Dunes Summer Theatre - Directories

Dunes Summer Theatre

288 Shady Oak Drive Michigan City IN 46360 United StatesWork Phone: (219) 879-7509Website: Dunes Summer Theatre
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Biographical Info

Youth Summer Theatre Camp

Nora-FounderAbout Founder Nora MacAlvay

Nora MacAlvay, an art and literature teacher trained at the Art Institute of Chicago and Goodman Theatre School, was passionate about theatre and literature for young people. Nora authored several novels for teenagers and, along with her mentor well-known playwright Charlotte Chorpenning, also wrote several thoughtful and charming plays based on classic children’s stories. In 1948, Nora founded of the Children’s Theatre of Michigan City to provide theatre experiences for the schoolchildren of Michigan City and the surrounding area. She led its programs for over 40 years, while serving as artistic director of the Dunes Summer Theatre. Her ideas and dedication inspired generations of aspiring young thespians.

Nora’s classic answer to the question of “Why Children’s Theatre?” serves as the ongoing mission statement for our CT and YT programs:

First, it gives boys and girls the joy of seeing good stories come alive upon a stage. Beautiful experiences are not for one day or one year, but for a lifetime; and although very few children will ever have really great opportunities, even lesser experiences in theatre can bring a joy that is lasting.

Second,a higher standard of taste can be developed in children, the culture of tomorrow begins with today’s children; and children who are steadily exposed to good theatre care less for cheap inferior plays.

Third, from the human experiences a child sees on the stage, he will grow in the understanding and appreciation of life values, His own experiences is necessarily limited, and he may have to wait for years to know the result of any given action. In most plays he sees the outcome almost at once, and from these vicarious experiences he learns much about life.

Fourth, a good theatre will build in children a basis for becoming a discriminating adult audience of the future. One play a year will not do this, but three or four each season, if they are well done, will be a strong cultural influence, especially if an education program goes on as an integral part of the theatre.

Something wonderful could happen if people in every community could come to realize that children have a hunger for things of the spirit as well as of the body and mind.

A History of CT/YT

For over 60 years, children and teenagers have been learning acting skills and stagecraft at the Dunes Summer Theatre.
history 1
Each summer, we host classes in acting, set construction, lighting & sound, costuming and makeup, and other production skills.
history 2
These classes typically culminate in a showcase presentation or play,
where the students take the roles and responsibilities
of a production cast and crew.
history 3
Our program helps kids sort through the issues of growing up and helps them become young adults with self-confidence, good communication skills, community spirit, and love of great literature.
history 4
It also helps them have fun in a warm environment while enriching their summertime experiences.
history 5
Our instructors have broad theatrical experience and are devoted to helping their students grow their skills and self-esteem.
history 6
Some of our alumni have gone on to teach drama, manage theatres, produce shows, act on television and in the movies, and perform in Chicago, New York, Hollywood and other cities around the United States.
history 7
Those who undertake other professions frequently tell us that the training and support they received at the Dunes made all the difference in their ability to interact with the world and to have the confidence to follow their own path in life.


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