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New Jersey Performing Arts Classes for Kids

Acting classes are the foundation of any great performer. These programs will give your kid the tools (and confidence) she needs to take center stage.


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All Children’s Theatre
Various locations
973-335-5328
allchildrenstheatre.org

Your six to 14-year-old gets a shot at playing Daddy Warbucks in this group’s production of Annie. If he’s looking to work behind-the-scenes, sign them up for the “Creative Dramatics and Comedy Show,” where he’ll write and act out his own production. 

Bergen Performing Arts Center
30 North Van Brunt St., Englewood
201-816-8160; bergenpac.org

Budding actors ages four and older play games and get introduced to acting techniques in the “Intro to Drama Class,” which culminates in a non-musical performance. There are plenty of options for the older set, too, like “Musical Theater for Kids” and “Creative Drama.”

Class Act Performing Arts Studio
128 Irvington Ave., South Orange
973-789-0191; classactpas.com

Kids get comfortable in front of crowds in “Acting 1” (ages seven to nine) before advancing to “Acting 2” or “Acting for the Camera,” where performers complete scene work, monologues and learn the basics of on-camera mechanics (ages 10 to 14). 

Elefante Music & School for the Performing Arts
1790 Springfield Ave., New Providence
908-464-5928
elefantemusic.com

Young actors shine in a variety of classes, where they learn improvisational techniques, act in front of a camera and perform monologues in classes like “Acting Onstage” and “Acting Shakespeare.” Children as young as three can get their feet wet in the “Broadway Beginners 1” program, which teaches basic singing techniques and dance moves. 

Essex Youth Theater
14 Alvin Pl., Upper Montclair
973-746-3303
essexyouththeater.com

Weekly classes lead up to a big performance that highlights every actor (ages seven to 11) in “Creative Dramatics.” Theater games help students gain confidence while tapping into their creativity. 

Gotta Dance
Various locations
877-233-2623
gotta-dance.com

Learn different genres of dance in high-energy classes like “Broadway,” which teaches choreography, acting and singing all at once. 

Hoboken Children’s Theater
1405 Clinton St., Hoboken
646-339-8485
hobokenchildrenstheater.com

Your mini-me (grades two through four) will learn about scripts, costumes, choreography and, of course, acting in the “Sing! Dance! Act!” program. Once she’s mastered the limelight, she can audition for “The Junior Company,” geared to kids with more stage experience. 

Mayo Performing Arts Center
100 South St., Morristown
973-539-0345; mayoarts.org

Actors ages six to eight learn the basics in “Acting Kids” through games, improv and scene work. Big kids (ages nine to 12) hone their stage presence and character development skills in the “Acting Workshop Junior” session. There are voice, musical theater and musical theater dance classes running all fall, too. 

The Musical Theatre Conservatory
9 Ridgeway Ct., West Orange
973-868-6259
musicaltheatreconservatory.com

Kids combine singing, dancing and acting skills in programs like “Broadway Kids” or “Broadway Teens” and “Show Biz Kids” where your little showstoppers (seven-and-a-half and up) prepare musical numbers, learn stage techniques and play games.

New Jersey Performing Arts Center
1 Center St., Newark
888-466-5722; njpac.org

Broadway stars can hone their skills alongside accomplished musicians and dancers in classes like “Creating a Cabaret,” which focus on musical theater and modern dance for ages 14 and older. 

Paper Mill Playhouse
22 Brookside Dr., Millburn
973-376-4343; papermill.org

This Essex County mainstay has tons of options, including an “Acting and Improv” course that uses games to stimulate creativity in your novice actor. Once he’s got the hang of it, try the “Musical Theatre Workshop” or “Teen Production” (ages 12 to 15), where he’ll learn staged musical numbers or work on a scripted drama. 

Professional Arts Academy
250 Old River Rd., Edgewater
917-697-5629
professionalartsacademy.com

Kids eight and older take their pick from tons of classes geared towards rising superstars. Try “Pro Arts Musical Theater” to get the nuts and bolts of auditioning, staging and designing a musical, along with a healthy dose of dance and acting instruction and voice training. 

The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey
36 Madison Ave., Madison
973-408-5600
shakespearenj.org

Stars-in-training ages 10 and up work on their monologues and get comfortable in front of a crowd in “Junior Shakespeare Corps,” a workshop that focuses on classic literature. Classes include “Monologue Coaching and College Auditions” and “Stage Make-Up: Just in Time for Halloween.” 

Stage Right Theater Productions
722 E. Ridgewood Ave., Ridgewood
201-207-3525; stage-right.net

Kids get their pick of drama, dance, voice and even behind-the-scenes prep classes at this studio that’s organized by skill level. 

Theatrical Corner
572 Allen Rd., Basking Ridge
908-506-1010
theatricalcorner.com

For triple-threats as young as three years old who are interested in musical theater, this studio has it all. Start her off in the “Introduction to Musical Theatre” class, where she’ll get comfortable on stage before showcasing her talents with a performance at the end of the session. Kids ages six to eight can get their feet wet in “Foundations of Musical Theater” and “Theatre and Performing.” 

Villagers Theatre Arts Program
475 DeMott Ln., Somerset
732-873-2710
villagerstheatre.com

With auditions and performances for kids and teens every season, there are so many opportunities to take the stage at this theater.  The Kidsville group will perform A Christmas Cinderella this winter, followed by School House Rock Jr. Live! in the spring.

Westfield School of Dance
137 Central Ave., Westfield
908-789-3011
thewestfieldschoolofdance.com

This school hosts musical theater and acting classes, where kids learn stagecraft and monologues. If your kid is just getting started, an intro class gives her the lowdown on all things performing arts. 

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