek at 510-530-8804. Or, from Sept. 5-
16, contact Sue Walton at 415-647-0914. I don’t think they
have a web site.
We go to the Glenview Performing Arts Center (right off Park
Blvd. in Oakland) for dance, and I noticed on their calendar
they do have a drama class for kids (ages 5-12) starting
September on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4-5pm. The fall
session ends with a low-pressure presentation/ show for family
and friends. Tuition is $40/ month for 1 class per week or
$66/month for 2 classes per week. This seems to me to be the
most affordable dance/drama studio around!
Additionally, there are auditions coming up for the holiday
show of ''T'was The Night Before Christmas''. I think they are
auditioning kids from 5 years up to adult for the show, but you
need to commit to regular rehersals and then 6 shows/weekend
for two weekends in December.
The studio has a new website at www.glenviewpac.com.
Drama Classes for 4-year-old
I'm looking for an acting/singing/theater class or group for my
four year old boy. He always has had a strong affinity for all
things musical and in the past year has begun to develop ''class
clown'' skills as well (according to his preschool teacher) --
basically he's a musical ham. He's been begging me to be in a
play since he saw his first musical 6 months ago, so I'm
thinking it's time to explore this a bit. Recommendations on
the website are 3 years old, and I'm having a hard time getting
any info from the various kids musical theater groups in the
area about places for kids this age. We may do a week at the
Julia Morgan this summer, but beyond that I'm lost. Any
recommendations or leads, anywhere in the area, would be
Julia Morgan Theater Camp
My daughter is 4 and is very outgoing and dramatic. She loves to sing,
dance and act things out. I'm looking for a good school where I can enroll
her in some
acting or drama classes so I can direct all this energy in some creative
Last week during dinner she climbed up on the stage and announced herself,
and then proceeded to dance for everyone, bowing at the end to the entire
restaurant... Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.
Kids On Camera is a program that accepts children as young as age 4.
(See recommendations for Kids on Camera)
My daughter is enrolled in the Elementary School of Arts and Sciences on
Broadway. Although it is an Elementary School K-3, they do have a summer
program for musical theater and an after school which starts in mid April for
musical theater as well. I know Carol Smith (the director of the school) for
five years now and I believe that it is the best program in theater, singing,
performing for very young age. Also, you make want to consider the school
itself for your daughter since their curiculum includes at least three
theatrical performances per year. Their phone number is: 658-5443
Classes for 7-year-old
I'm looking for an acting class for a seven year old boy
who is very energetic and creative. I've put him in the
Julia Morgan classes where he was grouped with 4 and 5
year olds as well. Too juvenile. We're looking for something
he can really sink his teeth into and have fun...any
suggestions? We are willing to drive into SF on weekends.
This is just for fun, we've no professionlal aspirations.
An East Bay Mom
California Shakespeare Theater
Shakespeare acting classes for 10-year-old
I'm looking for a Shakespeare acting class for my 11
year old daughter. She worked with the Actor's Centre
for a production this fall, and loved it! I've looked
at the listings on the web site, but not come up with
anything. I'd love to know about classes in the East
Bay or Contra Costa. Thanks
California Shakespeare Theater
this page was last updated: Nov 9, 2011
BPN is now a 501(c)(3) non-profit and we are building a new website!
Read more, and see how you can help:
The opinions and statements expressed on this website
are those of parents who subscribe to the
Berkeley Parents Network.
Disclaimer & Usage for
information about using content on this website.
Copyright © 1996-2014 Berkeley Parents Network