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Learning stage

The Education Committee of the Princeton Theatre Group

Camp 56

Learning Stage, the education committee of Princeton Theatre Group, is offering Camp 56, a two-week summer day camp for youth entering third grade through 2022 graduating seniors. Participants will have the opportunity to experience and take part in live performances, while immersing themselves in the many aspects of producing a show.

The camp is held in cooperation with Festival 56, which brings outstanding professional theater to local audiences. Camp 56 is returning for its 12th consecutive year of providing a theater-based camp for young people.

The camp will be held weekdays from June 20- July 1 . Camp director and Festival 56 alum, Frank Monier, will engage campers in a series of fun-filled activities including song, dance, makeup, costuming, trips to the Festival sets, and visits with cast and crew. The culmination of the camp experience will be an onstage appearance – as part of the chorus ensemble – in several performances of the Festival 56 production of Godspell. The co-director, will be an AmeriCorps volunteer providing supporting and leadership roles with the campers and at other Festival 56 venues.

Click here for our Camp 56 Registration Packet!

Your generosity is appreciated. Please contact learningstage@festival56.com or the box office at 815-879-5656 if you would like to donate to Camp 56.

Youth employment in the arts

Festival 56 has an exciting opportunity for high school students in the summer. We will offer up to four high school students and this year’s graduates the opportunity to work as paid apprentices with the resident professional company with various aspects of theatre production. This program is made possible through the National Endowment for the Grants by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.

Over 8 weeks, each high school student will be assigned to work in one or more of the following areas: Scenic Design (including properties and scenic art), Technical Direction (and scenic construction), Costume Design (including construction and wardrobe), Directing (including choreography and/or music direction), Lighting and Sound Design (including electrics and engineering), Camp 56, Production and Stage Management, and Public Relations (including marketing and audience services).

Apprentices will work 17 – 20 hours per week and will have the opportunity to enter into a mentorship with one of the company’s professional artists. Apprentices will also have the opportunity to volunteer additional time in one or more area of theatre production. Applicants must be available to work for an 8-week period.

To apply, please submit a cover letter (including contact information) stating previous experience, goals relating to future studies or a career in the theatre arts at the college or professional level, and a personal artistic statement. Letters may be mailed to the theater (316 S. Main, Princeton, IL 61356) dropped off at the box office or emailed to learning_stage@yahoo.com with the subject, “Apprentice.”

Following a review of the applicants, those moving on to the next level will be interviewed. One letter of recommendation will be required from a teacher or artistic mentor.

The Illinois Child Labor Law (820 ILCS 205/1 et seq.) regulates the employment of minors under the age of 16 years and requires all minors to have employment certificates.

Required Procedures for Teens under 16 who are hired:

  1. “Letter of intent to hire” must be obtained from all prospective employers. The letter must outline hours worked.
  2. Teen and parent or guardian must bring this letter to an issuing officer at minor’s school or school district to obtain the required work permit.
  3. The issuing officer will review criteria and verify safety before issuing the work permit.

Americorps Volunteer Opportunities

Learning Stage, the Education Committee of the Princeton Theatre Group, has AmeriCorps positions open in the summer.  AmeriCorps Volunteers volunteer 300 hours and receive approximately $3,000 separated into a living stipend and a college tuition waver. While anyone may apply, these AmeriCorps positions offer theater arts majors a way to build their resumes.

Volunteers will be responsible for multiple educational platforms. The volunteers will also gather specific data throughout the season. This includes a count of patrons for demographic purposes and interviews with play-goers, providing the staff with informed data to drive the future. Additionally, volunteers will be asked to work in various theater departments that need assistance. Each AmeriCorps Volunteer will be mentored initially with the goal of becoming independent by the end of the season.

Individuals can access the application and reference form here!. The documents need to be printed to fill out. Upon completion, the forms can be emailed to lisa.l.peck@svcc.edu, faxed (815-835-5213) or mailed to ABC AmeriCorps, 173 IL Rt. 2, Dixon, IL 61021. Three references must be on file within 30 days from the interview.

Individuals are encouraged to contact the Sauk Valley AmeriCorps Office if they have any questions about the program.