Merrimack Repertory Theatre Blog



Merrimack Repertory Theatre is proud to announce the program schedule for the 14th season of Young Artists At Play (YAAP), a successful summer theatre program that includes theatre camps, performance seminars and musical theatre workshops. This summer between July 5 and August 12, YAAP will offer 8 theatre workshops ranging from one to three weeks for students entering grades 1-12. All programs are age appropriate and are led by professionals in the theater with strong education backgrounds. Workshops include Musical Theatre, Improvisational Theatre, Performance Seminars and The Young Company, a 3-week program for high school students culminating in a fully-staged production on MRT’s Liberty Hall stage. Each class will culminate with a performance by students for their parents and other invited guests. Tuition ranges from $350-$950, and registration is limited to 20 students per class. For additional enrollment information, please call Michael LaChance, YAAP Registration Coordinator at 978.654.7550 or view our online brochure.

About YAAP: Begun in 1998, the mission of YAAP is to utilize theatre to teach and reinforce the life skills of teamwork, problem solving, creativity, analysis, and critical thinking while promoting an understanding and appreciation of the theatrical art form. Age-appropriate programs are designed to spark the child’s imagination, encourage their social and listening skills, and build self-confidence. Theatre professionals and guest artists teach the collaborative process of theatre that requires these diverse and important skills. Children broaden their knowledge of theatre through a number of assignments, including reading and analyzing scripts (including content and character development), and working with fellow actors, directors, and designers to produce a cohesive final project. A final presentation for invited guests culminates each workshop.

YAAP Scholarship Fund: The progressive rise in tuition cost over the years led to the development of the YAAP Scholarship Fund for children from low- to moderate-income families in the Greater Boston, Southern New Hampshire and Merrimack Valley area. The YAAP Scholarship Fund encourages families who would otherwise be unable to afford to participate to enroll their children in these workshops. Scholarship award criteria include financial need, a demonstrable intent to participate and artistic potential. Individuals or businesses may donate to the scholarship fund by contacting Jeff Prescott at 978.654.7552.


One Week Theatre Camp
Students Entering Grade 1-3
August 1- 5, 9:00am – 3:00pm

It’s theatre camp – so let’s have fun! Children are never too young to discover the magic of theatre! We’ll play games together, act out stories, sing, dance, and do theatre arts and crafts. We will create our very own short play, based on a story or a completely original idea, and perform it for family and friends on Friday!

Two-Week Performance Seminar
Students Entering Grades 4-5
August 8-19, 9:00am – 3:00pm

We do it all in two weeks! The YAAP staff has designed a really fun program where participants will help create an original play, either based on a known play of their own idea, rehearse it and then perform on August 19th on Merrimack Rep’s Mainstage for family and friends! Activities include singing, movement and dance, acting, rehearsal, play creation and art and crafts in order to make sets and costumes! Sign up and join the fun!

Improvisational Theatre Week
Students Entering Grades 6-8
July 5-8, 9:00am – 4:00pm

A week of playing improvisational theatre games! We’ll explore the basics of improve – thinking on your feet, working together, audience participation and of course having fun! Students will learn by doing – so come ready to play and play! At the end of the week, family and friends are invited to our Improv Show, which will be co-hosted by the 9-12th grade Improve Group!

Two-Week Performance Seminar
Students Entering Grades 6-8
July 11-22, 9:00am – 4:00pm

The play’s the thing! During this 2-week performance program, participants will create an original play with the help of the YAAP staff. This play will be designed to emphasize ensemble work and the strengths of each participant. Creative movement, dance, singing, acting and improve, set and costume creation, and group work will all be a part of the experience. On Friday, July 15th, the students will present their own cabaret – a chance to perform something of their choosing. Then for the big event, on Friday, July 22nd, they will perform their original play on the Merrimack Rep Mainstage – family and friends are invited of course!

Musical Theatre Week
Students Entering Grades 6-8
August 8-12, 9:00am – 3:00pm

This week-long seminar, led by our professional musical director and choreographer, will focus on the skills needed to perform musical theatre. Students will work on warm-ups, cool-downs, audition technique and group musical numbers – singing and dancing. Students will rehearse these musical pieces along with short scenes created by the instructors and students. At the end of the week, participants will perform their musical theatre extravaganza!

Improvisational Theatre Week
Students Entering Grades 9-12
July 5-8, 9:00am – 4:00pm

Improvisational theatre is challenging – there are no scripts! But it is also fun because there are no scripts! It is a theatre world of surprises and discoveries that push actors to be creative, think on their feet and work as a team. This week will be dedicated to learning the art of improvisational theatre. On Friday, July 8th, we will join together with the 6-8th grade Improv week group to present our very own, original IMPROV SHOW!

The Young Company
Students Entering Grades 9-12
July 11-29, 9:00am – 5:00pm

YOCO is an intensive experience of every aspect of the process of performance. Each day includes training in techniques of acting and improvisation, movement and voice. Exercises build individual mastery of each performer’s instrument, while creating a strong ensemble. All actors are encouraged to not only explore their existing strengths, but to stretch into unfamiliar territory. The first two Fridays the actors will perform for family and friends in their own cabaret, an informal presentation where everyone can show off their talents of try out new skills developed during the week. The ensemble creates a safe space to grow and experiment, and together the group will create its own performance piece, under the guidance of the professional YAAP staff. Not only do our actors create amazing pieces of theatre, they build lasting relationships and have an unforgettably fun time together! The whole experience culminates on Friday, July 29 with YOCO’s original, never-seen-before play performed for the public on Merrimack Repertory Theatre’s Mainstage.

Musical Theatre Week
Students Entering Grades 9-12
August 1-5, 9:00am – 4:00pm

Want to be a triple threat? Singer, Dancer, Actor! Bring your singing voice and dancing shoes and join us for a week of Musical Theatre. Students will work on solo and group numbers, led by our professional music director and choreographer. Then you will get a chance to show off your skills for family and friends on Friday, August 5th during our Musical Theatre Spectacular.

For more information on YAAP, the YAAP Scholarship Fund, or for an application, please call Michael LaChance, YAAP Registration Coordinator, at 978.654.7550.

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