Rock and Roll with Hartford Stage!

By Erin Frederick, Education Enrollment and Marketing Coordinator

Production still from the 2015 Youth Ensemble production of Shrek, Jr.  Photography by Barb Arnold.
Production still from the 2015 Youth Ensemble production of Shrek, Jr. Photography by Barb Arnold.

This summer brings with it the season of poodle skirts, malted milkshakes and rock and roll at Hartford Stage’s Youth Summer Studio! Students ages three to 19 will explore the excitement and drama of live theatre over the course of their one-week, two-week, four-week or five-week programs.

NEW this summer, students ages 15 to 19 are invited to take part in the Teen Musical! In this five-week program, students will be cast in a full-length musical production (soon to be announced), which they will perform live at Hartford Stage itself! Students will spend their days becoming true triple threats – acting, singing and dancing up a storm – all while acting as mentors for some of our younger students. The Teen Musical runs from July 5-August 5, with performances on August 5 and 6.

2015 Children’s Cast students show off their handmade monster puppets.
2015 Children’s Cast students show off their handmade monster puppets.

In the popular four-week Summer Studio Youth Ensemble, students aged 9-15 will be cast in either a musical or non-musical production. This summer’s shows are the classic 1950s musical Bye Bye Birdie and Oliver T – a retelling of Dickens’ classic tale, Oliver Twist, set during Hollywood’s golden age. Students spend mornings rehearsing and afternoons exploring elective classes of their choice. Previous elective classes have included Musical Theatre Cabaret, Shakespeare, Commedia dell’Arte and Technical Theatre. Once a week, the Youth Ensemble enjoys a field trip together, including an optional trip to New York to see a Broadway show! Youth Ensemble runs from July 5 through July 29. In August, students ages 9-15 can also participate in the One-Act Play class, which runs from August 1-12. In this program, young actors will hone their skills with training in the basics of acting and improvisation, working toward a hilarious production of Attack of the Pom-Pom Zombies – a spoof of 1950s Hollywood beach movies!

For our youngest students, ages three to five (who have not yet entered kindergarten), the week-long Day Dreamers program invites children to explore their imaginations through a half-day of creative movement, music, story theatre and puppet play. Day Dreamers is offered in two sessions: July 11-15 and July 18-22.

Students from the 2015 Summer Studio Children’s Cast
Students from the 2015 Summer Studio Children’s Cast

For children who have already completed kindergarten, ages 5 to 8, Hartford Stage offers either the Children’s Cast or Bookends programs. In Children’s Cast, students will take classes in story theatre, creative movement, music, puppetry and arts and crafts, and go on a weekly field trip. Previous field trips have included the Connecticut Science Center and a field day in nearby Elizabeth Park. Each session ends in a mini-production that the cast creates based on favorite stories and characters. Children’s Cast takes place in two two-week sessions: July 5-15 and July 18-29. In Bookends, students explore literature from the summer reading lists through acting, musical theatre, creative movement and arts and crafts. The one-week program runs August 1-5 and August 8-12.

With early drop-off, late pick-up, payment plans, and scholarship opportunities available, it is Hartford Stage’s goal to make all of our education programs accessible to all families. Summer Studio welcomes young people with all levels of experience – from the curious, timid beginner to the confident young star-to-be!

For more information on Youth Summer Studio programs, call (860) 520-7244 or visit