For young performers, fourth through seventh grade

Performing St★rts Programs

Upper Darby Summer Stage introduces children to the performing arts through its Performing Strts Programs. These classes teach the basics of singing onstage, musical theater dance, acting, improvisation and storytelling through games and fun exercises taught by a qualified and supportive staff. Students are encouraged to develop their creative imaginations and learn to work together to create presentations for family and friends. Performing Strts classes prepare Summer Stagers to perform in the Children’s Theater program after seventh or eighth grade. All classes are at the Upper Darby Performing Arts Center.

Theater Bugs – finishing 4th grade

Theater Bugs will embark on a theatrical journey as part of our youngest Summer Stage Performing St★rts theatre education program. During a three week session, meeting each day from 8:15-11:15am, Theater Bugs will develop their creativity and imagination and will learn the art of storytelling through singing songs, creative movement and dance as well as hilarious improvised scenes. The sky is the limit when it comes to learning basic performing technique, building bright characters, and finding their own unique voice as a first-time Summer Stager. Students must be finishing 4th grade to participate.

  • Students must have completed 4th Grade
  • Three-week session
  • Classes meet from 8:15am - 11:15am each day

Magic Makers Program – finishing 5th or 6th grade*

Magic Makers will further develop techniques of singing, dancing and acting and will enjoy their first Summer Stage rehearsal process!  During their three-week session, Magic Makers will meet from 8:30 – 11:30am each day for singing, dance, and acting and improv classes. Students will learn theater terminology, will get a peek behind the scenes at theater production at Summer Stage, and will rehearse as a cast of storytelling players for their very own Performance Showcase! Registration is open to students who have completed 5th or 6th grade.

  • Students must have completed 5th or 6th grade
  • Three-week session
  • Classes meet from 8:30am - 11:30am each day

Rising Stars – finishing 7th grade*

Rising Stars are given the challenge of joining as a cast of singers, dancers and actors in a musical for your family.  Fine tuning characters, creating a theatrical world, and storytelling through a professional script are just a few exciting elements of being a Summer Stage Rising Star! This program, a stepping stone to becoming a children’s theater performer, rehearses from 1:00 – 4:30 pm each day during a three-week session.

*Students who have completed the Magic Maker program during the previous year may register for Rising Stars. New students must have completed 7th grade to participate.

  • Students must have completed 6th or 7th grade
  • Three-week session
  • Classes meet from 1:00pm - 4:30pm each day
For performers and technicians finishing 8th grade and up

Children’s Theater, Technical Theatre, and Mainstage

Children’s Theater – Finishing 8th Grade* through High School

We’ve Got Magic Up Our Sleeve for all participants in Upper Darby Summer Stage Children’s Theater! Members rehearse a one hour, fully staged and costumed children’s musical such as The Little Mermaid, Jr. or Beauty and the Beast, Jr. and will perform for thousands of people. Auditions are not required for participation but are necessary for casting in a leading role.  Membership in the Children’s Theater program is open to students who have completed 8th grade.

*Students who have completed the Rising Stars program are eligible to register for Children’s Theater after 7th grade.  New students must have completed 8th grade

Technical Theater – Finishing 8th Grade through High School

Members of the Technical Theater Program are immersed in the backstage world of Summer Stage. Learning skills in carpentry, painting, sound, lighting and backstage management, technicians create scenery, props and special effects for our seven major productions. The Technical Theater program is open to students who are finishing 8th grade or in high school.

Upper Darby Summer Stage Shooting Stars – ages 13+

Children’s Theater participants may audition for the Summer Stage Shooting Stars, a touring ensemble that rehearses and performs year ‘round for senior communities and in the Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade, Disney World and community events. Auditions are required and take place in March. Strong dance and singing skills and an ensemble work ethic are necessary.

Mainstage – ages 18+

The pinnacle of Summer Stage participation is the Mainstage Program. Open to performers 18 years or older, Mainstage raises the bar to a professional level in the production of a Broadway Musical. Reviewers have called Mainstage shows, “Virtually Perfect” and “Mesmerizing.” Auditions and a strong commitment to excellence are required of Mainstage performers.

Showcase Programs

There are a number of programs that are open to all Summer Stagers. These programs have rehearsals throughout the entire summer, culminating in performances at the end of the summer.

Dance Troupe – ages 11-25

Cabaret – ages 16-28

All Summer Stagers are invited to audition for these opportunities.

  • Children's Theater participants must have completed 7th (for returning performers) or 8th grade (for new performers), and must not have graduated high school
  • Performers receive a rehearsal schedule, and should be available for the entire rehearsal period (8:30am - 4:30pm, three/four weeks)
  • Age and time requirements for other programs varies by program