Starland Kids


You may enroll online or by calling (847) 914-9100. If you the class you want is not letting you enroll, it may be closed or full.  Call (847) 914-9100 for assistance or to be put on a waitlist.

Some classes fill within minutes of registration opening, some will have availability through the first weeks of classes/camp. Some of our fast-filling classes include: FirstStages Show, Theatre Summer Camp Session 1, Broadway Stars and Broadway Bound. Make sure you know when registration opens so you don’t miss out!

We do offer a waitlist for full classes and camps. Occasionally spaces become available, but we cannot guarantee class placement. If enough students are waitlisted, we are sometimes able to open a second section of a given class. If you would like to be placed on the waitlist, please call (847) 914-9100. If a spot becomes available you receive a call or email from our front desk and will have a specified period of time to accept your place before moving on to the next person on the waitlist. We will collect payment if a spot becomes available.

Families who register online will receive an immediate email confirmation. If enrolled on the phone, a confirmation will be emailed to you. Be sure to note the start date, time, and location of your class or camps on your personal calendar at the time of registration. If you have not received a confirmation within 24 hours of submitting your registration, please call (847) 914-9100  to confirm your registration.

Classes: Payment is expected at the time of registration.  If a payment plan is needed, payments must be ongoing and completed 1 week prior to the end of the session. Payment can be made by cash, check, or Visa, Master Card, or Discover. We do not accept American Express.

Summer Camp: A 50% deposit per child per session is due at the time of registration in order to secure your camper’s spot in camp. This includes a $50 non-refundable/non-transferable registration fee (to be applied toward camp balance.) The balance is due May 1st.

Classes: Refunds will only be given 30 or more days before classes begin.  Cancellations of less than 30 days prior to a class will be given as Starland credit towards future classes.  Reported cancellations after class has begun will result in prorated credit for the unused classes.  No refunds or credits will be given after 5 weeks into any session.  Bus Service is non refundable.

Camps: We would like to encourage you to simply move to another session so your child can have the experience of summer camp. However, we understand that things come up and you may need to cancel all together. To do so, please call or email us with this information.

  • $50 Deposit is not refundable or transferable at any time unless it is a medical reason (must have written explanation from Doctor).
  • If you cancel more than 90 days before the session start date, then you will receive full refund paid with the EXCEPTION of the $50 registration fee.
  • 15-89 days before the session start date = 50% refund or 100% Starland credit 2 weeks prior to session start date = NO REFUND

We understand that medical issues may arise over the summer or just as your child is set to attend camp. Please call us as soon as possible to inform us of your need to cancel. We will ask that you submit a written excuse from your child’s physician. If you child is sick and there is time and room, we will work with you to switch your camper to a later session.

In the event of an absence, please report the absence to Starland by calling the front desk, 847-914-9100, before the class begins and schedule a make up class at that time.  Each student will be allowed two make-up classes per session to be made up in the same session.  All make-up classes must be scheduled at least 24 hours in advance, and must receive director approval.  In order to ensure continued quality of classes, as well as low student-to-teacher ratios, make-ups will only be allowed in classes with availability.  No make-up classes may occur during “show week.”

Classes for our littlest friends, like Princess Ballet, Trucks, Trains & Trikes, & Little Learners rely on routine and familiarity.  For this reason, make-ups are not allowed in those classes.  Make-ups do not apply to academic, year-long classes and programs or after-school enrichment. No refunds or credits are given for missed classes.

Starland reserves the right to cancel classes for which fewer than five students are enrolled. In this event, we will notify the families affected by a cancelled class with a choice of suitable replacement classes and/or full refunds.

You may check the website, call or check Starland’s Facebook to see if a class is canceled due to weather. Make-up days for cancelled classes may or may not be scheduled based on individual class schedules and circumstances.

Families are expected to bring students to class on time. Please inform your child’s teacher or director in advance of any necessary absences during the session when possible, especially if your student will not be able to attend the last day of class or any important performances. Continued lateness or absences may result in an understudy sharing some features, including lines, solos or songs, and may affect future casting decisions. Please plan your commitment to a performance class with this in mind.

All of our Teaching Artists have received their degrees in theatre, music or education, some in advanced degrees. Staff members at Children’s Theatre are accomplished, talented educators with a passion for working with young people. Background checks are processed on all Starland Theatre staff.

Be sure to label everything, especially coats. Lost items may be claimed in the central hallway.

Theatre allows kids to explore empathy. Embodying a character asks a child to think from their point of view. Participating in a scene or improvisation with a partner allows students to work with their peers to problem solve in an non- competitive way. Students quickly learn that each member’s success brings the entire class up with them, and being part of something bigger than yourself is essential to team building and compassion.

Theatre isn’t black-and-white, all voices are welcomed. There is truly a place for everyone, from set design to writing, from acting to chorus. Theatre is a great choice for a child who is shy and needs help making friendships. It is equally appropriate for a ‘social butterfly’ or a ‘center of attention’. There is a lot of pressure to conform in this world and Involving your kids in the arts makes allows them to explore who they want to become.

Theatre is great exposure to literature and history. Not just Hamilton! Students of the performing arts are exposed to great writers, composers, classical stories and big ideas. Just wait until your child comes home saying they blew their class away with a deep understanding of the days subject. Why? Because they hadn’t just learned it, they had performed it!

Theatre is Inclusive and a safe space. No matter what your child is, no matter what they have on their plate, they can participate in a class and practice NOT being perfect. Performing arts training allows students to safely fail and to learn from that feeling and experience. If your child never goes into the arts they will still take this lesson with them into their futures.

“Don’t worry about failures, worry about the chances you miss when you don’t even try.” ― Jack Canfield

Our teaching staff does an excellent job helping students to feel comfortable in all of our classes. We do offer classes with different focuses, levels of intensity, and time commitments so we recommend that you speak with your child about his or her interest prior to registration. Please read the class descriptions to note the significant differences between the offerings. If you have further questions about class descriptions, please do not hesitate to contact the director of the department, Ashley Lynd or call the front desk for assistance.

Our classes serve students ages 2 to 14. When an age restriction is given, students must have reached that age by the first day of class. Any exceptions must be discussed and approved ahead of time with both the instructor and the department head. Students in our youngest classes must be fully potty trained or accompanied by a caregiver who can wait in the building, should a bathroom need occur.  Students may enroll only in classes that they qualify for based on age and/or grade. This helps to ensure our objective that every child has a positive experience.

Starland theatre is a great place to learn because of the diversity of all our students, including those with many types of special needs. If your child has special considerations we welcome a discussion ahead of the first day of participation. Open communication with families helps us create a successful environment for every child. We know that sometimes parents do not want to stigmatize a child in the eyes of their teachers, but please know we have a policy of understanding and challenging each child to meet their own personal goals. Having as much information and support as a family can offer is a huge step forward in making sure our teachers can help each student shine.

Families may check in at the front desk to find their room. Classrooms will not open until 5 minutes before a classes start time. Please understand our teachers are either setting up or preparing with a quiet moment and allow them to open the doors when ready. If you need to speak to a teacher, use the early minutes of class, stay a few minutes after or plan a phone conversation. Attendance is recorded daily and all classes consist of active games, quieter lesson time and room for student input.

With the exception of the Mommy and Me Music program, Starland theatre classes are an independent experience for children to learn and explore in a classroom enhancing their social, developmental, and creative skills in a peer setting. Other than the performance days, parents do not sit in on classes. An exception may be made for out-of-town guests or a family member unable to attend the final performance. In this case we ask that it is arranged before the day you wish to have an observer so we can plan accordingly. If you child is upset during drop off, our class assistant or another staff member will provide your child with the one on one attention required to soothe them until they are comfortable and engaged in the class. Once students begin class activities, anxiety typically diminishes. If you have further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact the director of the department, Ashley Lynd, for details.

Some of our youngest students may experience some separation anxiety on the first day of class. We find the most effective method for separation anxiety is a quick but loving goodbye from the parent. Once they arrive in the classroom, students are immediately engaged in classroom activities. It is our firm policy that parents do not accompany students into the classroom. We have found that this tends to heighten the distress of the student and makes the separation even more difficult. This also sets a very difficult precedent for the other students in the class who cannot understand why their parent is not with them as well. Parents are welcome to wait in the lobby area during class. Another strategy which helps to decrease anxiety is to be sure your student arrives on time, especially for the first day of class. Late students tend to feel more anxiety and have a more difficult time joining class then those who begin class with the entire group. And please always do your best to pick up an anxious student on time.

Early Childhood classes typically begin with a group circle activity which joins the students together and sets the tone for creative learning. Students engage in a variety of physical and vocal warm up activities as a group and individually. We balance our programs to make sure about a third of each class is rehearsing for the performance(s), a third is instruction and technique and a third is The Teaching Artist reads the story to the students and then leads them through a dramatization of the story. Teaching Artists incorporate a variety of visual and tactile components student driven and/or play. We transition to a new focus each 7-15 minute to keep young bodies moving and engaged.

Classes for our young elementary ages (1st-4th graders) begin with focused warm up activities and exercises. Depending on the nature of the class, students then engage in the exploration of improvisation, musical theatre or scene study activities. Core theatre skills such as projection, diction, blocking, stage directions and objectives are reinforced through practical application of rehearsing scenes and musical numbers. These classes also incorporate improvisation activities to inspire and challenge actors each class.

Our oldest groups (5th Grade and up) also begin with a focused warm up, often tied to a technique or challenge being rehearsed that day. The pace is faster and instructions are not repeated, so students at this level must be focused and ready to learn. There is more individual instruction at this level, including asking students to act as an example or to receive feedback from peers and/or teachers. Students in this programs

In enrichment classes at Children’s Theatre of Charlotte, emphasis is placed on the process rather than the product. This means that we focus on the creative contributions, discoveries, self-expression and growth of all the students. The notion of process drama, practiced by many Theatre Education programs around the world, emphasizes creative exploration and critical thinking. Because of this emphasis, students do not spend the entire session working toward one presentational event. The scenes and stories used during Sharing and Showcase Week are a sample of the activities that students explored throughout the course of the session.

Eligible families may receive scholarships for classes through our Community Involvement Program. Full and partial scholarship slots are limited and fill rapidly.

We encourage parents to initiate discussion with students about the class experience. Here are some questions to get started!

“FirstStages” classes 3-7 years

  • What story did you act out today?
  • What character did you play in the story?
  • What other characters are in the story?
  • How did the story end?
  • What warm up activities did you do in class?
  • What is your favorite theatre game?
  • What song did you sing or listen to today?

“CenterStage” classes 8-14 years and Productions

  • What scene are you working on in class?
  • What character are you playing?
  • What games and warm-up activities did you do in class today?
  • What is a theatre term or terms that you learned in class?
  • What important guidelines are you learning for improvisation?
  • What do you find most challenging about improvisation?
  • When do the improvisation exercises seem most successful?
  • How do you create a scene without using a script?
  • What are some essential things to keep in mind as you are improvising?
  • Which physical and vocal warm-ups did you do in class today?
  • Which exercises do you think are most helpful to get you warmed up?
  • What song did you sing or listen to today?
  • Is the song from a musical? Which one?
  • What choreography did you explore today?

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445 Pine St. Deerfield, IL | 847.914.9100