Youth Musical Theater Camp

Chelsea, Vermont  

2016 Camp Dates   Monday August 1 - Saturday August 13
    Leads will have an additional three camp days  July 27 - 29

Day camp held at Chelsea Town Hall
296 Vt. Rte. 110, Chelsea VT  05038

Camp Description

Students 8-14 come together to have fun, express themselves through theater and games, and at the end of camp, participate in a full-length original musical theater production. We welcome students with an interest in the theater, and students come to us with a variety of theatrical backgrounds and acting and singing abilities. All leads and students with speaking lines are asked to memorize their lines and songs by the beginning of camp August 4th 2014. Students aged 12-14 interested in potential lead roles go through a selection process for lead casting (see Casting for a general overview). which happens in early-mid-May.

HOw it works

Our camp begins as one large group. In a great circle, the full staff and all the campers 7-14 play some theater games together, move, and have fun. Then, during the first week and a half, after some morning drama games we often work on our big-group numbers that involve all ages. After the morning break, we usually separate into two age-specific groups, though depending on the day there may be some crossover. For example, we will sometimes send a few characters from the 12-14 year old camp to rehearse a scene that involves a group of the younger students. Occasionally, the younger kids join the older kids for a scene that they are in together. We fully merge during performance week (the final week of camp), all joining to put our show together.


(*and some of the more mature 11 year olds)

We typically assign our larger roles to our 12-14 year olds, with the occasional 11 year old stepping up into a larger solo role. Some of our 12-14 year olds are assigned to group roles instead of larger lead roles.

This age group will spend time the first half of camp exploring theatrical expression, getting to know their character(s), and working scenes. The last half of camp is largely spent rehearsing for our production, while continuing to build on the skills we've been practicing since the first week.

You can read more about how consideration for lead roles works on our Casting page. 


Recognizing the appetite for theater and challenge that many children in this age group are looking for, we like to give the 10-11 olds a variety of several smaller roles in the production. A typical 10-year-old might play a pirate in one scene, a minister in the next, then be in a group villager dance a few scenes later. This can make for some speedy costume changes!

Some 10-11 year olds have individual lines and solos in songs, while others are cast in group parts.


We love to give the 8-9 year olds at camp a fun, feisty theater experience playing drama games and putting in good hard work towards the final production. Children in this age group will get to play in several group roles, while also working on our in-camp mini-production of the summer's show. Occasionally some 9 year olds will at times join the 10-11 year old group. 


The chelsea town Hall: A Wonderful Theater Space and Grounds

We will be housed in the historic Chelsea, VT Town Hall.  Built in 1894, it has a wonderful stage and theater space, exquisite curtains and backdrops dating back ~100 years, and wonderful wooden decorations. We will occasionally have breakout sessions within walking distance of the town hall, and use the town green just outside our doors for certain theater games, outside time, and movement.

Exploring Theatrical Expression

Besides getting to know the play we will be performing, we focus on activities and games that explore theatrical expression:

  • Physical expression—We'll get moving, see what our limbs are capable of, and even stretch little-known facial muscles for gesture. We'll explore different ways to walk, sneak, tiptoe, and other ways of getting here to there, all adding to our bag of tricks for the performance.
  • Vocal expression—We'll try out speaking styles in anything from whispers and whoops to sighs and barks. We'll have fun looking at a how we might express a range of emotional states from determination to confusion, passion to indifference.
  • Musical expression—In addition to singing the songs for the performance itself, we'll do singing warm-ups and some singing games.  We'll look at the different moods songs can bring, trying out singing in voices that are happy, sad, sly, bewildered, and a number of other moods.
  • Character expression—Depending on the child's age, we'll explore how exploring and exercising our inner moods can bring acting to life.

Typical Day Schedule    1st week

You can read more specifics on day-to-day activities at A Day In the Life Vermont Camp

Afternoon art activities help space the theater work we do in the mornings

Afternoon art activities help space the theater work we do in the mornings

(Actual Camp Day Schedules may vary)

  • 9:00            Meet for warm-ups, games, check-ins
  • 9:30  11:00               Full-group or small-group theatrical activity and/or rehearsals
  • 11:00  11:30              Snack / free movement break
  • 11:30 – 12:45  Rehearsals
  • 12:45 – 1:20   Lunch and free play / free time
  • 1:20 – 3:30    Variable: small group workshops, continued rehearsals, or movement / art / nature activity.  Our younger students are typically welcomed into the art activities, while the older students can choose between several electives, including art, theater workshops, or continued rehearsals.





Some years we ask certain leads to come in on Saturday for extra scene work. We let folks know by the middle of the first week of camp whether the Saturday rehearsal is happening.

  • 9:30 – 1:00    Rehearsals. After the first four days of camp, we will determine if we need this half-day for rehearsals with some or all leads.

Performance Week: Monday-Thursday

  • 9:00 – 12:30  Rehearsal of show. Students eat snacks as needed during their break times.
  • 12:30 – 1:15  Lunch / movement break
  • 1:15 – 3:30  Continued rehearsals

Performance Days


9:00 – 1:00Dress Rehearsal of Show
1:00 – 6:00OFF--parents are in charge of their children
6:00 – 6:15  Arrive at Town Hall, get ready for performance
7:00 – 9:15Performance

Saturday (last day of camp)

1:00 – 1:15  Arrive at Chelsea Town Hall to get ready for performance
2:00 – 4:15 Performance
~ 4:30Final farewell