Children’s theatre and acting classes in Chicago are plentiful. However, there is much to consider when searching for the perfect theatre academy for your child to attend. One of the first things to consider is location and convenience. Regardless of whether your child is attending class twice a week or everyday after school, choosing theatre classes that are a short distance from home or school decreases the likelihood of missing a class. In addition to proximity, here are some other important things to consider when seeking children’s theatre classes in the greater Chicago area.
Seek a Theatre Academy with a Selection of Kids Acting Classes
There are so many options available when it comes to children’s theatre classes and unless your child has tried a specific style before, they may not know which kind of class fits them best. A great option is to find a studio that will allow your child to drop in and try a class or two, before signing up. This will provide your kid with the opportunity to meet the instructor, get comfortable in the studio space and ultimately decide which style of acting class is best for him or her.
Here are some classes to consider, when helping your child choose what is the best fit for them. Remember, depending on the class schedule, there may be an opportunity for your child to be involved in a couple different styles of acting classes.
An acting techniques class can be a great place to start for many students. In this fundamental class, kids learn how to use their voices, bodies and imaginations to tell the stories of their character. Techniques classes build confidence in young actors through decision making and critical thinking games and exercises.
Many prominent actors and actresses of our time, found their beginnings in improv. If you think that you might have a young Amy Poehler on your hands, then improvisation class might be a great fit! Improvisation is acting without a script. It encourages students to think quickly on their feet, be creative and work together with fellow acting students. Increased confidence, team development and building confidence public speaking are just a few of the many benefits that your child may take away from their improv classes.
For kids who are interested in the performing arts, across the board, musical theatre may be the best fit. Musical theatre classes involve training in singing, dancing and acting. This is a perfect fit for students who take separate dance or voice lessons or those interested in starting to build all three skill sets. If your child has expressed interest in participating in local children’s theatre productions or school musicals, musical theatre classes are the perfect start!
These are just a few of the many classes offered under the umbrella of children’s theatre classes. Some other classes to keep your eyes open for are Shakespeare based curriculums, acting for the camera and creative drama, just to name a few.
Look for Experienced, Dynamic Acting Instructors
Finding the perfect style of class goes hand in hand with finding an instructor, who your child respects and works well with. Luckily, theatre instructors tend to be outgoing and enthusiastic by nature, which helps to make students feel comfortable in a new classroom setting. As mentioned above, see if there is an opportunity for your child to drop in on a class to meet the instructor, before committing to regular lessons. This will also give you the opportunity to ask the instructor any questions you may have about their background, training or instruction style. Most studios provide instructor bios on their website, this is a great place to start getting to know academy staff before even stepping foot in the classroom.
Does the Academy Put on a Children’s Theatre Production?
Depending on your child’s goals, a production may or may not be the desired end result of their hard work in a theatre class. However, productions provide an opportunity for children to show off the skills they’ve learned in class and offer a fun way for them to come together with their fellow classmates and show off their hard work. When researching a theatre academy for your child, be sure to ask about any showcase performances or productions that they host throughout the year and if they are required or optional for students to participate.
Regardless of your child’s existing skill set or prior acting experience, children’s theatre classes are a great option to expand their learning ability, social capacity and self confidence. Chicago offers many fantastic options for children to participate in acting classes, but it’s important to find the right fit for your kid. So, be sure to take your time to research local options, review different types of classes offered and speak with instructors to discover which theatre school is best for your child.