Phone : 902-275-3933 

Youth Programs

A group of 6 young girls in an acting class. they are facing their teacher a older Caucasian woman with long blond hair. The kids are making funny faces at her.

Welcome to Your Theatre School

For over 20 years, the Chester Playhouse has provided opportunities for young people to explore the world of acting, music, and performing with helping hands from professionals. While learning the art of acting and the craft of theatre, students can experience working both solo and as a part of a team. First time performers and returning students are welcome.

No Financial Barriers

The Chester Playhouse believes strongly in creating the opportunity for youth to participate in the creative arts, therefore, no child gets turned away because of financial barriers. Should you require financial assistance please contact Chester Playhouse at (902) 275-3393 or

Our No Financial Barriers funding is provided by the Alexander Fleming Pattillo Memorial Foundation, now housed in the Sir Christopher Ondaatje Theatre Foundation. It honours Alex’s love for theatre, The Chester Playhouse, and ProKids.

An Introduction to Acting & Theatre


Ages 7-9: July 24-28 with a showcase at 3pm on July 28th

(The 7-9 Program is full)

Ages 10 -12: July 31-Aug 4 with a showcase at 3pm on Aug 4th

HOURS: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm (1 hour lunch)

LOCATION: Chester Area Middle School


$225 per participant

$50 deposit due upon registration

Balance Due 3 weeks in advance of camps : July 4th (ages 7-9) & July 10th (Ages 10-12)

Registration is open to 15 students.


Do you enjoy playing dress-up and make-believe? Do you and your friends put on plays in your living room? Do you love to make people laugh? If you answered YES to any of these questions, then this workshop is for you! 

We are inviting all those who love to perform to join us for Play-making: An Introduction to Acting & Theatre and discover the mystery & magic of the theatre! 

Led by actor and drama teacher Ivy Abbott-Charles, this week-long workshop will introduce a number of styles and forms of theatre, while building trust in each other, developing confidence in performance, and having fun! 

We will use fun and silly improvisation games to bring out each participant’s inner goofball, and create a space free of judgment, where everyone can come out of their shells and transform into anything they wish to be. We will explore character building, and how to embody a character through voice, text, and movement. Participants will have the opportunity to practice their creative writing through individual and collaborative creation, inventing places, businesses, scenarios, relationships, and more. We will imagine how vastly different characters might interact, what conflicts may arise and how they might be resolved. 

The week will conclude with a showcase, showcasing the students’ creations and discoveries from the week – scenes, a play, monologues, improvisation, or all of the above! This workshop will guide students through the basics of theatre, while also allowing them to explore and discover their personal interests in acting and play-making! 

No experience necessary!

Sign up today for Playmaking: An Introduction to Acting & Theatre and discover the entertainer within!

Make ‘Em Laugh!:
Slapstick, Comedy & Physical Theatre

DATE: August 8-11 (4 Days) with a showcase at 3pm on August 11th

HOURS: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm (1 hour lunch)

LOCATION: Chester Area Middle School

AGES: 7-12


$180 per participant

$50 deposit due upon registration

Balance due three weeks in advance of camp : July 17th.

Registration is open to 15 students.

Do you love silly comedies? Do you laugh out loud at silly-walks and prat-falls? Have you ever thought “I want to make people laugh too”? If the answer is YES, then we have the perfect summer workshop for you! 

We invite all wannabe funny folk to our Make ‘Em Laugh!: Slapstick, Comedy & Physical Theatre workshop and learn to be funny, using only your body!

Led by actor and drama teacher Ivy Abbott-Charles, this workshop will introduce participants to all things physical in theatre, with a focus on storytelling and comedy. We will discover how to embody a character – how the body parts we lead with, the quality of movements, and the facial expressions we use, can all contribute to how a character comes across.

We will delve into the arts of tableau, mime, and clowning, through improvisation games and exercises, and mimic the movements of different types and ages of people, as well as animals, insects, and even inanimate objects! Youth will learn about the art and history of slapstick, and practice silly walks, falls, and trips. We will create comedic scenes and monologues, play games, and develop skills, with the aim of sharing these with parents and guardians in a showcase at the end of the week. 

Students will leave this workshop with a well-rounded understanding of many different physical theatre styles, and with newfound confidence and knowledge of the versatility of their own bodies in creating characters and comedy.

Prerequisite: This workshop assumes some familiarity with theatre. Youth are encouraged to have attended our Play-making workshop (see above) or have had previous experience in theatre.

Sign up today and learn to Make ‘Em Laugh!

Image of a young Caucasian woman. She has shoulder-length dark curly hair. She is wearing a purple floral blouse and great seawater. She is facing the camera and smiling'

About the Instructor

Ivy Abbott-Charles (she/her) is a Nova Scotian actor with a Masters degree in Classical and Contemporary Performance from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. She has performed and collaborated on immersive theatre, children’s theatre, new script development, puppet theatre, and performance art projects, working with many Atlantic Canadian theatre companies including DaPoPo Theatre, Zuppa, BARE Theatre, Theatre New Brunswick, Unnatural Disaster Co., Eastern Front Theatre, and most recently, an 8-month tour across North America with Mermaid Theatre. 

Ivy has been teaching drama classes for five years through Neptune Theatre School, for toddlers, children, and teens, and has also run workshops through Ross Creek Centre for the Arts. Over the last few years, she has delved into the world of film and television, acting in everything from vampire thrillers to silent movies to home hardware commercials.

Donate to the theatre school

Our Youth Programs are an important part of the Chester Playhouse and, like everything we do, it depends on community support. Should you wish to make a designated donation to our Youth Programs, contact us at Donations can be made by credit card, debit, or cheque. A tax receipt will be provided for your donation. 

Charitable Registration Number: 127727444RR0001