Bay Area Children's Theater vs Berkeley Playhouse

Hi all, 

My 14 year old is looking for a musical theater summer performance opportunity and we came upon two in the East bay. BACT is offering a 3 week camp that culminates in a show and Berkeley playhouse has a month long rehearsal schedule. She is looking more a of professional musical theater environment for the summer versus a fun camp. If you know of either and can let me know pros and cons in terms of production qualities and where she can grow more as a performer, I would appreciate it. She is not a novice performer.

thank you so much!

Parent Replies

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Greetings!

My daughter has been involved with both organizations for several years and performs at a high level. She has attended the four week summer program at BP and performs with the competitive team at BACT. When she goes to rehearsal, she wants to focus and work hard, and thrives around similarly minded people. I will do my best to give you a balanced view. Even though we love them so much, our bias may be obvious.  

BACT Teen Camp for kids entering 8th-12th grades is comparable to the TeenStage Program at BP. Both will result in full length productions on a professional stage (Osher and Julia Morgan, respectively).  

In both cases, there is less “playtime” the older the students are. I found that my daughter played more in her younger days, and in non-core classes.

The program is taught by an extremely talented group of people who are really great with kids. This is a tight community and it's heartwarming to see how much they support each other as actors and educators.

 

BACT

Although there is time for the kids to build friendships and bond, as you can imagine, it takes a lot of work to put on a full length production in such a short period of time.  They work with voice teachers, choreographers, and acting coaches, who are so good at bringing out the best in every kid. They work extremely hard and are rewarded accordingly.

Given that teens have a lot of choices, I would whole heartedly enroll my daughter in this camp (if she did not have a prior out of state commitment). BACT stage productions are typically an hour, so this is an exciting opportunity to be involved in a full length production. I know that extra extra special care will be given to this class, which may include a few surprises along the way. This is a new camp for BACT, and I have no doubt that this will be an exhilarating and challenging experience for actors.

 BP

Similar comments for BP. If you are looking at it as an option for Summer 2019, it may be a bit more complicated. As you may know, BP summer program application forms for their Youth Stage productions were due on January 30th and there are a number of prerequisites to consider. The program and waitlist fill quickly.

Which One? 

The biggest difference between these two companies is stylistic. In terms of exposure to high level instructors, being technically challenged, growing as an actor, stage time, and exposure to industry professionals, neither program will disappoint. If you are looking for an opportunity this summer, I would encourage you to apply/look at the BACT program

https://bactheatre.org/classes/summer19/oaklandteen

Good Luck!