2021/2022 Youth Theatre Drama Camp Information

Drama Camp is held at the end of June each year and gives actors third grade through middle school the opportunity to audition, be cast in a play and perform that play at the end of the week. It is a whirlwind week that is a summer highlight for many! DRAMA CAMP REGISTRATION is by ONLINE ONLY. Actors will be added to the roster on a first come-first serve basis.  Please be sure to keep the information sheet that is part of the registration packet.

For additional assistance or TO VOLUNTEER, contact Nancy Ballantyne 249-1346.

Since 2001, our drama camp has offered students, ages 9-18, an opportunity to learn all aspects of theatrical performing.  From auditioning to production, these two-week sessions in late June are an excellent opportunity for children to be introduced to theatre or to hone their skills.

Each summer for the past twelve years we have given 65 – 70 young actors the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of auditioning, memorizing, rehearsing, collaboration and performing. Actors attend either Week One or Week Two and will be in one of two age-based groups. Elementary actors are those going into 3rd, 4th or 5th grades next school year, middle school actors are those going into 6th, 7th or 8th grades, and high school is for 9th thru 12th.  We offer multiple camps – find the one that is right for you.

Over the years, many wonderful people have helped with Drama Camp, in a myriad of ways. There is a whole lot of “magic” as enthusiastic, young actors audition, take workshops, rehearse and then perform a play for an audience – all in less than a week! 2018 Drama Camp needs volunteers to fill some important positions.  We need people who, not only love theatre, but love working with young people.  Whether you are interested in lighting, directing/teaching, costuming, prop or back stage, we have a place for you. No experience is necessary; we provide on-the-job training!

In February 2002, the newsletter held a special announcement: “ The MCP Board of Governors recently approved a proposal by Jo Anne Sandburg to establish a season of theatre with children as its main audience! Not to be confused with the Summer Program (Drama Camp) in which children take classes and do the performing, this regular season Theatre for Children, is acted by adults, with an emphasis on scripts to interest and involve children. We are really excited about this new endeavor, which we hope will capture the interest and imagination of children, who are our future – and the parents who want to share theatre with them!” And, so Magic Circle Players, Theatre for Children On Stage was born. Early productions were directed by Jo Anne Sandburg, Pat Myers, Nancy Ballantyne and Cheryl Capshaw. December 2003, Carol Hight, the newsletter editor wrote, “We are in our fourth season of Theatre for Children. The original concept was to have adults perform plays for children. We now have adults and all ages of young people performing in our TFC productions. This gives the young people great opportunities to learn theatre techniques and act. If you think kids don’t want to be actors you should come to auditions and see how many kids are there.” With a passion to see more kids given the opportunity to act, Lisa Rediger , had the idea to produce large musicals acted by children for children audiences and 32 actors, aged 10 -18 were cast in Disney’s Aladdin JR in 2102. Theatre for Children produces an on stage show each year the first week of June; we sometimes have all adult casts, a mix of adults and youth and sometimes all children. But it is always show for our very important audience –CHILDREN.

Call for interest

We would like to extend an invitation to you to participate! We need a director and actors interested in auditioning. If you want a performance experience that doesn’t have the strenuous requirements of a full length production, you have availability in the fall, you like elementary children and children’s literature AND would like to be part of extending a theatre experience to a captive audience, please contact us.


In February 2004 it was announced, “THEATRE FOR CHILDREN GOES ON THE ROAD! There will be an exciting addition to the upcoming 2004 -2005 Theatre for Children season when TFC hits the road and performs a delightful short play in RE-1J district elementary schools. Anyone with flexible daytime hours, an interest in performing for over 2600 people and a desire to make Theatre for Children Travels a reality should contact Nancy Ballantyne.”  This call has gone out every year since and we have expanded our audiences to include the private schools in Montrose County and we have done performances in Gunnison and Ridgway and Ouray elementary schools. Magic Circle Players, Theatre for Children Travels is bringing the joy of a live theatre experience to every child in the Montrose school district. For twelve years, the TFC Travel Show has performed each fall at local elementary schools. We perform a 30 minute play, cast and directed by Magic Circle Players’ volunteers, to give the joy of a live theatre experience to children who may not otherwise have the opportunity. We generally rehearse through the month of August and start performances after Labor Day; performances are scheduled on Thursdays and/or Fridays each week through the first week of October. We do two performances at each of the public schools. We are always warmly welcomed at the schools, so it is a wonderful theatre experience.

History of Our Youth Program

In the 1990’s Magic Circle Players Theatre for Children began with collaboration with the Montrose Arts Council to bring Missoula Children’s Theatre to town. Missoula brought a whirlwind of theatrical experiences for children kindergarten through 12th grade. The week began with 171 local children auditioning for a production and continued with workshops, rehearsals and a performance at the end of the week. The wildly popular shows played to standing room only audiences.

With the need for more opportunities for children identified, in the summer of 1999, Magic Circle invited under graduate and graduate students from CU to conduct two week acting classes. Tricia Dickinson was instrumental is coordinating these classes and in 2001, we offered our first independent classes, the newsletter read, “ It’s a special two week summer theatre experience for students 9 -18 years old. It includes the creation of original playscripts through storytelling, movement and improvisation.” The summer of 2002, Cheryl Capshaw began a decade of valuable leadership in establishing Magic Circle Players, Theatre for Children, Drama Camp. The June 2002 newsletter reported’ “ Summer Youth Camps were a big success with over 30 kids participation in both sessions….the kids learned about auditioning, memorization, make up and stage direction while producing the play Delightfully Different. They also developed character and improvisation skills…We hope you all got to see the kids perform, it was a real treat.” Drama Camp is held each summer, in the last two weeks of June. To accommodate the growing interest and the number of actors registering, we now offer two classes each week, for a total of four classes over two weeks, this way we can offer 68 children the experience of live theatre. Nancy Ballantyne has capably guided this program for the past several years.