2021 Summer Camps

Philadelphia Parks & Recreation

Performing Arts Programs

        2021 Summer Session. --  FINAL


Intro Camps for 6 to 10 year olds:       We have received approval to host three Introduction to Performing Art  Camps at: 

    Holmesburg     (NE),   Waterview    (NW), and     48th & Woodland     (SW & S)   Playgrounds. 

        We are not able to offer the camp at Hawthorne this summer.  48th & Woodland is close by, just over the Grays Ferry Bridge from South Philly.   You can now register for these three Introduction to Performing Arts camps at the Intro page.  

         Each camp will be capped at 30 campers.  We have scheduled a live show at the Dell Music Center on August 9, 2021.   

         Registration ends Friday, June 25.



YPTC Goes Retro

When the Young Performers Theatre Camp (YPTC) began there was only one show.    Children auditioned for their roles, parts were assigned,  the dancers worked on the dance numbers in the show and everybody reported to the same location.   As word of this amazing summer specialty camp grew we created separate locations where dancers and musical theatre juniors, teens and seniors could rehearse and perform in professional spaces, and YPTC evolved into our current model.

We will be re-creating our one show concept in 2021.

Venice Island Performing Arts Center (VI) , which has served as the home for the Senior Musical Theatre camp since opening in 2014 will host the 2021 YPTC program which will include live performances of "Newsies" on August 10th & 11th.    This 250-seat state of the art theatre is located at 7 Lock Street, 19127 in the Manayunk section of Philadelphia.  It nestles on the banks of the Schuylkill River and has entrances off Main Street at both Lock and Cotton Streets.  

For many years we have hosted YPTC at the University of PA which has now closed its theatres and rehearsal spaces until the fall due to covid.   Also significant is that our bus transportation network which we utilize to pick up summer campers and staff from recreation centers all across Philadephia is unable to operate due to social distancing.

BUT THE GOOD NEWS IS WE ARE BACK TO LIVE THEATRE THIS SUMMER,  although our numbers, due to space,  will be capped.    Also, there will be no bus routes so parents must arrange transport to and from the theatre.   

The director for "Newsies" is Mr. Mark Urmson who has served as our Teen Musical Theatre director since 2015.   Our choreographer is Ms. Chavonne (BSwan) from our amazing dance program.  Our acting coach is Ms. Bobbi Bordley who has performed on Broadway in "The Lion King".     

If you are interested in being a camper for the summer of 2021 and have not pre-registered, please go to the forms button at the bottom of the home page and click "forms".   Scroll to the Young Performers Camp registration form (it's the last one).     You will receive confirmation of your registration and be added to the parent information list for details going forward.


THANKS SO MUCH for your patience over the past few weeks as we searched around Philadelphia for camp opportunities.  With your camper's safety always in the forefront, being at our home theatre is for the best.  

Hope you can join us!   It's gonna be an awesome show.









































Here's a chance for Philadelphia’s youth to become the next Kevin Hart, Tina Fey or Adam Goldberg with the Be Funny Philly Comedy Contest.  The competition is open for children and teens from ages 9 to 18, and will be conducted virtually online.  Contestants can submit videos from Memorial Day, May 25th  until August 14th.    


There will be two age groups --  ages 9 to 12  &  ages  13 to 18 -- and performances must be two to three minutes in length.  Kids/young adults get to create what funny means to them; they can do standup, video voiceovers, perform from a script, do an impression, present two or three tiktok videos, whatever tickles them.    Funny can be so many different things, so each child is encouraged to find their own direction.   Contestants will be judged solely on their video with the following criteria:   Timing, Style, Presentation, Material, Likeability, Drive, Delivery, Originality, and mostly, Fun.  


A panel of industry professionals and comedians will serve as celebrity judges including: Kathy O'Connell (WXPN's Kids Corner), Jen Childs, (1812 Productions), and comedians Vernon Keith Ruffin, Jr,  (Philadelphia Comedy College),  Jillian Markowitz and Michael “The Legendary Wid” Baldwin (Laff Factory host).    

to watch a video featuring  our judges offering suggestions for kids at:  

All contestants will receive a Be Funny Philly T-shirt and the winners will receive medals, bragging rights and scholarships at its next encampment to the Young Performers Theatre Camp (YPTC), a 6-week performing arts summer camp which features musical theatre & dance performances.   The grand prize winners will even get the opportunity to perform live as an opening act at a professional show to be announced.   The decision of the judges is final.   Judges will also pick the top 5 videos in each age group, and those videos will be published online for a "People's Choice" contest.  Details will be announced at a later date at this website.   Separate prizes are in store for those performers/directors.  


 All contestants will also be invited to attend a private virtual comedy master class hosted by our judges which will happen just before our People's Choice prize presentation, giving our young talent pointers and tips about writing, performing and the serious business of being funny.


If you have additional questions, please write to befunnyphilly@gmail.com

(Videos must be submitted by a parent or guardian email.  Videos must be family friendly, no curses or off color topics with no copyright infringement.  Each contestant may only enter one video for consideration.  Videos must be ready to play & unlocked.)

 To enter, parents/guardians please fill out this form and attach your child's video:   
(By submitting parents consent to allow child's work to be judged as part of the PPR Kids Virtual Video Contest. )   

to submit your child's video between May 25th & August 14, 2020.


     Thank you for your participation.