What's going on at Summer Academy? (K-4th, MYAC)

The halls of the Milwaukee Youth Arts Center (MYAC) are alive once again with the sound of Summer Academy students - and we couldn't be more thrilled.  As we welcome both new faces and old, here’s a closer look at some of the classes our K-4th grade students are participating in right now! 


Animal Adventures with Chasten Glezman & Maddie Mandel
A grouchy lady bug, a lonely rooster, and a hungry caterpillar walk into a classroom… What happens next is up to our class. Students will be exploring the characters and stories from Eric Carle’s classic children’s books. We will be using imaginary role play, improvisation, and problem solving as we explore these characters and their environments.
Laughing Out Loud with Chasten Glezman & Maddie Mandel
Students will survey the characters and adventures of Shel Silverstein’s hilarious and adventurous poetry. From flying on a shoe to wearing dancing pants, students will use improvisation, character exploration, and story drama to explore these poems further and possibly create their own endings and characters.
100 Acres of Fun with Jason Knop & Maddie Mandel
Winnie the Pooh and his friends have invited us into their world of the 100 Acre Wood. We will be learning about some of the adventures Pooh and his friends have, becoming characters from those stories, and creating our own adventures along the way!

Ninjas of the Night with Jason Knop & Maddie Mandel
Ninja training is in session. Jack and Annie from the “Magic Tree House” series of books take us back to Ancient Japan. We must learn the stealthy skills of a ninja or risk being found out or captured by the Samurai.

School of Fish with Jason Knop & Maddie Mandel
Take a journey under the sea with Rainbow Fish. Encounter sea creatures underwater as we create our own undersea community. We will be bringing to life the adventures these creatures can have and how they have to work together to solve any problem that may arise.

Monkey Business with Jason Knop & Maddie Mandel
Curious George is at it again. He just can’t help himself. His trouble making tales will be the basis for our class. We will go along with him on some of his exciting adventures and see what he gets into… and maybe make a few new “tails” of our own.

Undercover Detective with Christine Kuramoto & Maddie Mandel

How is an actor like Nate the Great Detective from the “Nate the Great” detective book series?
• Nate the Great sometimes wears disguises.....(So does an actor!)
• Nate the Great looks for clues.... (So does an actor!)
• Nate the Great listens closely.... (So does an actor!)
• Nate the Great asks great questions....(So does an actor!)

Our First Stage Detective Squad is on the job. Join us to learn about stage skills and life skills while enjoying theater games and activities based on the “Nate the Great” detective series.


Globe Trekkers with Mary Kelly, Maddie Wakley & McCormick Sweeny
In this class we will head out on a journey to explore the globe and solve a tricky mystery which leads us from one country to the next! We’ll learn to focus our abilities and overcome obstacles through dramatic play, all while exploring and learning about some of the different cultures the world has to offer.
Defeating the Dark Side with John Maclay, Maddie Wakley & McCormick Sweeny
“I am thrilled to combine two of my passions— theatre and Star Wars—into a fun filled week of programming.  Students in this course will engage their bodies, voices and imaginations as we travel the galaxy and defeat the Dark Side. And though size matters not, students will learn focus, teamwork, problem solving skills and of course: control, control, we must learn control.” —John Maclay

Super Heroes with Michael Cotey, Mary Kelly & Maddie Wakley
And there came a day, a day unlike any other, when Earth’s mightiest heroes found themselves united against a common threat. On that day, the First Stagers were born—to fight the foes no single superhero could withstand! Through superhero training, heroes must develop their own identities and super abilities to face obstacles of both small and cosmic proportion. Above all else, heroes will learn that with great power, comes great responsibility. Heed the call—First Stagers, assemble!

Once Upon a Time with Mary Kelly, Maddie Wakley & McCormick Sweeny

In this class we will journey into the world of fairy princesses and fierce dragons to help some familiar characters from our favorite stories put their tales back together! Through dramatic play we’ll create and explore the world around us as characters that we have invented. Before we know it we will have created a tale of our very own.

Olympus Expedition with Mary Kelly, Maddie Wakley & McCormick Sweeny
In this class we travel to the Mediterranean, journeying high up into the mountains in search of a stolen treasure and a hidden secret. We’ll challenge ourselves to create original characters, and then take these characters on an adventure in dramatic play and problem solving.

Wowie Wow Wow with Chasten Glezman, Maddie Wakley & McCormick Sweeny
In this session of Playmakers, students will be playing alongside Junie, Phillip, Oliver, and all of her friends and family. Our class will be using story drama and improvisation to create our very own adventure for Junie and her friends.

So Not Busted with Chasten Glezman, Maddie Wakely & McCormick Sweeny
Don’t tell anyone, but we might have built a secret laboratory in MYAC! Our class will take on the super awesome job of having the best summer vacation ever. Students will explore the world of Phineas, Ferb, Perry the Platypus, Doofenschmirtz, and many more while challenging their imaginations and solving problems creatively. It’s up to us to decide where and in which dimension we’ll go!


Musical Theatre with Niffer Clarke
& Jake Brockmann

Students will be exploring creative story telling through song as well as basic choreography. They will be using their imaginations to develop characters and bring them to life— expressing music and emotions through the body and the voice.  They will problem-solve, work individually and in groups, be leaders and followers, and be encouraged to use all of their creativity in a fun, safe, and nurturing atmosphere.

Scene Study with Jim Fletcher, Sheri Williams Pannell & Allie Bonesho
In this class, young actors will have fun exploring the vocabulary of acting and exploring the basics of scene study. Starting with stage directions and blocking, the students will go on to decoding all there is to find in a script. With these tools, the students will be able to go beyond basic line delivery and learn how to make real character choices in a variety of scenes. As they step outside of themselves and into another character, students exercise observation and empathy while working as a team.

Voice/Movement with Dan Katula & Brenna Kempf
Voice and Movement is a fun introduction to the actor’s use of body and sound. Students will explore basic movement techniques to help with physical awareness and bold expression through movement.  Students will also be introduced to vocal work focusing on breath control, articulation, and projection as well as creative use of sound and voice.

Photography by Jessica Kaminski, 2011. 

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