Mr. V’s Musical Theater Camp

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Mr. V’s Musical Theater Camp

Mon, July 8
9:00 am
- 3:00 pm


July 8th - July 11, 9 am to 3 pm


Mon, July 08, 2024 9:00 am - 3:00 pm




Gorton Center
400 East Illinois Road Lake Forest, IL 60045

Step into the limelight at Mr. V’s Musical Theater Camp! Guided by the renowned children’s music educator and composer Bill Vaananen, alongside Madison Kisst, an experienced instructor and director at Gorton Drama Studio, this camp offers an exceptional journey. Every camper secures a role in Mr. V’s original production “Dogs Days – A Howling Musical For Kids Celebrating Man’s Best Friend!” Whether you’re a novice or a theater aficionado, there’s a place for all. Days are brimming with rehearsals, musical theater lessons, prop making, and scenery crafting. The grand finale? A dazzling performance of “Dog Days” at Gorton’s state-of-the-art 309-seat theater, The John and Nancy Hughes Theater. Don’t let this chance to shine with Mr. V, Madison and Gorton Drama Studio pass you by! Grades 1st-3rd  (kids going into 1st grade, 2nd, and 3rd grades in the fall)

Dog Days – A Howling Musical For Kids Celebrating Man’s Best Friend, Written and directed by Bill Vaananen, Mr. V.

Check out footage from Mr. V’s class this spring.

Camp runs from July 8th – July 11, 9am to 3pm
Plus Friday the 12th – full day camp with a performance at 1 p.m.

Costumes are provided by Gorton Drama Studio.

Bill Vaananen is an award-winning music educator and composer who has taught and directed elementary-aged students for over 45 years. Originally from Oklahoma, “Mr. V.” was general music teacher at Wescott School in Northbrook for 37 years. He has written hundreds of songs and dozens of original theater works that have been performed across Chicago’s northern suburbs. Recipient of the Golden Apple Award, IEA Human Rights Award, National-Louis Distinguished Alumni Award for Social Justice, and Star of Teaching Award for the State of Illinois, Vaananen continues to perform classes and presentations for children, weaving his original music into inspiring lessons on Nature, history, culture, and adventure.


Instructor Madison Kisst: Madison is an actor, director and theatre teacher. She has taught for professional theater companies across the country and for the undergraduate acting program at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. Madison has extensive training in physical and classical theatre, voice and movement, and devising. She has her BA in Theatre Arts and Masters of Fine Arts in Performance.





About Our Artistic Director: Jeremy Kruse, Artistic Director of Gorton Drama Studio is the author of “The Young Actor’s Handbook” (Applause Acting Series, 2017).The book was published in Korean and Chinese in 2022. Jeremy is a professional actor, published playwright, award-winning screenwriter, and award-winning filmmaker. Some of the classes he taught at The Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in New York include Method Acting, Comedic Improvisation, Sketch Comedy Writing, and Acting for Film and TV. He graduated from The Strasberg Institute at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts where he majored in drama. Jeremy also teaches privately, one on one and 

Gorton Center will take and may use photos and videos from this event for its promotional purposes. Your attendance indicates your consent to the above.


Mon, July 8
9:00 am - 3:00 pm
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Gorton Center
400 East Illinois Road
Lake Forest, IL 60045
+ Google Map
(847) 234-6060