Upper Darby Summer Stage introduces children to the performing arts through its Summer Stage Junior programs. These classes teach the basics of singing onstage, musical theatre 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. Summer Stage Junior classes prepare Summer Stagers to perform in the Children’s Theatre program after seventh or eighth grade.
All classes are at Archbishop Prendergast and Monsignor Bonner High School
All participants completing 4th grade are eligible for Theater Bugs
Calling all Performing “BUGS!” Have you ever wanted to be a first time Summer Stager? Well this is your chance to join our brand new FULL DAY Theater Bug program welcoming our newest Summer Stagers! As a Theater Bug you will explore the world of theater, develop your creativity and imagination, and discover new talents in four exciting theater classes (Acting/Improv, Storytelling, Music, Dance). The sky is the limit it comes to developing basic performing technique, building bright characters, playing theater games, and finding “your own unique voice” as a performer. This exciting program is the step one of three instructional programs that provide pivotal skills leading up to our Children’s Theatre program. We hope you will “Dig in” and “spread your wings” with us this summer.
All participants completing 5th grade are eligible for Magic Makers
Participants graduating 6th grade who are new to Summer Stage are eligible for Magic Makers.
Magic Makers further develops the techniques of singing, dancing and acting participants began utilizing in Theater Bugs! The Magic Makers program, which has expanded into a FULL DAY this season, will not only build upon techniques learned but expand to include learning theater terminology, getting a peek behind the scenes to see how a theater production works at Summer Stage, and rehearsing as a cast of storytelling players. At the end of their two week session, the Magic Makers will perform their very own Performance Showcase! This exciting program is the step two of three instructional programs that provide pivotal skills leading up to our Children’s Theatre program.
Rising Stars takes the skills learned in both Theater Bugs & Magic Makers and combines them into the challenge of performing in a fully-staged musical for their family this summer. The Rising Stars, which has expanded into a FULL DAY program this season, works to fine tune characters, create theatrical worlds, and put storytelling to work through a professional script! This exciting program is the step three of three instructional programs that provide pivotal skills leading up to our Children’s Theatre program. Next Stop: Children’s Theatre!
* Students who have finished 7th grade AND have completed one year of the Rising Stars program are eligible to enroll in Children’s Theatre.
We’ve got Magic Up Our Sleeve for all participants in our Children’s Theatre productions!
Children’s Theatre participants rehearse a fully staged and costumed children’s musical and will perform for thousands of people. Auditions are not required for participation but are necessary for leading roles. Membership in the Children’s Theatre program is open to students who are finishing 8th grade through 11th grade or who have completed the 2022 Rising Stars program.
You will be assigned to a show and will have a 3-4 week schedule of rehearsals and performances. Rehearsals are held in the morning from 9 am to 12 (noon) and in the afternoons from 1 pm to 4:30 pm. There will be one Sunday rehearsal for each show. A detailed rehearsal schedule will be provided at the first cast meeting. While you may not be needed all day every day, we have worked to plan as many full day schedules as possible to maximize your time at the Performing Arts Center.
Participants will be assigned to a cast after registration.
Please do not contact the Box Office for assignments.
Super Seniors (those who have participated in a prior year of Summer Stage but graduate high school in 2023) will be accepted into Children’s Theater based on program availability. You will be notified by Summer Stage if you are officially registered for a show. Registering for this program does not guarantee you a spot.
Dance Troupe is now a separate registration. You may register for it after you complete this registration.
*Students who have completed the Rising Stars program are eligible to register for Children’s Theatre after 7th grade. New students to the program must have completed 8th grade to enroll in Children’s Theatre.
Members of the Technical Theatre 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 Theatre program is open to students who are finishing 8th grade or in high school.
The pinnacle of Summer Stage participation is the Mainstage Program. Open to performers 16 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.
Registration Cost – $35
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: All Ages Welcome – $30 registration fee
Dance Troupe is a program that runs throughout the summer offering participants the opportunity to learn, polish and create dances from a variety of musical styles. Ranging from modern to hip hop, the program culminates in an exciting showcase performance during the final week of Summer Stage
Summer Stories – ages 18 – 28 – $25 registration fee
Summer Stories is an exciting initiative that brings to life Broadway style musicals in a concert style format. These productions, staged outside with minimal technical elements, invite our audiences to experience new stories unlikely to be seen on the Mainstage in an exciting new setting.
Children’s Theatre 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.6