How To: Choosing the Right Theatrical Arts Program for Your Child

Written By: PAW Team | November 26, 2019


The key factors to help you decide on the right theater program
for your child and your family

We all know that theater programs have profound educational and developmental benefits for children, and you may be interested in how theater could benefit your child. If your child is shy, you might look for a theater program that empowers them to open up and come out of their shell. On the other hand, your child may be a natural-born entertainer who loves singing and dancing in front of a crowd, and you know that a theater program will channel that energy into a positive outlet. Or perhaps your child has never participated in an arts-based activity before, and they want to try something new this summer. Whatever the case is, take a moment to consider the following factors before signing up for a performing arts summer camp.

If your child is a theater fanatic who wants to learn more, if they’ve never been in a theater program, or if they’re very reserved, look for a program that has a noncompetitive environment. In a noncompetitive theater program, children do not have to audition to be selected for the program, nor will they have to audition for specific parts. Instead, these programs focus on fostering community and collaboration, so every child who is enrolled will be assigned a part in the show based on their strengths and comfort levels. In these camps you can create or buy simple costumes for your child, the shows are free for friends and family, and they allow you to take your own photos and videos. Further, the focus of a noncompetitive program is all about learning proper technique, growing their self-confidence, and having a great time putting on the most fun show a child can experience. For children dipping their toes into the performing arts pool, a child-friendly, noncompetitive approach is the best way to go.

However, if your child is already a veteran performer who has been in countless plays and you are considering theater as a career, you may want to think about programs that offer a real-world theater arts experience. In comparison to noncompetitive programs, professionally aligned programs require an audition to join the production, and sometimes a second audition for casting. For an extra fee, these camps provide big sets, costumes, and professional videos and photos. You may also be asked to buy or sell tickets for the show. Since it is assumed that the children in these productions already have prior theater experience, there is less focus on learning technique and more pressure to create the most perfect and polished performance possible. These camps are designed to prepare children to start auditioning and performing in the entertainment industry. If you are considering getting an agent for your child and taking them to Hollywood or Broadway auditions, then these camps will help you prepare for that.

Professional caliber camps are wonderful for current or future working actors, but if you’re looking to instill your child with self-confidence, invaluable life skills, and a long-lasting love of the performing arts, then a more child-friendly program is the right choice for you. At the end of the day, what matters most is that you choose a program that will suit the unique needs of your child. All of these summer camps are fantastic, but the very best one of all is the one that encourages your child to reach their full potential.

PAW’s award-winning camps for kids ages 5-14 include Musical TheaterFilmmaking, Guitar,  Magic, Photography, Rock The Mic, Stage F/X Makeup, Debate Camp & Camp LOL!

Trusted for over 30 years, PAW has 10 camp locations to choose from including; Brentwood, West LA, Manhattan Beach, RPV, Redondo Beach, El Segundo, East Pasadena, Old Town Pasadena, Northridge, and Studio City. For camp information call us at (310) 827-8827or check out our website at

Performing Arts Workshops ~ the ultimate ARTS experience.
Part Art…Part Play…ALL FUN!




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