By Sue Colerick

If you have a budding young performer who dreams of taking center stage, sign that little singer, dancer, actor or comedian up for a summertime program that will offer theater, acting and performance arts classes near home. From Shakespeare to “Glee,” Chicago’s got theater covered.

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Little Beans Cafe Camp
1809 W. Webster
Chicago, IL 60614
(773) 251-1025

Price: $400 two days/$600 three days/$800 four days/includes camp program, T-shirt, snacks and ice cream
Hours: 8:45 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Sign that thespian up for a four-week summer camp program at Little Beans Café Camp for variety that will keep kids of any age entertained. Register for either two, three or four day-a-week, three-hour classes for four weeks during May, June and July. Each week offers a new theme with a special curriculum that rotates activities including arts and crafts, music, theater, storytelling, imaginative play and dance.

Related: Chicago’s Best Kids’ Concert Venues

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710 Robert York Ave., Ste. D
Deerfield, IL
(847) 914-9100

Price: $300
Hours: 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Summer camp at Starland lets your aspiring Gene Kelly to learn new skills and express his creative self. While the theater section is already filled, Starland still has spaces available for Glee Camp. This all-day camp lets your child bring out her inner dancer and singer, as each class is dedicated to dancing and singing to current songs, musicals and a few golden oldies. The last session includes a performance night, giving your child a chance to perform a few musical numbers in front of an audience of family and friends.

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Stagecoach Theater Arts School
St. Andrew’s Lutheran School

260 N. Northwest Hwy.
Park Ridge, IL 60068
(847) 224-6040

Price: register before April 1 and save $50/register for both sessions and save 10 percent/sibling discounts also available
Hours: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; each session is one week long

At Stagecoach Theater Art School, kids ages 6 to 16 may enjoy one-week sessions that include a special Saturday performance. This year, session one in June features the music and dance of “Jungle Book for Kids.” The musical performance will include Disney tunes such as “I Wanna Be Like You” and “Bare Necessities.”  Session two in July will feature the music and dance of “The Rockin’ Tale of Snow White.” The musical performance will fuse together the musical genres of rock and roll, doo wop and hip-hop.

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Emerald City Theatre School
The Playhouse Theatre
2933 N. Southport Ave.
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 529-2690

Hours: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; two-week sessions with performance on last day
Price: $750

The Emerald City Theatre School offers two-week, all-day camps for children ages 5 to 13 during the months of June through August. Because sessions do not repeat, students may sign up for more than one session. A typical day includes warm up actor’s tools, scene study, singing lessons, dance and choreography, music and improv rehearsal, and a closing day activity. The summer session selections include “Annie,” “Glee,” “James and the Giant Peach,” “Mary Poppins” and “The Muppets.”

Related: Summer Camp Scramble

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Youth Company Chicago 
925 W. Diversey Pkwy.
Chicago, IL 60614
(312) 324-3700

Hours: daily – 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily with five performances Friday to Saturday at the end of the camp session.
Price: $1,300 tuition/save $50 by paying  in full at the time of registration/$1,250 due upon enrollment/installment option of four payments of $325

Youth Company Chicago students learn beginning through intermediate-level skills in acting, singing, dancing and performance arts. The camp includes opportunities for both rehearsing and learning, along with social and physical activities to give students a well-rounded camp experience. Teachers at Youth Company Chicago are some of the best master instructors and theater practitioners from all over the Chicago area. The camp program ends with a fully produced, public performance in which participants play lead or supporting roles while dressed in professionally designed costumes on an actual performing stage.

Sue Colerick loves to cook, bake, and share food and recipes with her friends and family. A freelance writer in Chicago, her work can be found at