What will the schedule look like?

Typically, campers will join a virtual morning circle each day for warm-ups, games, announcements, stickers, camp royalty, and an overview of the day. From there, they will break out into small groups for vocal, choreography, or acting rehearsals, and to work on design projects with camp staff. Campers are invited to join us for a casual digital lunch hosted by interns, or to enjoy lunch with their families. Afternoons will be a little looser with opportunities for campers to work independently on projects, record their material for camp, or connect with other campers in virtual “hang-out” spaces monitored by staff and interns.


I'm concerned about too much screen time for my child. How will you monitor that?

We want actors to get out and enjoy the beautiful California weather as much as you! Some of our activities will be planned for the outdoors. We are also considering mornings as our more structured/required calls with afternoons allowing for flexibility and the possibility to work on camp projects without being glued to a screen.


What are you doing about online safety? 

The personal safety of our community is of utmost importance. Each virtual camp classroom will have at least two staff members or interns present at any given moment. All staff and interns will be trained in best practices against cyberbullying and will sign an agreement detailing out our online conduct policy. Similarly, families will be asked to sign the policy to ensure we are all creating a supportive environment. Any recordings made of digital calls will be done with prior notice and will be recorded to a desktop instead of the cloud. 


How will my child enjoy the unstructured/social time they love about camp? 

There will be many opportunities for students to “gather” in small groups for conversations. Be it breaks, lunches, or time during “hangout” rooms where campers can work on a project in a virtual community, we are actively planning for opportunities for campers to spend time just hanging out.


What about camp traditions?

Fear not! Spirit week, intern performances, royalty, and stickers will all make their way into our digital camp. We are even cooking up ways to play some of our favorite games virtually. 


How are you producing a final product?

Campers will work closely with directors, music directors, choreographers, and acting coaches to rehearse material. They will also meet with sets, props, costumes, and lighting designers to properly arrange their spaces for filming. We will capture moments from the show in a variety of ways: by filming scenes on video conferencing software, through self-taping (or taping with help from parents), and with some minimal filming on the PVTC campus. 


From there, editing interns will work with professional master editors and coaches to create something that is a hybrid between theatre and film. We will gather for a digital watch party at the end of camp to celebrate our work and the product will be made available to families after camp. 


My child looks up to interns. Will the intern program continue?

Yes! Groups of 8-10 students can still look forward to working with a rotation intern who will serve as their mentor throughout camp. Additionally, choreography, costume, and set interns will work with campers on their filming. We also have interns busy planning student activities, working on editing our show, and creating art for the final product. Interns will be a part of all our camp rituals and will help facilitate online hang-out spaces!


What if my child doesn't have access to a dedicated device?

Please contact We hope to make devices available to students who do not have access to one. 


Will any aspects of camp be in-person?

It is possible that a small number of moments will be filmed live on campus in very small groups using social distancing practices. PVTC will be in touch well in advance of any planned live filming. 


How do costumes, props, and sets work? 

Great question! PVTC is known for producing quality shows and we don’t want this year to be any different. The week before camp starts, families will be invited to swing by campus to pick up their “show kits.” These boxes will include all the materials you (theoretically) need for camp, including your script, CD (if applicable), crafting supplies, and everything you need to tell the story from the comfort of your own home. We will provide a list of other supplies you’ll want to grab from around the house (like scissors). If you are part of a scene with any specialty set pieces or props, we’ll figure out how to get those items to you, too!


Will my child learn any new skills on this format?

Absolutely! Performing for a camera is a special skill and different from performing live in front of an audience. In addition to continuing to work on important theatre skills, campers will learn about camera placement and positions, how to frame a shot, what “eyeline” is (where to look on a camera), and how to focus on facial expressions as opposed to full body reactions as an acting skill. Everyone will be masters of the self-tape by the end!


What will the final performance look like? 

At one of the scheduled performance times, campers and families will be invited for a communal watch party where we will share all of the hard work that has gone into creating a show. We will be able to share our work proudly together and celebrate the power of creativity, even as we’re apart. 


If my child lands a role in the ensemble, how will they be featured?

PVTC spends a lot of time thinking about ensemble features in the world of live-theatre and that focus is no different for the era of COVID-19. In fact, we are able to offer more solo opportunities and close-ups on each student on this platform. Each student will have features on screen in which their face is the only one visible! They will be just as busy learning music, dance, and character building in the ensemble of this show as they would during in-person camp. Maybe even busier!


Does PVTC need any additional help to pull this off? 

If your family is in a position to donate time or funds, PVTC is still strategizing the best way to acquire the equipment needed for digital camp (including items like green screens, ring lights, filming devices, microphones, etc) and to pay for the cost of editors. Please reach out if you want to learn more about our needs. 


My child has a friend who wants to join camp. Is that possible? 

The answer is maybe! We have limited space left in some camps. Please reach out ASAP and we will see what we can do to add additional campers. 


Aren't summer camps allowed to continue under phase 2 of reopening California?

Yes, but with a lot of requirements that are not conducive to live theatre. Think about trying to do a scene with someone from 6 feet apart, wearing a mask. Not to mention keeping students in stable groups of 12 in the same room with the same staff all day and not allowing them to interact (something critical to the community we build at PVTC). On top of that, there is evidence that communal singing is a huge risk for the spread of COVID-19. We are able to offer something much closer to our traditional camp experience by taking it online, as opposed to meeting in person with strict rules in place. This is ultimately why we have made the decision to embrace the world of film and move online!


I don't think digital camp is for my family. What are my options? 

While we hope to provide an experience that speaks to every camper, we know that distance learning may not be the right option for your family. Please email to inquire about the following options:

  • Turn your tuition payment into a donation to help PVTC through these unprecedented times 

  • Credit towards a future program, class, or camp

  • A refund

Portola Valley Theatre Conservatory

945 Portola Road

Portola Valley, CA 94028

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Tel: (650) 530-2428

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