20 Acting Classes and Musical Theater Classes in New Jersey for Kids
If you've got an aspiring actor on your hands, there are plenty of great acting classes for kids in New Jersey. These local spots offer lessons to help your star-in-the-making shine whether they're a newbie, aspiring professional, or somewhere in between. And, if your child’s schedule is already booked through the school year, don’t fret—most of these spots offer summer acting camps, too.
For more enrichment opportunities, check out our guide to Classes and Activities in New Jersey for kids.
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Tuition varies based on each child’s age, the length of class, location, and the number of sessions per week. Please refer to individual websites for the most up-to-date information.
Acting-A-Part tailors its plays to meet the dramatic wishes of its students. Its mission is to let every child be a star and build the creativity and confidence that comes along with the performing arts. It offers a wide variety of acting classes and camps for kids of all ages, as well as hosts birthday parties and special events.
Actors Playground School of Theatre – Freehold
This conservatory-style studio offers professional acting classes for ages 7 through adult. Actors, writers, and filmmakers can learn, audition, and work on their projects here in a positive and supportive environment.
Bergen PAC – Englewood
BergenPAC (Performing Arts Center) is a community-based facility, which offers weekly classes in the dramatic arts and musical theater. Classes include early childhood, musical theater, dance, and voice lessons. Classes are offered all year long, and it is now offering in-person and virtual classes.
Brightest Star School of Performing Arts – Cedar Knolls
This school provides instruction in acting, voice, dance, cabaret, and more. Its mission is to teach performing arts to enhance a student's everyday life. Sleepaway and day camps are available during the summer.
Class Act Performing Arts Studio – South Orange
This South Orange studio offers acting classes plus instruction in dance and voice beginning with mommy-and-me classes at 18 months. Its focus is to teach discipline, respect, and self-confidence alongside artistic skills.
The Conservatory of Performing Arts – Cresskill
The Conservatory of Performing Arts offers two different training tracks, catering to kids who want to pursue serious training and those who just want to enjoy its performing arts classes. Conservatory track students are required to attend classes regularly and commit to a full school year of classes.
Elefante Music & School for the Performing Arts – New Providence, Scotch Plains
Elefante offers classes in music, performing arts, and instrumental music (lessons, rental, and repair). Its performing arts students have been featured on Broadway, in film, TV, and more.
Essex Youth Theater – Upper Montclair
This program uses custom-written scripts to guarantee equal roles for a specific number of students. Class sizes are kept small to ensure individual attention, and each semester culminates in full-scale musical production. It is currently offering after-school acting classes as well as summer acting camps.
Kids can dive right into a production and learn about theater as an ensemble in Garden Street School's programs. Currently, its 2021-22 offering only includes dance classes and music classes, which are offered in-person and virtually.
Haddonfield Theater Arts Center – Haddonfield
Haddonfield offers theater arts instruction for all ages and skill sets from recreational acting classes to pre-professional ones. It produces several shows and films throughout the year. Instruction is organized by age group and focuses on collaboration.
Hoboken Children's Theater – Hoboken
HCT offers year-round musical theater and acting programs for ages 3 through young adults. The final class is a live performance. The school has produced many shows in the past and earned numerous awards.
Luna Stage – West Orange
This small performance venue has two theaters that produce and host many shows, and it currently hosts summer acting camps for kids and teens.
Mayo Performing Arts Center – Morristown
This nonprofit performing arts center's mission is to bring the North Jersey community together through the performing arts. Its MPAC Performing Arts School offers lessons in musical theater, acting, voice, and audition technique.
Musical Theater Conservatory – West Orange
Passing on a love of theater in a supportive, nurturing environment is the mission of West Orange's Musical Theater Conservatory. It offers classes in theater, dance, music, comedy, and improv, auditioning, TV, and so much more!
The New Jersey School of Dramatic Arts – Bloomfield
This school offers a range of acting classes for ages 3 and older. Currently, programming is all online. Summer acting camps are also offered.
Next Step Broadway – Jersey City
The school's mission is to foster an environment where artists of all ages and skill sets can experience the joy of acting, dance, and music. Classes include acting, dance, acro, and voice coaching.
Paper Mill Playhouse – Millburn
The world-famous New Jersey theater has more than great productions up its sleeve—it also has a wonderful selection of acting classes, school programs, and camps for ages 5 and older.
Peachcraft Studios – Summit
This renowned school teaches the art of voice, drama, and filmmaking. It's home to 14 studios, plus a state-of-the-art film lab. Classes are all currently virtual.
Performers Theatre Workshop – Maplewood
Founded by Juilliard graduates Esther and Howard Kravitz, the Performers Theatre Workshop (PTW) is acclaimed as one of the foremost performing arts schools in New Jersey. PTW offers more than 70 classes each week and focuses on providing all students with a foundation in dance, acting, and music to develop a total performer.
Porch Light Studio, Stage & Schools – Glen Rock
Porch Light's program includes technique-based training for beginner through advanced students. Class offerings include creative drama, improve, sketch, musical theater, and more. Classes are held indoors, outdoors, and virtually.
Originally published in 2014.
Top photo courtesy of the Musical Theater Conservatory.
Places featured in this article:
Performers Theatre Workshop
New Jersey School of Dramatic Arts
Mayo Performing Arts Center
Paper Mill Playhouse
Acting-A-Part Theater Company
Acting-A-Part Theater Company