Theatre Arts Camp Senior


Theatre Arts Senior Camp Registration

Develop your theatre skills with the best thespians in the area!

July 14 - 19, 2019
Grades 9 - 12, grade completion
Early Bird Registration (Postmarked June 1 or earlier) $600
Regular Registration (Postmarked June 2 or later) $650

Campers enjoy a week packed with theatre activities that include production rehearsals, daily workshops, acting classes, theatre games, and improvisation exercises. Every camper receives coaching. The aim is to help everyone reach his or her theatrical goals. Campers are in a production that rehearses each day and is performed at the end of the week. This year's theme is The Eighties!

All activities are taught by faculty, alumni, guest artists, and graduate and undergraduate students of the School of Theatre and Dance at Northern Illinois University. The evenings are for a variety of recreational and theatre activities. Evening and overnight supervision is provided by counselors.

Theater Camp Activities

Morning Activities

Improvisation Exercises - Start the day with an hour of learning how to think on your feet. This is acting in the moment and provides a great warm-up for the rest of the day's activities.

Acting Scenes - Campers work on specific acting techniques and exercises throughout the week.

Afternoon Activities

Production Rehearsals - The production is rehearsed every afternoon and is performed for family and friends at the end of the week. Campers are assigned to a production on Monday and rehearse with the same group and director all week.

Daily Workshops - Campers participate in a different workshop each day. A list of workshop choices and a sign-up form will be sent to registered campers in packets about a month before the start of camp. Campers are assigned to workshops on a first-come, first-served basis. Click here for a list of workshops that have been among the choices in past years, though please note that not every workshop is offered every summer.

Evening Activities

Talent Show - Bring your tap shoes or musical instrument to camp and have a blast showing off your stuff in the talent show. Participation is optional. There is a three-minute time limit for performances.

Improv Olympics - Four teams of campers face off with each other to perform different improvisation exercises. Here's your chance to win a Tony, an Oscar, a Golden Globe, or an Emmy!

Dance - Final night party with a DJ!

Check-In/Final Concert

Check-In: Sunday, July 14, 2019 Check-in is on Sunday between 3:00 - 4:15 p.m. First, campers and parents check into the camp residence hall, Gilbert Hall, with their luggage. Then go to the nearby Music Building and pick up camp packets. The Camp Orientation begins at 4:30 p.m. on the terrace behind Gilbert Hall.

Camp Orientation The camper/parent orientation meeting is at 4:30 p.m. with camp directors Kendra Helton, Nathan Wyman, and staff on the terrace behind Gilbert Hall. Parents welcome.

Final Performance: Friday, July 19, 2019 The final performance is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. on Friday in the Steven's Building O'Connell Theatre. Campers and parents will pick up campers' belongings at about 8 p.m. at the Gilbert residence hall immediately after the performance.


Student Dorm: Gilbert Hall 383 Gilbert Drive, Dekalb IL 60115

Check-In: Music Building 550 Lucinda Ave, Dekalb IL 60115

Final Concert: Steven;s Building 200 University Circle, Dekalb IL 60115

Parking Convenient free parking is available in the lot south of the Music and Art Buildings. Gilbert Hall is within easy walking distance of this lot and there is a small lot in front of Gilbert.

Note: All times are subject to change. Be sure to check the camper letter that you will receive about one month before the start of camp to confirm the information.

Camp Information

Camper Packets

Campers receive a packet with camp information, forms, and payment information in early June. This includes information about what to bring to camp, a final bill for the balance of payment, camper rules, and an information sheet about housing and meals. All this information (minus billing information) will be online by June 3.

Health Information (New for 2019!)

We use an online service called Camp Docs to safely and securely collect camper health information. Once you have registered we will contact you via email to begin the process of submitting camper health information via Camp Docs.

Registration and Payment

July 14 - 19, 2019
Grades 9 - 12, grade completion
Early Bird Registration (Postmarked June 1 or earlier) $600
Regular Registration (Postmarked June 2 or later) $650

All registration forms must be accompanied by a deposit of $100. This may be paid by credit card or by check, made payable to Northern Illinois University. A registration form without the deposit will not be processed. The only exception is if you are applying for an NIU need scholarship; you will be expected to pay the $20 scholarship application fee only. See the scholarship section for more detail.

Online Registration Form - (Credit card payments only)

Paper Registration Form - (Fax, mail, or print/scan/email. Payment via Credit card or checks mailed to the office)

The balance of payment is due on June 14 If you paid the deposit by credit card, the balance will be charged to the same card by NIU on this date. Balance payments by check are due on this date. If you have any questions about billing or registration please contact us!

Scholarship Information

There is a limited amount of money available for need-based scholarships from NIU. The application form is available below or by calling the office at (815) 753-1450. Forms and application fees must be received by May 1. There is a $20 non-refundable application fee for NIU need scholarships. The fee will be applied towards the balance owed. Forms that do not include the application fee or that are missing requested information will not be processed.

If you are applying for a scholarship please send in the Paper Registration Form with your completed scholarship application. You do not need to pay the $100 deposit at this time, only the $20 scholarship application fee. Award letters are sent in mid-May.

In previous years, many campers have received scholarship aid from their schools, local booster clubs, PTAs, community theatres, and local service organizations. We recommend that you contact such groups in your area in early spring.

Summer in the Arts Need Scholarship Form


Returning Camper and Family Discount - Campers who have previously attended Theater Arts camp and children and grandchildren of NIU staff, faculty, and students receive a $25 discount.

Early Bird Discount - Save when you register and pay the deposit by June 1 (postmark deadline). Camp often fills before the early bird deadline, so it is important to get your registration form in as early as possible if you know you want to attend a camp.

Cancellation/Refund Information

Before Camp

A full refund is provided if NIU cancels the camp or if the camp is full. A full refund may be allowed for campers who withdraw because of illness or a family emergency; these situations are decided on a case-by-case basis and documentation from a doctor or other professional is required. If the camp is full, the camper is put on a waiting list and will not be charged.

A camper who withdraws more than 28 days before the start date of the camp receives a refund of all but $50.00. A camper who withdraws 15-27 days before the start date of the camp receives a refund of all but $100.00. A camper who withdraws 14 days or less before the start date of camp does not receive a refund.

During Camp

A camper who leaves camp during the week because of illness or a family emergency may receive a prorated refund, provided documentation from a doctor or other professional is provided within one week of the date the camper left. If the camper leaves camp during the week for other any other reason, the camper does not receive a refund.

All refunds are issued by the same method of payment that was used to make the payment. Credit card refunds are credited to the same credit card used for the payment within 2-3 days of the request. Refunds by check can take 4–6 weeks.

Camp Contact Information

Mailing Address:
Summer in the Arts at Northern
Northern Illinois University, College of Visual and Performing Arts
1425 W. Lincoln Hwy
DeKalb, IL 60115

Phone: (815) 753-1450

Fax: 815-753-8372


Camp Staff

Kendra Holton (Camp Co-Director)

Kendra is an actor, teacher, and director from North Florida by way of New York City. She joined performance faculty at Northern Illinois in 2013 where she teaches movement, voice, acting, and period styles. She spent seven years on faculty at the Gately/Poole Acting Studio where she worked closely with Meisner master teachers Kathryn Gately and Richard Poole to train early and mid-career professional actors. Kendra trained at Shakespeare and Company, Moscow Art Theater, and the University of Central Florida, where she majored in theatre and minored in dance. She is certified in the Williamson Physical Technique for Actors, a system created to work alongside the Meisner Technique to develop heightened sensuality and vibrant use of the full acting instrument. Currently her classroom includes a combination of Williamson, Michael Chekhov Technique, Alexander Technique, Laban Efforts, Body-Mind Centering, Fitzmaurice and Linklater Voicework, Knight Thompson Speechwork, and a variety of meditation and focusing practices. Kendra values resilience, conscious creativity, and whimsy, and is the founder of two organizations designed to help artists maintain those qualities in their work: Actors Movement Camp offers retreats, coaching, and community for burnt out makers seeking rejuvenation, and Human in Public offers cyclical and season reminders to busy freelance artists. She lives in Dekalb with her partner and four-year-old son. Kendra is a life-long camp enthusiast and believes summers spent laughing and learning with new friends to be the foundation of a happy life.

Nathan Wyman (Camp Co-Director)

Nathan Wyman is professor of theatre at William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri, where he also serves as director of Jewell Theatre Company. He graduated from the NIU School of Theatre and Dance in 1998 with a master's degree in fine arts in scene design and technology. He has been involved with the NIU Theatre Arts Camps for many years as head counselor and assistant to the director and is excited to return each year to work with these creative and energetic staff and students!

Jessica Arends

Jessica Arends (instructor, counselor) from Paxton, Illinois is currently pursuing her BFA in Acting at Northern Illinois University. Her previous NIU credits include, Euripides' The Trojan Women, Monica Murray in By the Bog of Cats, and Miss Prism from The Importance of Being Earnest. Jessica was also involved in a student produced show at NIU through The Third Onion in a production of For Colored Girls where she played the Lady in Orange.

Nick Benz

Nick Benz (instructor, counselor) is a trans-identified actor, educator, and theatre writer. Nick received a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Acting from Northern Illinois University in 2016 and is currently in pursuit of a Masters of Fine Arts In Theatre Pedagogy and Performance at Virginia Commonwealth University. Nick returns to camp for their second year on staff having previously been a camper years ago. Nick has performed with companies such as Pop Magic Productions, Free Street Theater, and The Runaways Lab Theatre. Nick has been regularly published in Scapi Magazine focusing on issues of inclusivity and diversity in theatre. Nick's classrooms and teachings reflect a commitment to expanding who belongs in the theatre and how to cultivate diverse and accessible art forms.

Hannah Gilbert

Hannah Gilbert (instructor, counselor) hails from Horicon, Wisconsin. She completed her fourth year in the NIU BFA Acting program in Spring 2016. While NIU focuses on the Stanford Meisner technique, she was also able to train in the technique of Konstantin Stanislavski at the Moscow Art Theatre in Russia for a semester. Hannah has experience in Dialects, Verse Drama, and Movement. Over the past few years Hannah has been doing short films and voice overs, working in music, and getting her feet on the ground professionally in Chicago. She can't wait to return for her seventh year with Summer in the Arts!

Bryant Hayes

Izzy Hepker

Daniel Kies

Daniel Kies is a South Florida native pursuing his MFA in Acting at Northern Illinois University. He recently finished his bachelor's degree in musical theatre at Palm Beach Atlantic University. He also had the opportunity to study playwriting and solo performance abroad in London. Daniel is a company member with the Palm Beach Shakespeare Festival, where he has performed in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Hamlet, and Much Ado About Nothing. Additional SoFlo credits include Spring Awakening, The Rocking Dead: A Zombie Musical, Frost/Nixon, The Man Who Came to Dinner and Sleepwalk.

John Morefield

Jessie Roark

Jessie Roark (instructor, counselor) is a Master of Fine Arts in Acting candidate who will graduate in May of 2019. Prior to her NIU journey, Jessie lived in Oklahoma where she was a company member at Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park and received a BFA in Theatre Performance from the University of Central Oklahoma. Personal favorite roles include Hermia/Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Ash Greyson in echoBOOM, Bianca in The Taming of the Shrew, Tess Moffat in Blue Stockings, and Gwendolen Fairfax in The Importance of Being Earnest. After graduation, Jessie plans on moving to Chicago where she is a company member at MUSE Theatre Collective. Jessie is an actor dedicated to story-telling and opening eyes to lives and worlds that they may never have even considered before stepping into the theatre to share the space with the creative team. She deeply believes that theatre is a sacred space where we can move and be moved.

Matthew Romriell

Originally from Salt Lake City, Utah, Matt received his MFA in Acting from Northern Illinois University. He is currently on faculty at NIU, as an instructor of acting in the School of Theatre and Dance, and as Stage Director for Opera Theatre at the School of Music. Regional credits include Les Miserables, The Philadelphia Story, and Man of La Mancha. Other favorites include Charles in Blithe Spirit, Claudio in Measure for Measure, Nick in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Flote in Red Noses, Jake in A Lie of the Mind and Berger in Hair. In Utah, he was also fortunate to perform his verbatim play, Schism, at Salt Lake Acting Company.