Youth Theater by Carissa Dagenais


Youth Theater starts May 1, and runs for 10 weeks on Wednesdays from 6:30-7:30 PM.
Ages 8-12

Help your child build confidence, embrace spontaneity, practice teamwork, rehearse emotional regulation, make new friendships, and laugh! This ten-week theater class will cover the basics of improvisation, storytelling, and ensemble work. 

Carissa Dagenais has been working with children as a teacher, director, drama therapist, and actor for almost ten years. She has been teaching theater to elementary school kiddos with Hampshire Shakespeare's Educational Workshops for the last five summers at the Williston Northampton school. Carissa holds her BA in theater from Smith and MA in drama therapy from New York University. 

Cost: $175. Deposit required to hold child's spot - more info at the bottom of registration form. 

Please register here:

ArtPlay Summer Arts Program

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ArtPlay returns to the Center for the Arts in 2019! Register early for this exciting summer program for youth ages 6 to 12 years.

ArtPlay encourages kids to think of themselves as fundamentally creative beings with a fun, interactive, interdisciplinary approach. The program connects youth to local teaching artists through classes and workshops, as well as providing space and structure for youth-initiated performances and exhibitions. Kids will have the chance to experiment with dance, music, drama, visual arts, collaborative play, and more! It's all happening in the Arts Trust Building at 33 Hawley Street in downtown Northampton.

Fee: $275-$350 sliding scale. Payments on the upper end of the scale help support our new scholarship program (information available soon), as well as our low teacher/participant ratio. In order to offer individual attention, each week is limited to 15 participants.

There are four one-week sessions: July 1-5, July 8-12, July 15-19, and July 22-26, 2019

For registration details, email us at or call the Center at (413) 584-7327. Please include your name, address, and telephone contact plus the name and age of the participant. You will be contacted directly by return email or phone according to preference.

ArtPlay participants have access to indoor, air-conditioned spaces as well as outdoor play areas. 33 Hawley offers abundant free parking for easy drop-off and pick-up, and is conveniently located for local, walkable field trips.

ArtPlay is directed by Jayme Winell, an organizer, educator, dancer and musician. A graduate of Hampshire College, Jayme is a collaborator with the tinydance project, a local dance educator, and a physical education teacher at the Commons School. Jayme has also performed with Theatre Truck and the band Flame’n’Peach. Jayme was the founding co-director of ArtPlay in 2018 and is thrilled to be back again this year!

More images from ArtPlay 2018 can be found here!

Homeslice Puppetry

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September 7-8, 2019

Join puppeteer and puppet maker Eric Weiss for these unique classes!

Foam & Rod Puppets for Kids: Saturday, September 7, 9:30-11:00am ($20 plus a $5 material fee, or $25 per student)

Simple Mechanism Puppets for Kids: Sunday, September 8th, 9:30am-12:00pm ($40 plus a $10 material fee, or $50 per student)

To register, email or call the Center at 413 584-7327. Please include your name, address, and telephone contact. Course fees are payable in advance by check to “NCFA” and can be mailed to the Northampton Center for the Arts, PO Box 366, Northampton MA 01061. We do not accept credit cards.

Classes are held in our lower level studio at 33 Hawley Street. Parking is free.

For information about the classes themselves, please contact Eric Weiss at, or visit or

Class Descriptions:

Foam & Rod Puppets: This class focuses on how to build a simple Foam & Rod puppet, creating a character, and the elements needed to do so. Students will learn about the use of foam in puppetry and how dynamic it can make your puppet. Students will then proceed to create their character and build their own puppets. Lastly we will manipulate our creations, bringing them to life and learning to move them and give them emotions.

Simple Mechanism Puppets (Grades 3 &up): A puppet mechanism is device that you put inside your puppet to create movement typically by using a cable, pulling a string, or using a wooden rod. In this class we will build a simple mouth mechanism and then construct a foam puppet around the device that they create. Students may then learn to give their puppet a character and practice how to move and manipulate their creation.

For adult puppetry classes click here!