Perform with us on the MAIN STAGE at the Athenaeum Theatre in Lakeview in our 2019 Production Camp Featuring…
Click on the video above to see why Dream Big’s Production Camp is the only one of its kind in all of Chicago!
Chicago’s Premiere Musical Theatre Camp
Since we opened our doors in 2006, kids and parents would tell us they were dreaming of an opportunity to be in a “REAL show on a REAL stage and have a REAL part” in a professionally produced show complete with full sets, costumes, props, lights, sound and dressing rooms. 9 years later, we were finally in a position to do it right and make those dreams come true. For the past 4 years, our 10-person dedicated production staff has pulled off the ultimate production experience, the only one of its kind in all of Chicagoland. Our unique formula leverages professional expertise to produce a high-quality box-office show open to the public coupled with a compassionate environment that values collaboration among friends at the center of what campers and parents call a “life-transforming” creative process.
This is a rich training ground for young musical theater performers in an educational environment that is both nurturing and fun. This unique experience is only available to 50 campers and sells out fast. See more details in the accordion drop-down menus below.
Limited Space Available. We are currently more than half full!
Production Camp Details
Dates: July 22-August 16, 2019 (Monday through Friday)
Performances: Friday, August 16th and Saturday, August 17th
Ages: Students entering 2nd-8th grades
Price: $1,595 (To help make our programs even more affordable, payment plans are available through our registration system.)
Price Includes: Showkit, costumes, rehearsal process, professional skill-building workshops, musical lunches, performances, show t-shirt, and an amazing bonding experience with friends under the bright lights, with costumes, sets, props and makeup on a professional stage performing one of the best musicals ever written!
Before and After Care Options Available:
8:30-10 am ($15 per day) and/or 4-5:30 pm ($15 per day)
Location: All camp rehearsals and performances, July 22nd through August 16th, will take place at the beautiful and historic Athenaeum Theatre located at 2936 North Southport Avenue, Chicago, IL 60657. Final performances on Friday, August 16th and Saturday, August 17th, will take place on Athenaeum Theatre's professional main stage.
We are seeking students entering 9th through 12th grades interested in assisting backstage and in various aspects of the rehearsal process to assist us as Junior Counselors and members of our stage crew. We are also seeking college students to intern with us in various capacities including stage management, production design coordinators, stage crew, assistant directors, and so much more. To apply, fill out this form and the Production Manager will contact you. To learn more or for further questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 773-944-9146.
Every moment of every Production Camp day will be filled with fun activities, rehearsals and workshops to professionally prepare our cast for their show and also provide a memorable camp experience. Though we will balance the day with rest, work and play, we have organized our camp and staff to ensure that no camper will ever be sitting on the sidelines waiting for their time to rehearse. To give you a sense of how we will plan our days, see the sample breakdown below.
8:30-10 am Optional Stage Crew Before Care (Kids will work with staff members to create and add embellishments to props, costumes and set pieces.)
9:45-10 am All Campers Arrive
10-10:30 am Morning cast meeting and breakout into team meetings.
10:30am-12:30 pm Rehearsals and Review Time to reinforce staging, songs and choreography and Skill-Building Workshops (character development, drama games, design components, set decoration, etc)
12:30-1:30 pm Picnic lunch at the local park where campers can enjoy some unstructured downtime with the whole cast.
1:30-3:30 pm Rehearsals, Review Time to reinforce staging, songs and choreography and Skill-Building Workshops
3:30-3:45 pm Team time to acknowledge accomplishments of the day, review at-home rehearsal goals and plan for the next day.
3:45-4:00 pm Full cast together for closing group time
4:00-5:30 pm Optional Stage Crew After Care (Kids will work with staff members to create and add embellishments to props, costumes and set pieces.)
Each Friday, we will send home newsletters with updates from all of our directors and teaching artists that give you a peak into all the amazing accomplishments and exciting adventures our campers are experiencing. For now, here is an overview of major mile-markers for each week.
Week 1: Over the first two days, campers will audition for their top 3 choices. The rest of the week will include the first full cast read through and beginning to learn parts and blocking.
Week 2: Campers will continue to learn and block their parts as well as expand upon choreography.
Week 3: Campers will have the entire show memorized, choreographed and blocked by the end of this week.
Week 4: During our final week, we will put the whole show together on the Main Stage gradually adding all of the technical elements of our show including sets, costumes, props, sound and lights! By the end the week, it’s SHOW TIME for all of our adoring fans! Family, friends, and community members are all invited! A cast party after Saturday afternoon’s matinee will culminate this show-stopping experience!
On the first day of camp, every participant will be invited to audition for their favorite roles. Our directors work very hard to ensure that the process is not stressful or overwhelming and, if a child wishes to not audition, that is perfectly acceptable. Every camper will have a part on the stage. In June, we will make available audition sides (songs and scenes) for your camper to practice. These materials can be practiced as little or as much as your child would like and are meant to help him or her feel prepared and confident on the first day of camp. The actual audition will simply be your child performing what he or she has prepared in front of the director and musical director.
Tickets will be on sale closer to the Production date. Please check back again.
More information available closer to the Production.
If your child is not yet old enough or ready for our 4-week production camp, we are now offering a production experience for kids entering K-2nd grade!
Mini Production Camp
For campers entering K-2nd grades, this introduction to our Full Production Camp is an exciting performance opportunity for your young child. Campers will rehearse on stage at the Chicago Waldorf School in Andersonville and perform in an age-appropriate production complete with costumes, props, sound and lights on the historic Athenaeum Main Stage in Lakeview. Your child will learn the fundamentals of acting, singing, and dancing while getting to shine like the stars they are in the 30-minute musical To Bee or Not To Bee.
Clever! Funny! Characters include Aunt Bee, Wanda Bee, JohnnyBee, Hector the Nectar Inspector, and Granny Smith (The apple tree). The basic story line is “bee what you wanna bee,” which is connected through six delightful songs in a variety of styles.
Dates: August 5-16th
Times: 1-4pm (Before Care and After Care available)
Grades: Children entering K-2nd
Location: The Chicago Waldorf School – 5200 N. Ashland Ave. at Foster Ave
Final Performance: August 17th at The Athenaeum Theatre in Lakeview
Cost: $795 (Price is all inclusive of the 2-week camp, costumes, materials, 2 show tickets, and exclusive performance opportunity on the Athenaeum Theatre’s Main Stage.)
Limited to 40 participants.
Weekly Performing Arts Opportunities
Looking for a process-oriented camp that unleashes your child’s imagination, develops 21st century skills, and encourages your child’s unique voice in a collaborative environment? Attend our Weekly Summer Camps! Inspired by general themes or favorite characters, stories and songs from book, stage and screen, Dream Big’s weekly drama camps allow students to lead the way and co-create an original performance with their teammates.
Professional teaching artists foster a nurturing environment and facilitate a creative process that allows for all campers’ unique voices and imaginative ideas to be heard, integrated, and realized on stage! Kids naturally develop their self-confidence, creativity, self-expression and collaboration skills, that we consider necessary in contributing to our ever-changing world, while having fun with friends and their favorite characters, songs and themes! Each week culminates in an original performance for family and friends starring your camper!
Support our Summer Production Scholarship Fund
It costs over $50,000 to launch this incredible musical theater production camp experience each summer. So while we continue to fundraise, this performance opportunity and 4-week camp comes with a price-tag that isn’t always affordable for some families. Dream Big’s Founder, Lisa Lang, has always believed that the arts should be accessible to all children. Growing up, Lisa’s dreams were made possible by the generous financial support of organizations like ours, that opened her up to life-changing opportunities. Rooted in this foundational belief and personal commitment to give back, it has always been core to Dream Big’s mission since our doors opened in 2006, to never turn away a child due to lack of funds. Dream Big is dedicated to providing a way to include all kids who want to participate in our programming.
We encourage you to be a part of paying it forward. If you have the means, we hope you will consider sharing with others who could benefit from your generosity. Each summer, we distribute an average of $15,000 worth of production camp scholarships. Last year, we only raised $4,200 to offset our scholarship costs. With increased development efforts as a newly formed 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, this year our goal is to raise the full $15,000 or more for our Summer Production Camp Scholarship Fund. Please consider clicking the Donate button below to support a child’s dreams of performing on stage. Learn more about donor and sponsorship opportunities that support cross-curricular residencies in schools and tuition-based scholarships like this one by clicking HERE.
**If you are seeking a scholarship for your child, please contact us at email@example.com to request a scholarship application form.