Theatre Camp Hosts Free Drag Camp For Kids This Weekend In Santa Cruz!

Drag Camp will give our campers, ages 8-18 the opportunity to create their drag personas, dawn fabulous wigs, make-up and costumes and more.

By: Mar. 27, 2023
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Theatre Camp Hosts Free Drag Camp For Kids This Weekend In Santa Cruz!

As part of of their 22nd Anniversary Camp Season, The Young Actors' Theatre Camp will present a very special weekend camp on "The Art of Drag"! Yassss Drag Queens, Drag Kings, and Non-Binary Drag Royalty, YATC's Drag Camp will give our campers, ages 8-18 the opportunity to create their drag personas, dawn fabulous wigs, make-up and costumes and put on a one night only special performance for friends and family!

Thanks to a generous donor who is hoping that as many kids who want to attend will be able to, YATC is able to offer this weekend at a "Pay What You Can" price point, starting at the price of free.

Program Director and Co-Founding Director of CampYATC, Shawn Ryan announced last week that it was time to have a dedicated camp for all of the young artists around the world who want to explore their inner Drag Persona and learn all about the art form! "At one time," says Ryan, "DRaG was a simple stage direction for the male actors in Shakespearian days, who were playing the female roles to "Enter DRaG (DRessed as Girl). Now we find that it means so much more to our students - It means community, acceptance, expression, freedom and most importantly fabulousness! You don't have to want to be a Drag Queen when you grow up, to want to learn about the art form and explore it!"

Drag is nothing new to Ryan or to the Camp. "Every year for the last decade, we've had a RuPaul's Drag Race themed dinner!" And of course, it's followed up by a fully produced Drag show that has become the favorite evening for all of the overnight campers at the renowned theatre camp.

So if Drag workshops and activities already happen at CampYATC, why devote an entire camp session just to Drag? Ryan explains, "About a decade ago, when we first started our Drag Night at camp, we had one parent who wrote a very hate filled Yelp review and it really got under my skin. In the review he stated, 'I'm fine with it for skits and plays...I mean I loved Mrs. Doubtfire...but teaching (the art of drag) to kids?'

Ryan says, "My blood really boiled. Why is it admirable when Robin Williams does it (and flawlessly I might add) but all of a sudden it's off the table when your child might want to put on a costume that has been previously known for the opposite gender?"

YATC has always held the mission of creating a safe and supportive environment for all kids in the performing arts, on stage and backstage, in front of the camera, and behind. And of course with this mission and with the camp's focus being on theatre, film and the performing arts, it's no wonder that YATC has a large population of LGBTQIA+ campers.

There must be a place for our youth to feel that they can explore the arts without judgement.

When asked if he believes that starting a Drag Course at their arts camp will negatively impact enrollment or will bring hateful attention to their mission, Ryan simply states, "If it does, it does. We love our campers. We want them to feel accepting in a world that so often labels them as outsiders. For a young artist to find their community is among the first and most important steps to creating a full and loving life in the arts, whether it's professional, community or school theatre."

YATC's "The Art of Drag" Camp will teach the history of the art form, allow students to participate in character developing workshops, come up with performance ideas and then bring a show to the stage with their friends and family as the audience. Led by Ryan, the Bay Area's own, Casi Kristant (who has spent many years as a drag queen herself, named Poppy daBubbles) and Emmy Award Winning Make Up Artist and Drag Queen Glen Alen who is making the trip all the way up from Los Angeles. This camp is destined to be a sure fire hit of a weekend experience for your campers!

The Young Actors' Theatre Camp announced today the all star summer line up for The Young Actors' Theatre Camp which will include TV, Broadway, and Films most inspirational Actors, Dancers, Singers, Choreographers, Producers, and Directors! This is a summer not to be missed! And adding a special workshop. "The Art of Drag" to this Season's highlights will be the icing on the cake! "We have so many of our campers who wanted to explore the Art of Drag, so in addition to our amazing Summer Camp programming, we are hosting a very special Drag Camp for all the Queens, Kings, and Royal Campers who want to explore this amazing art form," says Shawn Ryan, one of the co-founding Directors of CampYATC!

2023 Season Faculty includes:

& many many many more!

The Young Actors' Theatre Camp is celebrating 22 Years of inspiring and educating young performers to "Discover and Develop the Artist Within!" Consistently voted year after year as the Bay Area's "Best Overnight Camp," by Bay Area Parent & Parents' Press Magazines & readers, YATC has won multiple awards and was the inaugural inductee into Bay Area Parent Magazine's "Hall of Fame".

Co-Founder & Director, Shawn Ryan states, "We're known as the place for all the Drama-tweens and Drama-teens to come each summer. By creating a safe and supportive environment where anyone can express themselves without limits and without fear, in a supportive peer group - that's what's special, and it's something that many kids have said is missing from their daily school lives."

"Inspiring kids to express themselves through the performing arts and encouraging them to get out of their comfort zones to try something new and maybe even slightly scary - you can only achieve that if they know that they're safe and not going to be ridiculed for taking a chance or making a bold choice," said Ryan. Students take daily classes in music, dance, stage and film acting, even improvisation, a true exploration of the arts which has turned many a first time students into lifelong campers and eventual long-term staff. The Camp boasts a 90% student return rate, with many former campers now studying at Performing Arts Colleges (NYU, Michigan, Boston Conservatory, UCLA and USC to name a few), who jockey for coveted staff positions each summer.

YATC's expanded to five sessions this summer & sessions are available in Santa Cruz County.

Registration is currently open at (925)858-3548 or Emailing:


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