The Top Three Reasons Summer Youth Theater Camp is Awesome

Summer is coming to an end.  Darn. It has been lots of fun, relaxing, invigorating and fulfilling.  My husband and I spent most of our summer away from home–our daughter was married, we took a trip to Glacier National Park and ran two drama camps in Mexico, Missouri.  Every one of these experience was great!

If you are looking for an outstanding drama camp for your son or daughter then Presser Performing Arts Center in Mexico, Missouri is the place for you!  The camp was created eight years ago by  Lois Brace, the Artistic Director of Presser.  I am the camp production director.

We offer two camps.  They are tuition based (several scholarships are available) and perform their productions for the public.  The number of campers each summer runs from thirty-five to fifty students.  Every student who enrolls in camp is very involved in the production (some students playing multiple roles).  We like to keep our kids busy, not waiting around backstage for their one scene.  In addition to the musicals, we teach drama games, acting exercises and what it means to be a cast member and young artist.

One week camp

First, we have a one week camp (which runs in June) for those students who are beginning theater students entering grades fourth through ninth. The camp runs each weekday from 9:00 am. to 4:00 p.m. In the one week camp, we present a Music Theater International musical, usually one of the kids versions.  These shows were specifically developed for this purpose–they introduce musicals to the students,  run around forty-five minutes in length, simple costumes, sets and props.  To date we have produced Kids versions of Annie, 101 Dalmations, Jungle Book and Aristocats.  Students are expected to audition (which includes singing a song and reading from the script), but generally all those who audition are accepted into the camp.  This camp is more processed based. We want the students to leave camp having learned some basic knowledge about theater, the process of presenting a musical, making new friends and fun!  Tuition is $175 which includes thirty-five hours of instruction, a cast tee shirt and cast party.

Two Week Camp

Secondly, we have a two week camp  (which runs late June and into early July) for those students with experience in theater entering grades fourth through college. As with the one week camp, it runs jfrom 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. each weekday with a Saturday morning dress rehearsal the day of the performance. We perform the show twice–once on Saturday evening and once on Sunday afternoon.  Again, we produce a MTI musical, but they are the junior musicals that are longer (around 90 minutes), more complicated singing (many songs in three part harmony), dancing, detailed costumes, sets and props.  Students in the two week camp are held to a much higher standard than the one week campers for obvious reasons.  It is not uncommon for our campers to have spent their school year prior to camp taking voice and dance lessons and to have been very involved in their school or community theater productions.  This camp is also audition based, but we are a bit more choosy in our casting.  Sometimes we accept students who enroll in both camps, but usually most students are involved in one camp or the other. Tuition is $300 which includes seventy hours of instruction, a cast tee shirt and cast party.
Technical Track
Both camps have a technical track class as well.  These students are under my husband’s tutelate.  Tim has designed sets, lights and sound for over thirty years.  His campers build and paint the production’s set, learn to and run the light and sound equipment and serve as the crew for the productions.  Only students entering grade six through college are accepted into the class.  For those students interested in theater but don’t want to perform, this is the class for you!  Tuition is $175 which includes the same amount of instruction, cast tee shirt, etc.

If you would like more information (you are from out of town and your child would need lodging, enrolling several siblings, etc.) about the Presser Performing Arts Camp, please see their website at   Or you can just ask me through my blog.

We hope that you or your young theater lover will join us!


Contact me at dhcbaldwin or

I’d love to hear from you.


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