Kids’ Acting Academy

About Us – Our Mission

Kids’ Acting Academy through the Marshalltown Community Theatre is a summer camp that provides local youth with unique opportunities to explore the elements of musical theatre.  Students not only experience the magic of the stage, but all the behind the scenes components that create a memorable show.  Our breakout groups cover improvisational skills, vocal training, dance, basic staging, makeup, lighting and sound technology.  Our goal is to spread a love of the performing arts to the next generation and build their confidence and self-esteem.

Our staff consists of both volunteers from the community as well as certified teachers.

Our History:

Kids’ Acting Academy began the summer of 2015 spearheaded by Shannon Mitchell with “Peter Pan”!  The Kids’ Acting Academy version aligned with what we like to call “the big kids version” that was MCT’s summer musical.  Our youth performers were then able to interact with the original set that was used for MCT’S version of “Peter Pan” giving our students a grand look at what musical theatre can truly be.  Shannon continued on as our lead director through the summer of 2016 with the show “Guys and Dolls”.  We can never really thank Shannon enough for bringing her vision to life in our community.

During the summer of 2017, our current director, Vanessa Engel, an Extended Learning Teacher in the Marshalltown Community School District, went from assisting KAA previously to taking on “Into the Woods, Jr.” with the assistance of Laura Stansberry, Bill Roberts, as well as several amazing art teachers and other volunteers.  As the band Smash Mouth once said, “the years start coming and they don’t stop coming”. The summer of 2018 was “The Wizard of Oz, Young Performers Edition” and the summer of 2019 was “The Music Man, Jr.”.

As we know, 2020 is a year for the history books!  Kids’ Acting Academy had the intention of performing “Shrek, Jr.” which coincided with MCT’s summer musical.  However, we were sadly interrupted by the Covid pandemic and then the Derecho.

On a happier note, we are hosting the Kids’ Acting Academy Alumni & Friends Variety Show in August 2024.  This is a fundraiser to relaunch Kids’ Acting Academy with “Finding Nemo, Jr.” in the summer of 2025.

(click image for tribute)