You may have heard of Young Artists of America before. They’ve been voted as a top summer camp by Washington City Paper and Bethesda Magazine readers for many years in a row. Their productions have won Regional Emmys, and their year-round programming was named “Best Youth Music Program” (Bethesda Magazine’s Best of Bethesda 2020) and “Best Performing Arts Education for Young Artists” (MD Theater Guide 2019 Readers’ Choice Awards).
With the pandemic, they have been pivoting quickly, thinking creatively with safety first – offering virtual classes as well as fully-staged digital musical theatre productions that include filmed, in-person performances and virtual performances edited together. They were recently featured on Fox5 for one of these productions, their upcoming presentation of Sondheim’s INTO THE WOODS, partially performed literally in the woods!
So, if you are looking for a summer program for your performing arts tween or teen, check out what YAA is offering! They have two different programs this summer:
Conservatories is a full-day, on-campus or hybrid model that focuses on the artistic process plus applied training in Acting, Dance and Voice, culminating in a fully-staged digital musical theatre production (RENT, Cabaret, The Little Mermaid, Jr., and Madagascar, Jr.) at the end of each session. They run from June 25 – July 9 and July 9-23
Academies is a half-day, all virtual model called that focuses on the artistic process to educate aspiring young performers of all levels in the many disciplines of musical theatre. Both of these models have programming for students ranging from 5th grade to college freshmen at all levels. Sessions run from June 28 – July 9 and July 12-23.
You can learn more about both programs here.
If your summer is booked, be sure to check out their year-round programming as well. They offer spring and fall semester training for singers, actors, dancers and instrumentalists as well, and even have one-off workshops (sometimes free!). No matter the program, YAA is known for one-of-a-kind opportunities, truly nothing like anything in the area.
Students learn from top teaching faculty as well as teaching artists, oftentimes right from Broadway. Their students have had the opportunity to work directly with such Broadway legends as Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Pippin, Children of Eden), Alan Menken (Beauty and the Beast), Tim Rice (Lion King), and performers the likes of Kristin Chenoweth, Julie Andrews, and Eleasha Gamble, Anthony McGill, and countless others.
In normal times, they produce full-staged, symphonic productions and perform them on state-of-the-art stages like the Music Center at Strathmore and The Clarice. Check out highlights from Les Miserables, one of their last fully-staged productions before the pandemic:
Even more, Young Artists of America has generously offered KFDC readers $100 off registration for new students depending on the program! Use promo code KF100 at check out when you register on their website.