Youth Activities

The mission of the Westcliffe Center for the Performing Arts (WCPA) is to enhance the quality of life for people in the contiguous rural towns of Westcliffe and Silver Cliff, Custer County, and surrounding counties through regular cultural events and artistic performances, and to provide activities for children, youths, and families. WCPA serves as a home for the performing arts where none existed before. Our goals are to introduce local young people and adults to, and train them in, acting, directing, and production in music, dance, and drama. Youth Theater, Creativity Camps, and Summer internships are important elements of the WCPA program.

Call for 2017 Summer Internships
for College Students

The Westcliffe Center for the Performing Arts regularly provides summer internships for qualified drama students at its facility at the Jones Theater in Westcliffe, Colorado. Many former interns have said that it was the best summer experience they have ever had learning about the theater. Westcliffe is a picturesque small town in Southern Colorado at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.

The interns participate in every facet of theater work. In addition, they work with local children for a two-week-long session of our summer Creativity Camp, now in its nineteenth year. The Creativity Camps consist of theater training for children 7-12 in improvisation, theater games, story telling, makeup, and costume. At the end of the two-week session, the children present original skits which they have developed with the help of the interns.

Interns also will be involved in at least one main stage production: Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour’s Lost and/or King Lear. They will have roles in acting or in technical production work such as lighting, set design, building and set decoration. One student may also be involved in co-directing our Youth Theater musical production August 11-13 if his or her college schedule and background permit.

The internships run ten weeks from May 11 through July 19, and one can continue through August, depending upon student availability and interest. Internships are limited to four students. The theater provides excellent housing in its new building, Studio 2, which has a modern, furnished four-bedroom student apartment. We also pay a weekly living allowance. We do not reimburse travel expenses.

Questions about applications for these internships should be made to Anne Kimbell Relph, Executive Director, WCPA/Jones Theater by email, or by mail to Box 9018, Laguna Beach, CA 92652. Applicants should include a photo, résumé with relevant theater experience, and audition DVD or video posted on YouTube. Faculty recommendations are appreciated.

Applications must reach us before March 10, 2017.

Creativity Camp and Acting for Teens

Penny Deupree, great-granddaughter of Frances Hodgson Burnett, author of <em>A Secret Garden</em>discusses Burnett's work with the cast.

July 3-14, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.Creativity Camp
July 10-14, 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. — Acting for Teens

Creativity Camp is a summer class for children ages 7 to 12. Acting for Teens, a class for students from 13 to 17, offers advanced instruction in acting and theater arts. The Creativity Camp classes, held in the WCPA/Jones Theater Studio 2, are two weeks long, July 5 through 16, and are taught by students from local colleges who are drama majors and summer interns. Acting for Teens classes are for six days.

Classes are open to youth from Westcliffe and those visiting grandparents for the summer. The goal of the program is to give these children and teens greater confidence in speaking and acting before an audience. At the end of the two-week session, the young performers present a program, often of plays they have written themselves, before their parents and friends.



Enrollment starts in May for this year’s Creativity Camp, which will be held in Studio 2, July 3 through 14, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The cost for Creativity Camp is $100 for the first child and $90 for a brother or sister from the same family. As always, we have a limited number of $50.00 partial scholarships available for children who need them and could profit from the program. We require a short letter about the child along with the reasons for your request.

The children should wear comfortable clothing and if they wish, they may bring a small snack. Since we do not allow eating in Studio 2 itself, these snacks and drinks should be left in the foyer and eaten outside. Children must be picked up promptly when their session is over, at 12:30 p.m.

Acting for Teens classes will be held in Studio 2 in the afternoons, July 10 through 14, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. The cost is $60 per teen, with a limited number of scholarships available to teens who would benefit from the program but need assistance with the fee.


Inquiries should be addressed to Jones Theater, P.O. Box 790, Westcliffe, CO. 81252. To reserve your child’s place in one of our two programs, please fill out the 2017 Youth Activities Registration Form and mail it with your check to the address provided on the form. For additional information, please contact us by phone at 719.783.3004 or by email.

Youth Theater Productions

WCPA presents a Youth Theater Musical each year. Many Creativity Camp graduates audition and perform in this summer musical. Performances have included A Little Princess, A Secret Garden, Lady Pirates of the Caribbean, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and Alice in Wonderland, just to name a few of our more than fifteen yearly productions.

This year’s Youth Theater production is The Elves and the Shoemaker—The Musical, adapted by Karen Boettcher-Tate with music and lyrics by Bill Francoeur. This story is an upbeat, fast-paced retelling of an old favorite filled with wacky characters and clever dialogue sure to make audiences of all ages smile. Enjoy the amazing talents of our local youngsters.

Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, August 10, 11, and 12, 7:00 p.m.
Sunday Matinee, August 13, 2:00 p.m.

Adults, $15; kids 12 and under, $5. Included in season ticket.