Let’s Get Physical: Synetic Theater’s Summer Camp

This article is written in partnership with Synetic Theater.

For over 25 years, Synetic Theater has provided children and families throughout Northern Virginia and the DMV with a unique summer camp experience. Synetic Theater Summer Camps offer fun, friends, and arts-based movement experiences that culminate in a performance on stage. 

Synetic offers 1, 2, and 3-week camp sessions throughout the summer. Read on to discover the magic of Synetic’s one-of-a-kind camps, designed for all students of all ages.

Synetic Theater is known as one of America’s preeminent Physical Theaters. What is Physical Theater and why is it well suited to kids and adults?

Physical Theater is the art of wordless storytelling, musical theater or dance theater. It incorporates acting, movement, dance, mime, and acrobatics to tell a story. If you’ve ever seen Cirque du Soleil, Dance Theatre of Harlem, or Slava’s Snowshow, you’ll find many similarities. 

What’s cool about movement theater is that it’s highly accessible—we all have bodies and can learn to communicate through physical language! Even young children understand how to express emotions, create characters, and bring ideas to life through movement. 

Parents that grew up as “theater kids” might immediately understand what a theater camp is all about. But for those that are new to the theater world, what do they need to know? Do their children need theater experience, a headshot, and a resume? Do kids need to audition for this summer camp?

No prior theater experience is necessary and no headshots are required! Kids just need to come to camp with a desire to have fun, be creative, and get moving! We do have advanced programs geared to students with prior experience and a well-developed skill set, but camps are fun first.

Most first-time Synetic campers are new to the performing arts, and our teaching artists are well-versed in teaching students of all levels. One of the best parts of Synetic is the sense of community. We do a great job of cultivating a place where all campers and their families feel like they belong. 

For those coming into theater for the first time, it might be helpful to think of our work as creative play or collaborative storytelling that is both fun and skill-building. Just like how our kids learn teamwork and strategy on the soccer field or on the debate team, kids and teens can gain these life skills and more through theater.

What types of kids thrive in Synetic Theater’s Summer Camps?

It may seem obvious, but people of all ages need outlets for their physical and mental energy. Summer is the time for trying new things, informal learning, and making friends. Synetic Camps offer all of this and more, with age-appropriate camp sessions for elementary-aged kids, middle schoolers, and high schoolers. 

Many of the students who enjoy Synetic Theater’s Summer Camps the most are curious problem-solvers or kids that benefit from high levels of physical activity. And while we have many students who enjoy the spotlight, some of our proudest moments are with campers who are shy or tentative, but blossom when they’re given the chance to express themselves through movement. 

Every year, we hear about parents who missed camp enrollment deadlines or just couldn’t line up family summer plans with camp schedules. It’s already May. Is it too late?

There is still time to enroll in Synetic Theater’s Summer Camps, and we accept registrations throughout the summer. The first sessions start on June 20 with new sessions starting every 1- 2 weeks. 

Camp sessions are 1, 2, and 3 weeks long, which gives many families the flexibility to plan other activities. This also gives students a relatively low-commitment chance to try out physical theater!

What’s in store for campers this year?

Students work with Synetic’s professional team of teaching artists to create and learn a play written for them! Each session ends with a performance for their friends and families.

This year, Synetic campers visit the island of the boy who never grew up… but it looks like he did! In this two-week camp entitled NeverLand, students follow the tales of Peter Pan’s enchanted island long after he leaves—expect to meet mermaids, explore the Jolly Roger, and find a secret hideout. 

Looking for a one-week epic adventure to cool off this summer? Look no further than Arizona Bones: The Mystery of the Lost City. In this camp session, campers follow a secret map and embark on a journey to a hidden world.

Our three-week High School Conservatory is an opportunity for teenage artists to create and perform their own adaptation of Macbeth in the Synetic style.

Synetic Theater’s Summer Camps are open for enrollment now, and enrollment will continue throughout the summer until all camps are full. Camp sessions are 1, 2, and 3 weeks long, with new camps beginning throughout June, July, and August. Visit https://synetictheater.org/camps/ or email [email protected] for more information. 

Find Synetic Theater on Facebook and Instagram too! 

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Courtney was born and raised in Louisiana where she met her husband (married in 2005). They have moved several times, but finally feel very settled in NW DC after moving back in 2016. She has four energetic kids: Cormac (2010), Evangeline (2013), Solomon (2016), and Antoinette (2019). She thinks motherhood is absolutely wonderful, but is constantly trying to figure out how to manage it all. She spends her days talking Star Wars, playing with legos, doing crafts, having tea parties, and chasing her toddler. Motherhood is wonderful and wild and in 2017 she banded together with other mothers to start DC Area Moms to inspire, learn, and grow together. She loves morning coffee, chocolate, chatting with people since she's an extrovert, a clean house (which is rare these days). She dislikes when her kids don't listen the first time, she abhors littering, and doesn't enjoy shopping.