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- FAMILY & PARENTING
- PLAYGROUPS Theater in San Francisco for Children ~ Sheena West
In San Francisco, there are tons of opportunities for children to enjoy and participate in theater. San Francisco is full of theatrical companies that train children, summer theater programs for youngsters, and theatrical performances just for the little ones in your life. If you’re wondering what theater in San Francisco offers child-centered classes and performances, you’ve come to the right place. Here are three places to check out for your child:
Young Performers Theater
The Young Performers Theater is located in the Fort Mason complex and offers a wide variety of theatrical activities for kids. If your kids aren’t quite ready to perform, take them to one of the performances, which feature interesting puppets and live actors, as well. Children can experience classic stories, such as the tale of King Midas and Beauty and the Beast. Some of the plays put on here are participation plays, which are great for getting little ones involved in the magic of the theater.
The Young Performers Theater also offers a variety of classes for kids of all ages. The “Let’s Pretend” class is for kids as young as three and begins exploring how we can take on different roles by pretending. Children can advance through classes that focus on physical comedy and slapstick, puppeteering, movie making, musical theater, and even writing and producing their own shows! The classes take place throughout the school year and summer and are a fantastic way for your mini performer to learn more about theater.
Musical Theater Works
This theater company is specifically for training young actors in musical theater. It features summer programs that allow students to be totally immersed in the theater process – from auditions to final curtain and everything in between. In this program, students can make new friends, gain poise and self confidence, and learn everything they need to know about theater to go on to more advanced roles and classes.
Students at the theater work on producing real musicals, including the Wizard of Oz, Footloose, Aida, Guys and Dolls, and even the Sound of Music. Through working on real, classical musicals, students can get a feel for what it takes to be an actor and musician. Students who wish to be part of Musical Theater Works must have a high level of commitment. In return for that commitment, though, they can be a part of up to two musicals a year and work with professional designers to get their musicals off the ground.
Bay Area Shakespeare Camp
To become a real actor, you’ve got to know something about the king of plays: Shakespeare. Unfortunately, it can be difficult for kids of any age to get a grasp on Shakespeare and his works because the language throws up a barrier. What many teachers have learned, though, is that through performing the plays, students can really understand and connect with them. Thus was born the Bay Area Shakespeare Camp, which now offers a full range of summer camps for kids interested in acting and performing.
The same company that introduces kids to Shakespeare through summertime Shakespeare camps also offers Midnight Shakespeare after school programs to inner city schools in the bay area, including Burton High School in San Francisco. These free programs are an excellent way for students to learn about Shakespeare and to build community as they act and create entire productions.
If your kids love the theater, check out some more of the theaters in San Francisco!