Theater
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Summer Theater Camp on Long Island

 

 

Summer Acting Programs for Kids in New York

Usdan’s Theater Department is committed to educational excellence and promoting wonder and understanding in the world. Students perform in a full theatrical production and/or focus on specific skills, including acting, singing, and comedy. No matter the class, all Theater students receive instruction from experienced theater educators, professional actors, and directors.

Experienced students who have just completed 8th to 12th grade are invited to audition for the Usdan Troupe, which presents one fully staged musical production every year. Former company members describe it as "summer-stock theater for teens." To ensure that this Major best serves the entire group, students are asked to submit an audition video shortly after enrollment.

Recent full productions in Musical Theater and the Usdan Troupe include: Frozen, Aladdin, The Drowsy Chaperone, Titanic, Fiddler on the Roof, and Singin’ in the Rain.

Theater Department stages as well as the majority of rehearsal studios are open-air with one to three sides exposed to the surrounding beauty of our wooded campus. 

 

Summer Camp Busing for Long Island, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens Kids

For over fifty years, Usdan has offered an enriching summer camp experience to children all over the region, from Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn in New York City, to Port Washington and Huntington, and all over Nassau and Suffolk counties. Usdan offers busing to and from camp from convenient central pickup locations. For more information on busing, please visit our Transportation page

Classes

Performance: Children’s Theater (NEW)

Available for
  • 4-Week A
  • 4-Week B
Major classes
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Performance: Musical Theater

Available for
  • 4-Week A
  • 4-Week B
Major classes
Usdan Theater Comedy Mask Icon

Performance: The Acting Group

Available for
  • 4-Week A
Major classes
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Performance: The Usdan Troupe

Available for
  • 8-Week
  • 4-Week A
  • 4-Week B
Major classes
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Theater Skills: Comic Acting & Storytelling

Available for
  • 4-Week A
  • 4-Week B
Minor classes
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Theater Skills: Improvisation & Theater Games

Available for
  • 4-Week A
  • 4-Week B
Minor classes
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Theater Skills: Stage Combat

Available for
  • 4-Week A
  • 4-Week B
Minor classes
Usdan Theater Comedy Mask Icon

Theater Skills: The Actor Sings (NEW)

Available for
  • 4-Week A
  • 4-Week B
Minor classes
Usdan Theater Comedy Mask Icon
Usdan Theater Comedy Mask Icon

Performance: Children’s Theater (NEW)

4-Week A

Major: Grades 2–3
MINOR - N/A
REC - N/A

4-Week B

Major: Grades 2–3
MINOR - N/A
REC - N/A

1-Week Rec

MAJOR - N/A
MINOR - N/A
REC - N/A

Children’s Theater allows young campers with stage-door dreams to explore musical interpretation. This unforgettable experience provides foundational instruction for our youngest thespians as they prepare to perform a musical chosen especially for them. Led by an experienced theater educator and performer, this Major nurtures both singing and acting skills. Classes take place in open-air studios with at least one side exposed to Usdan’s beautiful wooded campus.

 

Usdan Theater Comedy Mask Icon

Performance: Musical Theater

4-Week A

Major: Grades 4–12
MINOR - N/A
REC - N/A

4-Week B

Major: Grades 4–12
MINOR - N/A
REC - N/A

1-Week Rec

MAJOR - N/A
MINOR - N/A
REC - N/A

An opportunity to study musical theater through the entire cycle of a production, including audition, rehearsal, blocking, staging, choreography, ensemble work, and performance. Over the course of four weeks, students audition for roles and learn how casting decisions are made, discover the joys of collaboration, and develop responsibility as they work together to put on their show. Usdan’s musical theater productions are directed by professional theater educators specializing in directing and music-directing. Rehearsals take place in open-air studios with at least one side exposed to Usdan’s beautiful wooded campus. Classes are grouped according to age division and grade. 

“The show, rehearsal, and auditions are very professional. My favorite parts were the way the company becomes a family and the way the show comes together.” 
—Myla

“I met very talented people who inspired me.”
—Marisella

 

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Performance: The Acting Group

4-Week A

Major: Grades 6–12
MINOR - N/A
REC - N/A

4-Week B

MAJOR - N/A
MINOR - N/A
REC - N/A

1-Week Rec

MAJOR - N/A
MINOR - N/A
REC - N/A

Ever wonder why they call it a play when acting often feels like work? The Acting Group explores the process of becoming an actor. Students experience the audition and rehearsal phases under the direction of professional theater educators. The 4-week session culminates with their play’s performance. Past productions include Dracula, Little Women, The Miracle Worker, and The Diary of Anne Frank. Rehearsals take place in open-air studios with at least one side exposed to Usdan’s beautiful wooded campus.

“It was extremely fun. I got to meet great new people, and we were able to put on a great performance.” 
—Oriana  

 

 

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Performance: The Usdan Troupe

4-Week A

MAJOR - N/A
MINOR - N/A
REC - N/A

4-Week B

MAJOR - N/A
MINOR - N/A
REC - N/A

1-Week Rec

MAJOR - N/A
MINOR - N/A
REC - N/A

  • An audition is required to determine acceptance or placement into this class.
  • This Major must be taken for the full 8-week session.

Our most accomplished student performers are invited to participate in the entire process of making live musical theater, from audition to performance. Former company members describe the Troupe experience as “summer-stock theater for teens.” Recent shows include Grand Hotel, Sunday in the Park with George, Carousel, Singin’ in the Rain and Titanic. The Troupe presents a fully staged musical production at the end of the summer. Rehearsals take place in open-air studios with at least one side exposed to Usdan’s beautiful wooded campus.

Admission to the Usdan Troupe will be limited to qualified applicants who submit an audition recording, until capacity is reached. Usdan will provide guidelines for a required video audition shortly after enrollment. Students who have taken this Major previously do not need to audition again.

“... the overall experience changed my view on performing.”  
—Alaina

“My favorite parts were the bond that we shared and the dedication that the directors put into their work for us.”
—Erik

“This group felt like a family.”
—Vanessa

 

Usdan Theater Comedy Mask Icon

Theater Skills: Comic Acting & Storytelling

4-Week A

MAJOR - N/A
Minor: Grades 4–12
REC - N/A

4-Week B

MAJOR - N/A
Minor: Grades 4–12
REC - N/A

1-Week Rec

MAJOR - N/A
MINOR - N/A
REC - N/A

Make an audience laugh, make them wonder. Sharpen your comic timing and learn to tell a story that will have them begging for more. Under the instruction of a professional theater educator and performer, students spend their days ​​practicing and developing their comedy performance skills. Classes take place in open-air studios with at least one side exposed to Usdan’s beautiful wooded campus.

“ … the teacher gave us so much freedom.”
—Victoria

“I enjoyed learning new comedy skills and acting with nice people.”
—Cora

“It was just plain fun.”
—Mia

 

Usdan Theater Comedy Mask Icon

Theater Skills: Improvisation & Theater Games

4-Week A

MAJOR - N/A
Minor: Grades 4–12
REC - N/A

4-Week B

MAJOR - N/A
Minor: Grades 4–12
REC - N/A

1-Week Rec

MAJOR - N/A
MINOR - N/A
REC - N/A

Explore the primary tools for creating improvised scenes and developing full characters under the expert guidance of a professional theater educator and performer. Students are encouraged to make strong emotional and personal choices, emphasizing character development through exercises and scene work. By the end of their session, students will better understand the basic rules of improvisation and how they can be applied to storytelling, acting, and being human. Classes take place in open-air studios with at least one side exposed to Usdan’s beautiful wooded campus.

Usdan Theater Comedy Mask Icon

Theater Skills: Stage Combat

4-Week A

MAJOR - N/A
Minor: Grades 4–12
REC - N/A

4-Week B

MAJOR - N/A
Minor: Grades 4–12
REC - N/A

1-Week Rec

MAJOR - N/A
MINOR - N/A
REC - N/A

Just as movement and dance are essential physical skills for the modern actor, skill in stage fighting has to be part of the actor's toolbox. Learn the basics and mechanics of acting a conflict truthfully, stage combat safety, unarmed combat, and found weapons. Guided by an experienced stage combat educator, this class emphasizes the actor’s approach to fight scenes and the use of body, movement, and style. Students engage in exercises that emphasize the importance of fighting distance, sight lines, and fight vocabulary. Classes are designed to provide an opportunity to choreograph and participate in a believable and safe fight scene. Through proper warm-up techniques and disciplined repetition, students achieve the confidence and physical ability to perform a role that requires stage violence. Classes take place in open-air studios with at least one side exposed to Usdan’s beautiful wooded campus. 

Usdan Theater Comedy Mask Icon

Theater Skills: The Actor Sings (NEW)

4-Week A

MAJOR - N/A
Minor: Grades 4–12
REC - N/A

4-Week B

MAJOR - N/A
Minor: Grades 4–12
REC - N/A

1-Week Rec

MAJOR - N/A
MINOR - N/A
REC - N/A

The new century has brought exciting and different styles of song and performance to the American stage. In The Actor Sings you will learn to perform the musical theater songs of today. Think Hadestown, Jagged Little Pill, Mean Girls, Be More Chill, and The Prom. Under the instruction of a professional theater educator and performer, students spend their days engaging in vocal warm-ups and group exercises, working on individual songs or duets, and giving and receiving feedback with fellow singers. Classes take place in open-air studios with at least one side exposed to Usdan’s beautiful wooded campus.

 

 

Department Faculty & Staff

Amelia Dombrowski

Faculty

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Carl Ferrara

Faculty, Musical Theater Skills: Acting Monologues & Dialogues

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Carolyn Popadin

Faculty, Theater

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Christopher Drobny

Faculty, Musical Theater Performance

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Dan Sussman

Faculty, Musical Theater Skills: Comic Acting & Storytelling

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Elizabeth Jeffery

Faculty, Musical Theater Adventure: Games & Scenes + Songs & Improv

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Frank Buffolino

Faculty, Musical Theater Performance

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James Crichton

Faculty, Musical Theater Performance and Musical Theater Skills: Songs from Contemporary Theater

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Jeffery Hoffman

Faculty, Usdan Troupe

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Jim Incorvaia

Department Chair, Theater

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Jordan Hue

Faculty, Musical Theater Performance

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Robert Gallagher

Faculty, Musical Theater Performance

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Spencer Glass

Faculty, Musical Theater Performance

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Warren Bloom

Faculty, Musical Theater Performance

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