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Summer Academy 2020

The Summer Academy at Charter Arts is a program of enrichment workshops for kids & teens that is open to the community.

Learn something new or strengthen your skills while meeting other young artists from the Lehigh Valley and beyond!


Please note that due to Covid-19, our former line-up of workshops has changed.  Although we cannot meet in person this year, our amazing instructors have designed exciting virtual versions of their popular workshops. We will also continue to add workshops and seminars so be sure to check back regularly.

Some workshops are taught by Charter Arts faculty and some are taught by visiting artists.


If you have questions or are ready to register:

Just email the Summer Academy Team at communications@charterarts.org or Call 610-868-2971 Ext. 3185.

To register by mail:  Use this form


WEEK OF JULY 13-17

Intro to Production Arts: Designing Wonderland (VIRTUAL)

Session Dates: July 13-17
Session Time:  9:30 AM-11:00 AM
Fee: (New Reduced Fee: $125)
About the Instructor: Rae Labadie

UPDATE 7/10/20:  This workshop is now FULL.

Unleash the designer within you! In this class, taught by Rae Labadie, Artistic Director of the Production Arts Department, you will learn the basics of design for theatre with exercises in costume, set, sound, props and lighting design for Alice in Wonderland. Students will gain skills in script analysis and conceptual thinking, drawing and rendering, foley and recorded audio, and more! Independent projects will be assigned daily, so come ready to work! By the end of this week-long class, students will be able to display a complete design portfolio for an imagined original production of Alice in Wonderland in a virtual showcase for family and friends. Open to children entering 7th-9th grades (6th grade may be considered).

Teen Acting Workshop:  Monologue and Scene Work Intensive (VIRTUAL)

Session Dates: July 13-17
Session Time: 10:00 AM-11:30 AM daily
Fee: (New Reduced Fee: $125)
About the Instructor: Kate Pistone

Update 7?10/20:  We have 2 spots left in this workshop, email communications@charterarts.org over the weekend if you would still like to register.

Taught by Kate Pistone, a seasoned musical theatre and cabaret performer, this virtual intensive is designed for teens (ages 12 – 17) looking to sharpen their monologue repertoire and theatre audition skills.  It is ideal for the young actor who wants to audition for school or community theater productions.  It is also a great training intensive to start preparing for a college audition and beyond.  Participants will learn how to select appropriate material, discuss audition techniques, and participate in mock auditions. The goal is for participants to leave the class with prepared material and the confidence to do well in their auditions! This class introduces the young actor to the same tools used by professional actors.

What did participants say about working with Ms. Pistone last year:

“I truly enjoyed the overall experience.  I received lots of useful information and built many strong friendships.”

“It is fun to learn about theatre!”

“My overall experience was amazing. I thoroughly enjoyed learning more about theatre and Miss Kate was very helpful and supportive.”

” My experience was amazing! I learned a lot.”

“It was really fun and helpful to  me.”


WEEK OF JULY 20-24

Summer Screenwriting Experience  (VIRTUAL)

Session Dates: July 20-24
Session Time: 9:30 AM-11:00 AM daily
Fee: $135 ($10 off if registered by June 30, 2020)
About the Instructor: Heath Mensher

This fun summer workshop, taught by Literary Arts faculty member, Heath Mensher,  is ideal for the young film buff or the young aspiring screenwriter as an entryway into the ‘reading’ and comprehension of film as a language. Exercises will include photo prompt writing, reactions, and live google-document discussion on the “short film of the day,” character creation, character motivations, script tricks and philosophies, music incorporation, and camera movement as narrative and storytelling. Please note that this is not a filmmaking workshop.  Open to children entering 7th-9th grades (6th grade may be considered).

A few testimonials from last year’s participants/ parents:

“Really educational and fun!  Instructor was great.”

“This was so cool.”

“So pleased with the experience for my son! Thank you! He was inspired and engaged by the program’s instructor.”

“My daughter was happy with the experience and enjoyed the workshop.”


WEEK OF July 27-31

An Introduction to Character Development and Fiction Writing (VIRTUAL)

Session Dates: July 27-31
Session Time: 9:30 AM- 11:00 AM daily
Fee: $135  ($10 off if registered by June 30, 2020)
About the Instructor: Paul Walsh

Join us for an introductory exploration of character development and fiction writing taught by Paul Walsh, the Artistic Director of the Literary Arts at Charter Arts. Students will engage with a variety of character exercises that will aid them in creating fleshed-out and well-rounded characters. Students will also focus on other aspects of fictional writing including but not limited to setting, point of view, metaphor, and symbolism. Students will utilize this new knowledge to create pieces of original fiction throughout the course of the week.  Open to children entering 7th-9th grades (6th grade may be considered).

A few testimonials from last year’s participants and parents:

“It was a great experience and I learned a lot about vignettes, metaphor, and dialogue. Mr. Walsh was a great teacher, and I look forward to working with him in the future.”

“It was really fun and informative!”

“Enjoyable! Mr. Walsh is great!

“We learned a new subject each day, and I was so excited to come back each morning. We had a lot of great discussions about writing and books.”

“My son really enjoyed Mr. Walsh’s instruction. He felt the time went quickly as they were kept creatively busy.”


The following two workshops are in-person sessions:

Acting for Commercial, TV and Film Workshop

Session Date: July 27-31
Session Time:  9:30 AM-12:00 PM daily
Fee:  $195
About the Instructor: Ann Gillette

This workshop is taught by an industry professional with more than twenty years of experience working in casting and as a producer on over 600 commercial, tv and film projects.  Participants will learn how the on-camera acting industry ‘really’ works, both regionally and in the larger markets of New York and Los Angeles.  Participants will learn critical ‘cold read’ techniques required when auditioning for commercial, tv and film projects.  Participants will work in front of the camera each session and will receive individual coaching and critique.  In addition, lessons will focus on the skills needed to work effectively with agents, managers, casting directors and directors.  Participants will also learn tips of top bookers and how to avoid the biggest mistakes that actors make both in front of the camera and in navigating the business itself.  Open to teens entering 8th-12th grades. Limited Enrollment!

A few testimonials from last year’s participants:

“I really enjoyed this and feel like I learned a lot.”

“I learned a lot, had a great time, and the camp was extremely interesting.”

“I loved this program. The instructor is very knowledgeable of the area and expressed the reality extremely well.”

“When I started this camp I wasn’t sure what we were going to do, but immediately we were introduced to the arts of film and tv and I was immediately amazed.”

“I had a lot of fun and I really enjoyed it.”

Pop & Jazz Vocal Performance Workshop 

Session Dates: July 27- July 31 (open to teens e”ntering 8th-12th grades)
Session Time:  9:00 AM-12:00 PM
Fee:  $225

This workshop is no longer available.

So you want to perform like a Pop or Jazz Star?  This program is designed to give vocal students a major edge in all areas of performing in front of an audience.  Each student will develop their music skills through coaching and individual instruction. Participants will create a virtual Vocalist Café to be performed for families and friends on the last day of the session.  Open to teens entering 8th-12th grades.  Limited Enrollment!


The Charter Arts 2020 Summer Academy program is a school fundraising initiative.  All proceeds benefit the Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts.


Registration, Cancellation, and Refund Policy:

Full payment is required at the time of registration.  Partial payments or payment plans are not available for this program.  Students who have registered and who have paid in full for a Summer Academy workshop, who choose to cancel their registration, must notify the Summer Academy Coordinator in writing at communications@charterarts.org.

A student who cancels his/her registration more than 14 business days prior to the class start date, is eligible for a 100% refund.  A student who cancels his/her registration 7-13 business days prior to the class start date will be eligible for a 50% refund.  A student who cancels his/her registration less than 7 business days prior to the class start date, will not be eligible for a refund.…

A student who has registered and paid in full for a workshop, who chooses to terminate his/her participation after the class start date, will not be eligible for a refund but can transfer unused hours toward another workshop in the 2020 Summer Academy based on availability.  This credit must be used during the 2020 Summer Academy Program and cannot be transferred to another program at a later date.

Course Cancellation:

The Charter Arts Summer Academy reserves the right to cancel a course due to insufficient enrollment.  If a camp or workshop is canceled, students will be notified in writing, and all registered students who have paid in full will be eligible for a full refund OR students may choose to transfer their registration fee to another course or workshop in the 2020 Summer Academy, The Charter Arts Summer Academy reserves the right to replace a course instructor without notification.