Explore Theater!

Every year, Crane River Theater provides a series of Explore Theater classes made possible by partnerships with Kearney Park and Recreation and the Kearney Area Children’s Museum. These classes have been able to reach more than three thousand kids ranging Pre-K through middle school, providing them a hands-on theater and performance experience. While younger students tackle the craft of theater through puppetry, fairy tales and storytelling, middle school students set out to present a performance equipped with music and choreography. Encouraging the creativity of youth is essential and Crane River Theater is proud to afford kids the opportunity to interact, create, and have fun while exploring theater!

Registration TBA at the Kearney Area Children’s Museum, online at kearneychildrensmuseum.org, or by calling 308.698.2228.

Theater is an opportunity to explore, create and have fun. Kids of all ages can relate to the universal appeal of theater. It is for this reason that we bring to you a series of classes that explore the art of music, theater, and performance. The intention is to have fun through imagination and play. All Classes are offered through Crane River Theater Company in association with the Kearney Area Children’s Museum.

Explore Theater with Crane River Theater

Kearney Park and Recreation 2021

Registration is available on April 26, 2021, at the Kearney Park and Recreation office, online at kprregister.org, or by calling 308.237.4644.

Theater is an opportunity to explore new worlds, create unique characters, and have fun. Students of all ages can relate to the universal appeal of theater. It is for this reason that Crane River Theater presents a series of classes that explore the art of music, theater, dance, and performance. The intention is to have fun through imagination and play. Explore Theater classes will allow students to challenge themselves while working with others, and turn the ordinary into the extraordinary. All Classes are offered through Crane River Theater and will be taught by trained teaching artists and theater professionals. Students will finish their week with a final performance for family and friends.

Explore Theater classes are generously supported by the Arram Family Foundation, the Peter Kiewit Foundation, the Ted Baldwin Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

*Crane River Theater and Kearney Parks and Recreation are committed to keeping young artists, their families, and teaching staff safe at Explore Theater camps. Safety protocols will be put in place to maintain a healthy and enjoyable learning experience for all.

*A $10 supply fee will be due on the first day of class. Please make checks payable to “Crane River Theater.”

All participants will receive a Crane River Theater T-Shirt.

In-Person Offerings


Whether you dive into a lagoon, comb your long rainbow hair, or BOTH, step inside the mystical world of mermaids and unicorns. Float and frolic alongside Crane River Theater instructors through enchanted and exciting art, music, and theatre activities to help you discover what makes you sparkle and shine.

Kindergarten – 2nd Grade | June 1 – June 4 | 9:00 am-12:00 pm | $30*


Put on your goggles and blue overalls and join us for a week of minion fun! Get creative and learn how to speak in ‘Minionese’ with all your other minion friends. Our enthusiastic teachers will guide you through exciting and fun activities every minion would love to play. By the end of the week get ready to perform your best minion skits for your family to watch. Let’s go BANANAS!

Kindergarten – 2nd Grade | July 12 – July 16 | 9:00 am-12:00 pm | $30*


Welcome to the world of witches and wizards! Your Hogwarts letter of acceptance has arrived. After the sorting ceremony, you will learn about the mysteries of magical spells, mythical beasts, and mystic potions. Follow peculiar Hogwarts professors as they lead you through fantastic activities to defend against the dark arts and develop your own magical abilities.

3rd Grade – 5th Grade | June 21 – June 25 | 9:00 am-12:00 pm | $40*


Tony Stark is uniting the world’s mightiest heroes, and you are invited to join the team! Create your own superhero, train with expert warriors, and take off on a journey through the Marvel multiverse through secret missions and exciting activities. Whether you relate with the Hulk, Ant-Man, or Black Widow, you, too, can discover the power within you to avenge the city.

3rd Grade – 5th Grade | June 28 – July 2 | 9:00 am-12:00 pm | $35*


Lights. Camera. Tik-Tok. Whether you are an expert viewer or the CEO of Tik-Tok, you will talk and bop your way to the top in this class filled with so much hype. Create your own trends, master transitions, and gain a fresh POV as you bring clips to life through interactive storytelling. Are you ready to record?

6th Grade – 8th Grade | July 19 – July 23 |9:00 am-12:00 pm | $35*


Give my regards to Broadway! Crane River Theater cast members will team up with participants for a final performance in this one of a kind class as they dive into the songs and scenes of Broadway’s biggest musicals. Take the stage as your favorite characters from Dear Evan Hansen, Hamilton, and Wicked!

6th Grade – 8th Grade | July 26 – July 30 | 9:00 am-12:00 pm | $40*

Performing Arts Academy: WILLY WONKA Kids!

Registration for 2021 TBA!

Through this four-week class on the UNK campus, you will learn about the art of performance from university professors and other theater and dance professionals. During the month, you will employ everything you learn and take on your own role in a production of Roald Dahl’s “WILLY WONKA Kids!” in the Miriam Drake Theatre. During this exciting process, we will learn choreography, make our own props, memorize dialogue, practice good singing techniques, and learn how to work as a team!

4th Grade – 6th Grade

June 7 – July 2, 2021

Monday – Friday | 9:00 am – 11:30 am

$240 per student for all four weeks

($160 if qualified for free/reduced lunch)

Performance of WILLY WONKA Kids!

Friday, July 2, 2021 | 10:30 am

Miriam Drake Theatre

Free Admission


Crane River Theater’s Arts Education Programs are generously supported by the Arram Family Foundation and the Peter Kiewit Foundation.