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Theatre Academy

Developing Excellence – Growing Creativity
All sessions are held at Hershey Area Playhouse at Country Meadows, Sandhill Road at Cherry Drive, Hershey, PA

Celebrate Winter with our Performance Camp (Entering Grades 1-12)

Hershey Area Playhouse Announces their Spring Line up of Classes

Spring Drama Camp
Saturdays March 18th – May 6th 2017
For students in grades 1-12

Contact:  Ms. Cory Wilkerson at

Click Here to Download Spring Drama Camps 2017 Flyer


Creative Kids
Small Stories – Creating original short films

Age Group: K - 3
Cost: $120
Class Dates: 3/18/2017 to 5/6/2017
Class Schedule: Saturdays 9:00 - 10:30 AM

Students will learn basic film protocol so that they may direct and star in their own movies. Techniques of storyboarding, camera angles and shots, and tips for acting for the camera walk hand in hand with learning all about story sequence and storytelling skills.  Session culminates in an open house. 

Acting it Up
I Need a Hero – working with special effects

Age Group: 4 - 6
Cost: $120
Class Dates: 3/18/2017 to 5/6/2017
Class Schedule: Saturdays 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Students will learn to use simple video tricks, editing techniques and stage combat to create realistic special effects and produce a short film revolving around a super hero. Techniques of storyboarding, camera angles and shots, and tips for acting for the camera support the creation of their original films. Session culminates in an open house.

Media Arts Studio 1
Music Video Mayhem – using filters, treatments and editing to express musical moods

Age Group: 7 - 12
Cost: $150
Class Dates: 3/18/2017 to 5/6/2017
Class Schedule: Saturdays 1:00 - 3:00 PM

Students will learn pre and post techniques to create expressive music videos in a “playground” atmosphere of creative exploration. They will be challenged to create a storyline given a camera, simple video editing software and a time limit of 1 minute for the finished product. film protocols and how to manipulate, shots, angles

The Stuff of Legend
A summer camp partnership between the Hershey Gardens and Hershey Area Playhouse

Age Group: Entering grades 4-8
Cost: $265
Class Dates: 7/17/2017 to 7/28/2017
Class Schedule: 9:00 am -12:00 pm

We are celebrating the partnership between the Hershey Gardens and the Hershey Area Playhouse this year. This marks our fifth Garden’s Camp, helping to develop acting skills in students 4th-8th grades. Join us for two weeks of improvisation, scene and character work, and stage combat as we take a thrilling ride into an all new production: THE STUFF OF LEGEND- an original play by Jennifer Feldser, featuring a cast of classic and popular literary characters in an epic adventure.

Dates and Times:

July 17-28, 2017, 9am-12 Noon each day. Mondays are at the Playhouse and Tuesday-Friday we meet at the Hershey Gardens. A final performance is July 28 at Noon, at the Garden’s Children’s Garden. Family Members and friends are welcome!

Register at this link:

 IMPORTANT:  registration is a two-step process:

     #1- complete the registration form using the link to hold a spot

     #2 Mail in your check or money order with a copy of your online registration form to confirm your spot - we will are unable to hold a spot longer than one week without payment.

(Be sure to print a copy of your online registration - printing must be done before you hit the submit button)

Call with any questions: 717.533.8525

 There are only 30 openings so register now!


Meet Our Staff

Ms. Cory Wilkerson

Cory Wilkerson is a director and performer specializing in theatre for youth, who trained in the UK.  Former artistic director of WOW! Theatre. Ms. Wilkerson has taught acting both here and in Atlanta, Georgia. Ms. Wilkerson is a recipient of a Pennsylvania State Legislature Certificate of Achievement for her work with children and youth.  When not directing or teaching, Ms. Wilkerson is a national arts education consultant.

Ms. Jennifer Feldser

Jen has been with the Playhouse since the beginning, teaching, directing and working behind the scenes as stage manager for many of the productions.  When Jen is not doing theatre she is busy keeping track of dramatic elementary students as a children’s librarian and running the Steelton-Highspire school drama club.

Ms.  Laurie Miller Petersen

Laurie comes to us straight from New York with professional credits in Stage Combat from both theatre and film industries.  Laurie holds a degree in theatre from the prestigious Northwestern University and has been teaching for the playhouse since 2009.

Ms. Jill Panyard

Jill Panyard is an area director and acting teacher and Executive Director of Encore! Productions. Jill directs acts and specializes in teaching young people how to act. Her students have captured several nominations at the Apollo Theatre awards.

Ms. Debra Macut

Debra holds a BA in drama and psychology and an MFA in Acting from Catholic University of America. She has enjoyed a successful career in professional theatre, performing throughout the United States, and has an extensive teaching background with over 20 years of teaching experience.

Lisa Lutton Weitzman

Lisa holds a Master's degree in drama from Villanova University and a BS in education from PSU. From its inception in 2001 to 2016, she taught theater at The Capital Area School for the Arts Charter and is a former adjunct professor at Harrisburg Area Community College. Lisa is one of the founding members of both Wow! Theatre in Education and the Coffee With Crones theater company and also TMI and No Artificial Sweeteners Improv troupes. She continues to study acting and has participated in summer intensives in New York City and Toronto, Canada.



Class Registration Policies and Refund Procedures

Hershey Area Playhouse Theatre Academy and Theatre Academy Players educational programs and classes are open to all, subject to minimum and maximum ages/grades, experience and class sizes posted in the program descriptions. Registrations are accepted by mail on a first-come-first-serve basis.

In addition, siblings (two or more students living in the same household) registering are each eligible for a $5.00 discount per program.

We will do our best to accommodate each student’s needs. When reasonable accommodation is not possible, concerns will be addressed directly with those involved. Students are requested to disclose needs or other pertinent information at the time of registration.

All refunds are subject to a $15 non-refundable processing fee. If/when students drop out of a class, the amount refunded is pro-rated, based on the number of classes attended/remaining, after deducting the non-refundable $15 processing fee.

Occasionally, because of the age, experience and number enrolled, some programs have to be merged, combined or cancelled. In these instances, our goal is always to provide our programs to as many students as possible.

Decisions of the Playhouse Board member coordinating the programs of Hershey Area Playhouse Theatre Academy and Theatre Academy Players are final.


Contact us at 717.533.8525 or if you have questions about future Hershey Area Playhouse Theatre Academy programs.