Central Park Players


Looking for a great opportunity to get your youngster involved in the exciting world of theatre?  Sign them up for:

About Act One!

Having existed for over a decade, Central Park Players (CPP) youth theatre day camp is a place where
young people ages 4-13 years can express themselves creatively through their thoughts and in doing so,
they develop their interpersonal communication skills. The benefits of our youth theatre have been
shown to have a major impact on the lives of young people. It challenges them to open their minds,
explore various worlds through scripts and scores of music, diverse characters and be able to tell a story
in a variety of ways—through spoken words, song, mime, image… and the list goes on!

CPP’s dedication to our communities’ youth is two-fold. On a personal level, we invest in each of our
students to give our youth confidence and therefore an opportunity for their talents to thrive. Act One!
is the beginning of what we hope to be the start of a boomerang effect. We want to instill in our young
students the great advantages that theatre offers a community and we take the time to personal invest
in their interests while growing their ability to work as a team, communicate effectively, engage in a
meaningful and creative way and to appreciate the arts culture.

Additionally, Act One! Participants use skills that can be used in their everyday lives! Some of the skills we focus on include (but are not limited to):

  • Reading and reciting from scripts, which increases their literacy skills.
  • Working with theatre professionals increases their listening skills.
  • When they perform in front of an audience or practice for an audition, they’re learning research and preparation skills.
  • When students perform in front of their peers they learn self-confidence and gain the ability to
  • Be appreciative of one-another’s talents.
  • Students learn to accept their achievements with grace when they are cast in a particular role.
  • Learning stage direction and choreography helps students to practice their hand/eye coordination.
  • When students learn their lines by a deadline they are learning about project/time management.
  • When something goes wrong onstage (which it inevitably does in theatre) students learn how to deal with the unexpected and how to proceed with positivity in a fast and effective way.
  • Students learn the behind the scenes techniques as well as stage techniques, which helps them to grasp the bigger picture and appreciate all the elements of a production.
  • Students learn what it means to give the community a source of pride via their achievements.


MyKenzie Miller

Educational Committee Chair/Support Staff

MyKenzie grew up in Grand Haven and has been involved with Central Park Players from the time she was in eighth grade. She Recently graduated from Michigan State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education and Minor in Theatre. As a teenager she was involved as an intern with Central Park Players Day Camp and she is excited to come back to her roots to help give the opportunity of theatre to the youth community in her hometown.


Jaime McCool


Jaime is a graduate of The University of Michigan School of Music where she earned her Bachelor of Musical Arts degre[ in Vocal Performance. After working with children in different capacities over the years, she decided to go back to school to pursue teaching. She obtained her teaching certification from Grand Valley State University in 2020 and has spent the last school year teaching English at Spring Lake High School. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her husband Kurt and their kids, Aiden, Kathryn, and Quinn. She also loves to sing, read, bake, garden, and play beach volleyball.

Samantha Farrar

Samantha Farrar

Choreographer/Assistant Director

Samantha grew up in the North East of England, and moved to Michigan with her Whitehall-native husband Chris in August 2015. She began dancing at the age of five, and has been involved in many regional and national competitions and shows throughout her career. Sam has trained in Tap, Ballet, and Jazz disciplines, her favourite of which is Tap. She currently teaches at Spotlight Dance Academy in Grand Haven and works with NORA. In her spare time, she’s a busy mum to her young daughter, Bella. She has thoroughly enjoyed sharing her dance experience with CPP since 2016, and she is excited to help each performer learn something new!


Keagan (Kaye) Welty

Student Assistant Director

Keagan (Kaye) grew up in Grand Haven and started CPP when she was in 7th grade when she did Little Mermaid Jr. She has recently graduated from Spring Lake High School and is planning to go to MCC to major in Musical Theatre and minor in elementary education to teach theatre. She started doing the internships for Day Camp in 8th grade and this year she will be the student assistant director. Kaye is very excited to work with everyone and get a look at what it’s like and what it takes to be a director. Her love of theatre always shines.


Dawn Zuidema


Originally from Grand Rapids, Dawn moved to Grand Haven in the summer of 2011 with her husband and child, Scott and Ciana. She wore many hats, including co-director for Caledonia Kids Theatre, a former K-5th grade educational theatre program for the Caledonia, MI elementary schools supporting up to 110 kids per year. In spring of 2011, she directed the Caledonia middle school musical. She got involved with Central Park Player in the summer of 2021 on stage, and has been on stage in a couple shows and has done a lot of behind the scenes work including many set designs/builds. She has also been serving on the board of directors for CPP since 2019 and is the Treasurer. She is so excited to be part of Day Camp and is looking forward to watching young people grow within all areas of theatre, both backstage and on stage!


Act One Day Camps are a rehearsal process that culminate in a single evening performance. Your child will participate in a group audition, be cast in a role, rehearse and perform in the show. The audition and casting take place on Monday and your child will know what role he or she is playing by the end of that day. Some young actors will receive roles that require memorization outside of time spent at camp; these actors will receive a script that may need to be returned to CPP. Lines should be memorized as soon as possible! Some roles do not require as much rehearsal as others.
Act One Camps are $125.
Registration opens April 2021. Registration will be online and mail-in this year. Registration is OPEN – https://centralparkplayers.org/act-one-day-camp-registration-information/ !
You will receive an e-mail confirmation of enrollment.
Registration closes when space is filled or one week prior to the camp starting.
If, for any reason, camp must be cancelled, it will be cancelled no later than one week before camp starts. All registrants will be called and all tuition refunded.
If you register your child and withdraw for any reason within two weeks of camp starting, you will be refunded your tuition minus a $25 fee. If you withdraw your child for any reason within one week of camp starting, you will be refunded your tuition minus a $50 fee. There is no refund of any tuition if you withdraw your child once camp has started.
Act One has two sections: Ages 4-7 and 8-12 years old. Some camps are at different times for different age/experience groups.
Our Act One camps are driven mainly by age group. We feel that most kids can find a chance to shine when performing with their own age levels. However, there are times when a younger child has a bit more maturity or experience and can “step up” a level… or an older child isn’t quite ready to move up to the harder audition process and may be more comfortable staying in a level where the songs and dances are mostly bigger groups. There is no wrong or right answer. The goal is for your child to have fun first. If they don’t have fun performing or rehearsing, then the drama, dance and music we teach through the show process and games mean little. Once they have fun onstage, we know, then, they will be willing to “work” on other things like character development, enunciation, projection, improvisation, etc. Being on stage is work. But, at any age level, the fun factor has to make the work involved worth it for them. If they have fun, they work for us and give their audience a great show and it’s a win/win pay off every time! If you still have questions regarding the level you should put your child, please call us and we will be happy to discuss your particular situation!
All camps are quite active and we want your child to be as comfortable as possible. Unless your child has a role that requires them to be barefoot, children must wear shoes at camp. Your child should wear closed-toe, soft-soled shoes that are comfortable to move around in, such as tennis shoes (no sandals, crocs or flip flops, please.) In warmer weather, shorts and T-shirts are great to rehearse in. Your child may bring an extra pair of shoes to keep at camp if they must wear flip flops to the rehearsal space. Wearing appropriate footwear is a safety issue.
Yes! We take one break during the day. Please send a healthy snack and water. (Water is best because it’s the easiest to clean up!) Cast members will not be allowed to leave the theatre to get food. For the one week sessions, please pack a snack AND a lunch. Campers will not have access to a microwave oven or to vending machines. Campers should eat a big breakfast before they arrive at camp.
Please do not bring your child to camp earlier 15 minutes prior to each session. We will begin each Day Camp session day with warm-ups so timeliness is appreciated.
Central Park Players is now located at the Grand Haven Community Center in Grand Haven. Campers must be dropped off inside the building and signed in each day.
Please arrive no sooner than 10 minutes prior to the end of the camp day to pick up your camper. Please stay in the lobby until we bring the campers to you. Campers will stay in the building until the adult they are expecting comes into the building to get them. CPP staff will stay until every camper has been picked up.
To have effective rehearsals and great shows, class attendance is important. We really need to know if your child will miss rehearsal. If you know in advance that your child will need to miss class, please tell us as soon as possible. We will try to make every effort to accommodate you if possible. If your child is sick and unable to attend, please let us know as soon as possible. Missing rehearsals may affect the role your child receives/performs.
Act One Day Camp is centered around preparing the children for the Friday evening performance. If your child is unable to take part in the performances, the Day Camp experience probably isn’t right for you.
CPP is proud of its inclusive casting policies—all children are welcome! If you feel your child’s situation is something we need to be aware of, or special accommodations need to be made, please feel free to call us to discuss it. Please write down any medical considerations and attach to the registration form.
All young actors will perform in a show the Friday evening that camp concludes.
The guardian information on the registration form is there for us to be able to contact you in case of an emergency or any other situation in which we would need to talk to you. Please provide contact information for guardians who are local.
Yes, there are a limited number of PARTIAL scholarships available. Our scholarships will pay up to half of our tuition. Application of a scholarship implies willingness of the responsible adult recipient to give volunteer hours by volunteering at the performance. Receipt of an application does NOT guarantee a scholarship. You will be notified of your eligibility before class begins, as soon as all applications have been processed. If we are unable to accommodate your child, your $25 registration fee will be returned. To be considered, the scholarship application form must be returned no later than June 16, 2019. The $25 registration fee will be used against your tuition balance. Accounts with out standing balances must be paid in full before a student can be considered for a scholarship.
All cast members will go out in the lobby directly after the performance evening has concluded. Please do not go backstage prior to the show so your actor can concentrate on getting ready for the show.
CPP does film the shows for $20 per DVD to be paid in full prior to the performance date. Parents are not allowed to film the show.
CPP does not allow pictures to be taken during the show. This policy is not only for the comfort of those around you, but because the flash/noise of a camera can be very distracting to the young performers. There will be a photo session following the performance where you may take as many photos as you like.
When can I get tickets to the show? Tickets will be made available the week prior to the show. Tickets are $3 for one show and $5 for both shows. Our 4-7 year olds perform first with a break in between for our 8-12 year old performers.
We will also have flowers available for purchase before each show. Proceeds go directly to our Day Camp Scholarship Fund!
At the present time, CPP Youth Day Camp does not have a mailing list. However, most day camp information can be obtained from the Central Park Player’s Callboard.

Upcoming Auditions

Clue: On Stage Auditions!

Please come thirty min before auditions begin to register!

Callbacks (If needed)

Haven't Auditioned in a while? Brush up on our Audition Guidelines

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