Let the World be the Stage for your Child
From a young age, children naturally start performing. As chubby little fingers walk the itsy bitsy spider up its water spout, a smile forms across the corners of their mouths as you cheer them on. As they age, a hairbrush becomes a microphone to sing their favorite songs from the tiled floors of your family bathroom.
If you’ve ever sat on the couch as the audience for your child’s in-house performance, you’ve likely wondered where they can grow their theatrical skills. We’ve scoured the Kalamazoo area and found several locations to expand your child’s stage outside of your home.
These locations offer courses in improvisation, musical theater, playwriting, and acting.
How Does Theater Benefit Your Child?
It’s more than memorizing lines.
Whether your child has the “acting bug” or not, dramatic arts’ benefits extend beyond reading a script or learning which side of the stage is left or right. Emotionally, children are able to express their feelings and gain insights into other’s emotions through observing body language. Self-esteem also grows as students are able to speak publicly with an audience.
What if your child doesn’t want the spotlight? Theater is about more than playing the lead role. Students learn how to build sets and work as a team in order to create a show. Often times, the entire family can be involved. Parents can assist with constructing props or costumes for the production.
Where Kids can Take Center Stage + Theater Classes Around Kalamazoo
Consider these locations for dramatic arts instruction with many offering both year-round courses and summer camps. There are fun options for all ages (including adults) and varied interests to let kids take center stage.
Theater + Performing Arts Classes
Crawlspace Comedy Theatre | 315 W Michigan Ave, Kalamazoo, MI 49007
Holds courses on improvisation for ages 7-13. Classes meet for weekly for five weeks in the First Baptist Church in Kalamazoo. No experience is necessary to join; adult classes also offered.
Grand Rapids Civic Theatre | 30 Division Ave N, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Head north to Grand Rapids for their School of Theatre Arts; you will find a comprehensive program covering acting, sketch comedy, musical theatre, improvisation and dance. Students starting at age 4 are mentored by professional theatre artists. Classes meet weekly for six weeks.
Kalamazoo Civic Theatre | 329 S Park St, Kalamazoo, MI 49007
Known for their theatrical productions, The Kalamazoo Civic Theatre offers their own Academy of Theatre Arts to teach students from ages 3 to 103 in the dramatic arts.
Their focus is on education and process, rather than the end-stage performance. Classes meet weekly for five weeks and emphasize inclusiveness; all experiences and backgrounds are encouraged and welcomed.
Opening Act Theatre Company | 61268 Co Rd 657, Lawton, MI 49065
Opening Act Theatre Company in Lawton focuses on telling a good story through performing arts (acting, music, and dance). Performances are shown at the Paw Paw Playhouse. They offer private lessons, summer camps, and after-school classes for grades 1-8.
Prism Performing Arts | 101 S Main St, Vicksburg, MI 49097
Vicksburg Community Center is now home to Prism Performing Arts. This center includes playwriting, directing, acting and improvisation. Courses and summer camps are offered and geared for ages 4-14.
Topanga Studio | 3309 Greenleaf Blvd, Kalamazoo, MI 49008
Topanga Studio hosts a creative space for families to learn and explore. Courses include music, dance, theatre and creative play. Weekly classes average four weeks. Target ages: 2-7.