Stage Door Conservatory
Editor Note (May 3, 2017) Owner Rosalind Sarah notified us that Stage Door Conservatory has closed after 18 years.
My daughter has been going to Stagedoor since 2nd grade. She just finished 5th and is going back this summer.
She absolutely adores it. They have real directors and choreographers teaching and the kids have a blast. The director Roz Sarah is a powerhouse and is also great about giving scholarships and discounts to families who need it. She wants kids to have a great time and experience every part of putting together a production.
Archived Q&A and Reviews
Re: Camp for my 10 y.o. son?
I have a similar kind of son (8 years old) who can tend to annoy others, especially with his need to ALWAYS have someone to play with. I haven't found the perfect camp that combines everything he needs, but I do have a mix of camps that ends up working out pretty well. One week for the smart kid in him, alternating with a week for the super-active sporty kid he also is. He loved Stage Door Conservatory. My son was mad at me the first day drop off for this camp because he thought he was going to hate it, but came home after the first day giddy with enthusiasm. He LOVES it there. The staff is really really good at engaging kids. Great camp for the part of him that would prefer constant attention and drama.
Re: Mixed sports summer camp for 13-year-old
I also wanted to put a very big recommendation in for Stage Door Conservatory, if your child has any interest at all in a really supportive and fun theater arts camp. There is a 2 week commitment for younger children and a 6 week commitment for middle school and high school students. (Three separate camps.) The middle school kids will be performing Hairspray this summer. This is a fabulous summer program that is very bonding for the kids. They learn about creating together, acting, singing, dancing, stage sets, props, costumes, etc. The final productions are always over-the-top amazing. Our daughters are returning after a great experience last summer participating in Bye, Bye Birdie. More information at this link: http://www.stagedoorconservatory.org/ Sharon
I hope this review for Stage Door Conservatory doesnt come too late for parents deciding on camp and im not sure if there are even spaces left but id feel remiss if i did give my recommendation for the camp that my 13 year old daughter has attended for the past two summers and is looking SO forward to this summer. In fact, she loves Stage Door so much that she forgoes the 3 other camps that used to make up her summer. The quality of the instruction is obvious, as is the passion and commitment engendered in the kids, and the 3-day production is surprisingly professional. But what I (and my daughter) most admire about Stage Door is the emphasis placed on the less tangible: heart, spirit, brotherhood, solidarity, emotional connection. If you ask me, fostering these should be curriculum above all else in our schools and Simon (director) and his ''staff'' are master teachers. My daughter feels belonging here like nowhere else. I couldnt recommend the camp more highly. I only wish it were a full time school. Brook
I became involved as the General Manger of Stage Door Conservatory in 2003 after seeing my step-son in one of organization's Kids On Stage productions. At the time he was in 4th grade, playing the role of Schlemazel in ''Schlemazel Goes to Paradise.'' As I watched him, I felt a swell of sheer joy as he did unabashedly what I had always wanted to do myself, but had always been too shy to try: sing his heart out - even if he was a bit off-key.
It was especially inspiring because he did this as a child with Tourette's syndrome with some fears about how he was perceived by others. On stage, and with the support of our staff, he found a way to express his own special talent and over the years, something very important happened -- he started becoming more confident and skillful, not only as a young person, but as an artist. I can truly say that Stage Door Conservatory has been one of the most positive and formative influences in his life - one that he will carry as a resource inside him as ventures forth in his life both as a young adult and performer
If you are seeking a summer program for your child, I urge you to consider enrolling him or her in Stage Door Conservatory this coming summer. If you do, your child will certainly learn and grow V and have the experience of a life-time! -Rawna March 2009
Stage Door is a blast. A total tribal experience. it would be a great first introduction to theater and musical theater for any young person. lauries
Re: Drama Classes/Camp for 13 year old
It's true that for most programs, a kid often has to start with supporting roles at first, however my son has been doing drama camps and programs during summers and schoolyear for the last 5 years - he's 14 now, and has always had a total blast and learned a lot, sometimes in the chorus or in small roles, sometimes getting bigger ones. And even those in the chorus are usually on stage quite a lot. I HIGHLY recommend both the programs he's been involved in (both in Berkeley: Stage Door - no audition necessary (www.stagedoorconservatory.org) and YMTC - by audition (www.ymtcberkeley.org). laurie
Has anyone had experience with YMTC (Youth Musical Theater Company) or have any suggestions for a great theater experience for a 13 year old boy during the summer or school year? Thanks. Drama Mama
I highly recommend TEENS ON STAGE which will be offered by STAGE DOOR CONSERVATORY for six weeks from June 30 until August 8. The program is for 8th - 12th graders with all levels of experience and will be producing a fully staged production of ANYTHING GOES this summer at JULIA MORGAN CENTER in Berkeley. For more information, please see our website at stagedoorconservatory.org. We would also be happy to give you the names and numbers of alumni if you would be interested! All the best, Rawna Rawna
Editor Note: Recommendations were also received for Youth Musical Theater Company
Hello, My twelve year old has just announced that she doesn't want to attend the eight- week camp that she has been going to for the past four summers any more. I told her that that was fine, but that we had to find something else regular -- the main problem being that I work all day. I've checked the archive for summer camps, but most of the entries for girls her age are fairly old. I'm looking for suggestions for day or overnight summer camps for pre teens. She is very academic and loves math, science, and reading, though likely wouldn't want to go to summer school; is physical and enjoys the outdoors, though has never really enjoyed team sports. The camp she has been attending is a drama camp; she has loved it, but most of her friends are leaving this year as well. I think though, that she would be open to trying something else in the performing arts. Please help. Thanks! anon.
My 12 year old daughter has been regularl y attending two great summer camps. The other camp my daughter truly loves is a drama camp, Stage Door Conservatory. They have a 6 week session which culminates in a three night run at the Julia Morgan theater. On Broadway is for kids ages 9 to 13. They also just started a Teens Onstage program that is for high school kids. This a very professionally run program. Simon Kaplan and his team are to be commended. Both of these camps are in North Berkeley. Hope this helps. Sabrina
Also recommended: Bar 717 Ranch, Girls on the Go, Monkey Business Camp
Has anyone sent their child to the Stage Door Conservatory Summer Camps held at the Epworth Church in Berkeley? I am thinking of sending my daughter to the 2-week camp for grades 3- 5. Was it worthwhile for your child? Did you find a way to arrange any after-care, since the camps end at 3:30?
I am a faculty member at UCB and the father of three boys, ages 15, 15, and 9. My kids have all participated multiple times in the Kids on Stage and On Broadway summer musical theater programs sponsored by the Stage Door Conservatory. They have had uniformly positive experiences in these programs, which were great confidence boosters to them as they went through elementary and middle schools. Kids make their own sets and costumes, learn choreography and music, and do fun acting games and activities that prepare them to perform a show for the parents and community by the end of the camp. Kids on Stage (for grades 3-5) uses a two-week format; On Broadway (for grades 5-9) uses a six-week format, usually with an adapted script of a well- known musical. In my experience the staff has been terrific, and all of my kids have gotten very attached to the instructors. I highly recommend this program! Mark
To the person who has now posted twice [''My 8-yr old and his friend HATED it.''] -- and to ALL parents -- if you or your child has a complaint about a program, please tell the staff AND the management. Stage Door Conservatory has no record of any child withdrawing from our camp last year, and we received NO complaints from parents.
I'm sorry if your son and his friend had a bad time (are you SURE it was our camp? There are several other East Bay drama programs with similar names to Kids OnStage). The feedback we've gotten since we started 4 years ago has been overwhelmingly positive.
Please feel free to contact me directly. Stage Door Conservatory StageDoorCamp AT aol.com Debbie Grossman, General Manager