Classes

Wagon Wheel Center for the Arts offers classes for all ages! If you or someone you know are interested in the performing arts, these classes in everything from acting, to dance, to improv comedy are a great place to begin. Check below for upcoming education opportunities.

Wagon Wheel Center for the Arts
2020 Summer Youth Camps (updated 6.25.20)

All of the 2020 summer camps are proudly sponsored by:

All grades listed indicate the grade just completed

All camps and performances will be held outdoors in-person in the parking lot of Wagon Wheel Theatre. Proper precautions will be taken, and rules will be in place to keep attendees as safe as possible, including maintaining distance on stage and off. We have one large tent to help with sun exposure and mild weather and will clearly communicate our severe weather policy.

Summer Tykes: Grades 1-2

This five-day camp is built around story-theater, fun crafts, and a final performance that will showcase the talents of the students.

What: A 5-day camp that will culminate in an outdoor final performance.
When: Monday, July 6th – Friday, July 10th, 10:00am-12:00pm
Where: The lower parking lot of Wagon Wheel Theatre
Who: Young actors who have just completed grades 1 and 2 are welcome. An ability to read at grade level is essential. (Enrollment limited to 20 individuals)
Cost: $95

How do I sign up? Follow the link below to pay for the class. Please be sure to input your primary email address and phone number. You will receive a confirmation email shortly. All questions for the summer camps should be directed to kira@wagonwheelcenter.org

***If you are already enrolled you will receive more information by email soon.

Summer Play: Grades 3-4

This five-day camp is built around acting and movement techniques, story-theater, fun crafts, and a final performance that will showcase the talents of the students.

What: A 5-day camp that will culminate in an outdoor final performance.
When: Monday, July 6th – Friday, July 10th, 2:00pm – 4:00pm
Where: The lower parking lot of Wagon Wheel Theatre
Who: Young actors who have just completed grades 3 and 4 are welcome. (Enrollment limited to 20 individuals)
Cost: $95

How do I sign up? Follow the link below to pay for the class. Please be sure to input your primary email address and phone number. You will receive a confirmation email shortly. All questions for the summer camps should be directed to kira@wagonwheelcenter.org

***If you have already enrolled you will receive more information by email soon.

Theater Workshop: Grades 5-7

This camp is now FULL. Enrollment is closed.

This five-day camp will take students through acting, voice, and movement exercises that will culminate in a dynamic final performance. The student actors will be challenged throughout the week to deepen their understanding of the craft of acting and strengthen important life-skills.

What: A 5-day camp that will culminate in an outdoor final performance.
When: Monday, July 13th – Friday, July 17th, 9:00am-12:00pm
Where: The lower parking lot of Wagon Wheel Theatre
Who: Young actors who have just completed grades 5-7 are welcome. (Enrollment limited to 20 individuals)
Cost: $145.

How do I sign up? Follow the link below to pay for the class. Please be sure to input your primary email address and phone number. You will receive a confirmation email shortly. All questions for the summer camps should be directed to kira@wagonwheelcenter.org

***If you are already enrolled you will receive more information by email soon.

Musical Theater Workshop: Grades 8-12

presenting WORKING by Nina Faso and Stephen Schwartz

Now in its 16th year of producing the highest quality student productions on our very own Wagon Wheel stage, the camp that brought to life such amazing shows as Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, The Pirates of Penzance, HONK!, Kiss Me, Kate, and last year’s Les Miserables, is back to present WORKING by Nina Faso and Stephen Schwartz! We will present the 2012 updated version with new songs by many artists including Lin Manuel Miranda. Students enrolled in this workshop will get training in acting, singing, and dancing while working towards a final outdoor production for friends and family!

What: 10-day camp that culminates in an outdoor performance of the musical Working.
When: Wednesday, July 15th – Friday, July 24th, Possible calls from 9:00am-4:00pm daily. Specific schedule TBA.
Where: The lower parking lot of Wagon Wheel Theatre
Who: Young actors who have just completed grades 8-12 are welcome. (Enrollment limited to 20 individuals)
Cost: $175

How do I sign up: Follow the link below to pay for the class. Please be sure to input your primary email address and phone number. You will receive a confirmation email shortly. All questions for the summer camps should be directed to kira@wagonwheelcenter.org

*** If you are already enrolled you will receive more information by email soon.

Scholarships:

Scholarships are available for all programs. Wagon Wheel Theatre believes that every child should have an opportunity to experience live theatre first-hand regardless of ability to pay. To request consideration for a scholarship, please complete the scholarship application form and bring it to the box office.  You may also submit it directly to Executive Director, Jay Michaels, (jay@wagonwheelcenter.org).

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Meet the Teachers

Kira Lace Hawkins
Kira Lace Hawkins

Bio

Kira Lace Hawkins has performed in over 40 Wagon Wheel productions playing such roles as Miss Hannigan in Annie, Donna in Mamma Mia!, and Mary Poppins in Mary Poppins. Kira has an MFA in Acting from Penn State University and loves teaching students of all ages. She has served on the theater and music faculty of St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN, and currently directs and teaches at Manchester University.

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Scott Michaels

Bio

Prior to Scott’s 12 years as the Wagon Wheel’s Artistic Director, he spent 12 seasons as resident Choreographer/Director on nearly 100 productions. During that time, he spent 4 years as the resident Director/Choreographer at the Armory Theatre in Janesville, Wisconsin. In his free time, he continues to work with high schools and colleges all over the Midwest directing, choreographing, and running countless workshops and master classes. Scott’s work on Cats at Arrowhead H.S. in Hartland, Wisconsin won USA Today’s award for Best High School Musical in the country for 2008. Scott spent 2 years as an adjunct faculty member at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL as the Musical Theatre Dance Teacher. He has over 25 years of performing experience from Chicago to Regional theatre. Scott has performed all over the country and Japan and enjoyed a 2 year tour as a back-up singer for Perry Como.

Jennifer Dow

Bio

This marks Jennifer Dow’s 21st year at the Wagon Wheel as a performer, her 11th year as the wig designer, and her 8th year as a wearer of many hats including organizer of the Wagon Wheel Jr. program. After receiving her BFA in Music Theatre from Millikin University, Jennifer’s favorite place to work quickly became the Wagon Wheel Theatre. Her most memorable roles on the Wagon Wheel stage are A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Puck), AlwaysPatsy Cline (Louise), Young Frankenstein (Frau Blucher), Marvelous Wonderettes (Suzy), Guys and Dolls (Adelaide), Seussical (Gertrude), South Pacific (Nellie). Other regional credits include Cats (Rumpleteaser) at the Marriott Lincolnshire, Grand Hotel at Drury Lane Water Tower, Jekyll & Hyde (Emma) at Pheasant Run, and performing as a singer with the Rockettes for 3 seasons in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular.

andyrobinson
Andy Robinson

Summer Play/ Summer Songs and Scenes

Bio

Andy Robinson has worked with Ben Dicke on the Wagon Wheel Theatre Youth Programs since 2005. He holds a Masters from NYU in Educational Theatre and has taught theatre to grades 1-12 for over fifteen years in both New York City and Chicago. He is currently Chair of the Department of Musical Theatre at the Chicago Academy for the Arts. A long time Wagon Wheel actor, his favorite roles include the 2nd Gangster in Kiss Me, Kate, Captain Hook in Peter Pan, and the Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz. Along with Ben Dicke, he directed Brighton Beach Memoirs, The Importance of Being Earnest, Blithe Spirit, The Crucible, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream on the Wagon Wheel main-stage. He loves collaborating with Ben and Emily on making theatre with young actors!

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Ben Dicke

Summer Musical Theatre Workshop

Bio

Ben Dicke began working at the Wagon Wheel in 2004. Favorite roles on that stage include Henry Higgins in last summer’s My Fair Lady, Dr. Frankenstein in Young Frankenstein, Nathan Detroit in Guys and Dolls, Moonface Martin in Anything Goes, Applegate in Damn Yankees, and Cliff in Cabaret, among many others. Ben helped develop the Wagon Wheel’s Summer Youth Programming alongside Andy Robinson in the summer of 2005. In addition to their directing work with the students of Warsaw and the surrounding areas, Ben and Andy have collaborated as directors for the professional company on a number of projects including Brighton Beach Memoirs, Blithe Spirit, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, among others. Ben is excited to, once again, collaborate with Andy Robinson as co-directors for Peter and the Starcatcher. Ben is currently the Chair of the Theatre Department at The Chicago Academy for the Arts.

Emily-Luhrs
Emily Ann Luhrs

Summer Songs and Scenes/ Summer Musical Theatre Workshop

Bio

Emily Ann Luhrs is a Chicago theatre artist whose exploits include writing, performing, directing, and puppetry. Favorite roles include Sophie in Mamma Mia (Arvada Center Theatre), Lizzie in Baby (Cherry Creek Theatre), and Emily in A Christmas Carol with Richard White (Arvada Center) among others. Recent directing credits include The Wolves and Seussical at the Chicago Academy for the Arts She also designed a five-headed dragon puppet for the Theatre department’s play: She Kills Monsters. Emily also worked for five years as a teaching artist at the Denver Center Theatre Academy. She has a BFA in Musical Theatre Performance from the University of Oklahoma.

scott (smaller image)
Scott Michaels

Dance Classes

Bio

Prior to Scott’s 11 years as the Wagon Wheel’s Artistic Director, he spent 12 seasons as resident Choreographer/Director on nearly 100 productions. During that time, he spent 4 years as the resident Director/Choreographer at the Armory Theatre in Janesville, Wisconsin. In his free time, he continues to work with high schools and colleges all over the Midwest directing, choreographing, and running countless workshops and master classes. Scott’s work on Cats at Arrowhead H.S. in Hartland, Wisconsin won USA Today’s award for Best High School Musical in the country for 2008. Scott spent 2 years as an adjunct faculty member at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL as the Musical Theatre Dance Teacher. He has over 25 years of performing experience from Chicago to Regional theatre. Scott has performed all over the country and Japan and enjoyed a 2 year tour as a back-up singer for Perry Como.

Auditions for Youth, ages 9 -18

Please visit our audition page for the latest auditions for Youth/Teens.

Please click button below for more information.