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French Woods Festival of Performing Arts Camp
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Sign Up Today for French Woods Festival of the Performing Arts!

Sign Up Today for French Woods Festival of the Performing Arts!

Over the last 50 years, French Woods Festival of the Performing Arts has become famous for its summer programs in music, theater, dance and the performing arts. The bedrock of the program is an all-encompassing schedule of 80 theater productions, including shows that are fresh off Broadway, along with other favorites, classics, and forgotten jewels from the last century of musical theater. On top of that, Broadway stars, professional musicians, conductors, composers and playwrights as well as members of internationally recognized orchestras will visit French Woods during the summer and offer their mastery as coaches to the campers. Additionally, the instrumental program collaborates with the theater program with the use of live full orchestrations for the musicals. This raises the quality of the performance as well as the experience for performers and their audiences.

Every summer, campers and staff brainstorm about what shows to select for the next season and then the process of negotiating for rights begins. Because of French Woods long history and connections in the theater world, often they have access to new releases that are difficult to come by. Anne McAlexander, who runs the French Woods Theater Department says, "We always try to find shows that the kids are excited about. We can tell by the new songs they sing in auditions and while they walk around camp, what has the most 'buzz.' Then we look at our enrollment population and select shows that will be right for the various age groups, as well as a mix of leads and roles that match well with the demographics we will have at camp." French Woods divides their theater productions into 5 age groups; 7-9, 9-11, 12, 11-14, and 11-17, with some overlap to allow for age differences as they did for last summer's closing show, Matilda, a show that requires a young cast and an older cast simultaneously.

Sign Up Today for French Woods Festival of the Performing Arts!

Ron Schaefer, French Woods Founder, and current New York Pops PopsEd Honoree for his contributions to musical and theatrical education and enrichment adds, "We also put shows into the schedule for their educational benefit, and to challenge the kids with material they are probably not exposed to in school. This summer, we are excited about new shows like The Other Josh Cohen, Stop Kiss, Big Fish, Silent Sky, and an exciting first production of a new Broadway title that we can't talk about yet through our yearly partnership with Theatrical Rights Worldwide. I'm especially excited about some new shows that will be very exciting for our youngest campers, like the young@part version of We Will Rock You, and Moana Jr."

For the instrumental performers, guest conductors include Larry Livingston and Steven Reineke, master classes and performance opportunities with members of the New York Pops and other renowned Orchestras. In what French Woods calls Side By Side concerts that also feature Broadway stars including Norm Lewis and Andrea Burns for the upcoming summer. Brian Worsdale, creative director and director of the music program offers, "French Woods creates a positive life changing experience for the children that attend our camp. They are exposed to some wonderful opportunities to create learning experiences, be challenged and have fun in one of the most nurturing atmospheres around."

Beyond that, French woods has created a community of passionate staff members and campers who come to French Woods to do what they love and to share their excitement with others who share their enthusiasm. Every child who attends French Woods is their own person, with their own individual wants and needs. This is reflected not only in the community that embraces each and every child, but in the structure of the program itself.

Sign Up Today for French Woods Festival of the Performing Arts!

Sign Up Today for French Woods Festival of the Performing Arts!

Unlike a traditional camp structure, where children are arranged into groups, and the groups are together night and day, a camper at French Woods is able to plan their own summer, depending on their own interests and passions. Sharing the same cabin, you might easily find both a child who rehearses all day long - shows, circus, music - and a child who goes the whole summer without setting foot on a stage, instead preferring to spend time swimming, horseback riding, and making things in visual arts. From one extreme to the other, and any combination in between, the individualized program at French Woods allows a child to make choices and shape their own camp experience. No matter the needs of the child, no matter how quirky the interests or the personality, French Woods has something to engage every child - and a community in which to delight and grow.

Through the French Woods experience children can explore their interests and try new things - all in one of the most educational and loving environments possible. Give your child the opportunity to shine, call 1-800-634-1703 or visit to learn more.

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