Is The Shedd Institute really trying to revive “vaudeville”? Well, not exactly –- but we do draw from the rich well of this American theatrical tradition to engage youngsters both in the audience (at the Magical Moombah for example) and on the stage with our Summer Songfest camps for elementary schoolers and the Musical Theatre Training Academy's new spring and fall program for middle schoolers, The Vaudeville Hour. “Vaudeville” is a very light-hearted, comedic revue formant rife with song, dance, jokes, slapstick, tricks, acrobatics, magic – pretty much anything we want to stuff in there to entertain?
Our goals with these camps is not to create professional musicians, but to help youngsters feel comfortable with “performing” in an emotionally safe forum. As they mature, they will later be more comfortable giving a presentation in history class, a Rotary speech, or a eulogy. They will also have lots of fun along the way – which is what this “vaudeville revival” is truly all about!