Shot from a 2018 Village Theatre production of “Matilda the Musical.” Photo by Mark Kitaoka

Shot from a 2018 Village Theatre production of “Matilda the Musical.” Photo by Mark Kitaoka

Village Theatre providing online options for youth summer programs

While the theatre’s mainstage productions are postponed, virtual programs are ramping up.

  • Wednesday, May 20, 2020 10:22am
  • Life

Village Theatre is looking to provide a safe and engaging space for Puget Sound children and teens to learn and grow this summer.

Although the theatre’s mainstage productions are postponed indefinitely due to social-distancing orders, the theatre’s Youth Education program, KIDSTAGE, will allow students entering Pre-K to age 20 an opportunity to participate in arts-based learning beginning June 6.

After a successful trial of virtual classes during the spring quarter, KIDSTAGE will roll out an expanded catalog for the summer session.

“When the ‘Stay Home, Stay Healthy’ order went into effect, we pivoted to an online class system right away,” said director of Youth Education Kati Nickerson in a press release from the theatre. “Connecting with peers and having a safe place for self-expression has really helped our students deal with the isolation of quarantine.”

Each KIDSTAGE camp is tailored to specific interests. Subjects like “Frozen,” “Star Wars,” and “Harry Potter” have been found to keep younger kids stimulated, while introductions to technical theater, camera-acting and songwriting are designed for teens who may be interested in pursuing a career in the entertainment field.

Over 30 classes will be held virtually from June 6 to July 24 and will be offered via Zoom. Camps taking place after July 27 are currently planned to be held in-person at both the Issaquah and Everett Village Theatre locations if social distancing restrictions are lifted by the state.

“Of course, we want to be in a room together,” said Nickerson in the press release. “Theater is all about collaboration and public gatherings. Having had online classes for the last six weeks with an average of 300 students per week, we know what works and have discovered some surprising benefits to virtual programming. These classes create an environment that allows every student to be center stage without interruption. Our teaching artists are able to celebrate online youth culture though activities that involve videos and memes. Students can blend their artistic and technical skills, and, since we are virtually everywhere, a student can take a class with a friend or relative who might not be located in the Greater Seattle Area.”

The theatre’s youth education program is one of the largest musical theatre education programs in the U.S. Serving over 5,000 students annually, KIDSTAGE is designed to build critical life skills in each participant and encourage creativity, collaboration, problem-solving, concentration, public speaking and a strong work ethic.

While some students are striving to make it to Broadway, all students are working to improve their futures and self-confidence.

In addition to camps and classes, KIDSTAGE also offers opportunities for students to participate in a variety of fully-produced musicals, apprenticeships and internships, intensive year-round institute training and in-school programming.

Financial assistance is available for all programming. No student is turned away for financial reasons.

Summer camps and classes are on sale now. For more information, including a full list of classes please visit

In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Life

Issaquah Zombie Walk courtesy photo.
Zombies coming home this weekend in Issaquah

The annual zombie walk event is coming to homes through an online event Saturday

Enzo’s Bistro and Bar/Justin Oba
New Issaquah restaurant brings Italian cuisine in family-friendly setting

Enzo’s Bistro and Bar, located at the former Pogacha of Issaquah, brought back some of the staff from the old restaurant

Courtesy Friends of Lake Sammamish State Park.
Walk’n Wag at your pace with extended virtual event

A scenic course for dog walkers is on display at Lake Sammamish through Sept. 2o

Issaquah youth perform timely message during pandemic

Students with the Kaleidoscope School of Music are putting together a performance for Aug. 31 on YouTube

Photo: Issaquah Food and Clothing bank gets generous donation from seniors

The donation from a local retirement community totaled $5,175

2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid. Courtesy photo
2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid | Car review

There’s a reason Honda’s CR-V has been America’s top-selling crossover vehicle over… Continue reading

2020 Ford Ranger SuperCrew Lariat. Courtesy photo
2020 Ford Ranger SuperCrew Lariat | Car review

Ford’s venerable compact Ranger pickup went away for a while. But it… Continue reading

Courtesy photo
Sign up for 2020 ‘Run to Rwanda’ Fun Run slated for September

Clyde Hill resident Sophie Sharp, an 11th grade student at The Overlake… Continue reading

Washington State Fair cancelled

COVID-19 outbreak claims another event

TLG Motion Pictures CEO Erik Bernard and TLG founder Courtney LeMarco on a set. Photo courtesy TLG Motion Pictures.
Local production company seeking film, TV pitches from young minority creatives

The Big Pitch competition, put on by TLG Motion Pictures (“Hoarders”), started about six months ago.

Local musicians hold virtual benefit concert for mental health

The stream-a-thon supports NAMI Eastside and nonprofit Hold Your Crown