Lights, camera, action! Whether your kiddo is destined for a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, or simply wants to let loose and have fun, acting classes are a great way to build self-confidence and teach them how to express themselves.
Chicago is known for world-class theater, so naturally, there are tons of places locally that offer acting classes for beginners. In most cases, kiddos who enjoy and excel in these early-stage classes can eventually move to audition-based ensembles.
- Address: 10 W. Hubbard St., Chicago
- Best for ages: 8-18
Budding actors can get their creative wheels turning in this beginner class that uses fun, imagination exercises and focus games to teach core skills like confidence, risk taking, cooperation and problem-solving skills.
- Address: 100 S. Racine Ave., Chicago
- Best for ages: 5-13
In this series of classes that graduates students from courses ranging from beginner to advanced, young performers develop confidence through game-based play, grow in collaborative play and finish each session with a workshop performance in front of parents.
- Address: 126 E. Chestnut St., Chicago
- Best for ages: 3-14
The basics of acting start with the Lookingglass process-based approach. Each week, students learn core values of performance through warm-ups, theater games and exercises focused on team-building and imaginative play, and an exploration of a story.
- Address: 927 Noyes Street, Evanston
- Best for ages: 8-18
Owned by actor Jeremy Piven’s parents, this Evanston-based program teaches young actors the fundamentals of acting through “disciplined play” — games, improvisation, and storytelling — to train actors. Attended by John Cusack and Jeremy Piven himself, Piven Workshop classes focus on helping actors find artistic authenticity, spontaneity and individuality in a fun and fast-paced environment.
- Address: 1616 N. Wells Street, Chicago
- Best for ages: 7-13
The Second City approach to acting brings — you guessed it — improv into the classroom. Proven to help kids express get into a character without the fear of judgment, this class also helps students develop their personal voice in a supportive environment, Of course, the class is done with a Second City mentality so there is an emphasis on comedy.
- Locations vary by class
- Best for ages: 0-13
Kids who love to belt out Broadway show tunes will love nothing more than to shine at Stages Chicago. Your little Broadway stars will learn new songs and stories from Broadway musicals. For some classes, they’ll even be able to perform for families and friends.
- Best for ages: 8-13
In its YouthREACH summer program, kids learn musical theater, from singing, dancing and action, thanks to professional teaching artists. No experience or audition is required, and every child gets a part, thrilling audiences who attend the shows.
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