Summer vacation is almost upon us, but it’s not too late to think about fun activities for that awkward age: teenagers 14 to 16 years old. They are too old to go to summer camp, and too young to get a job. Or something like that.
Here’s a novel idea for a practically free three-week summer program offered by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC.
Portraits Alive! is a museum theater program based on people in the National Portrait Gallery’s collection.
Students create a collaborative museum-theater piece after choosing a portrait from the museum’s collection. Each program participant writes and performs an original vignette to accompany the portrait.
Okay, so my kid wouldn’t be interested in this program in a million years, but maybe you know someone who would! Some of the students are actors, others are writers or have an interest in history. Check out this short video of last year’s performers on You Tube.
The fee for the three-week program is just $100, which defrays the costs for costuming, dry-cleaning, workshops, and supplies. Teens can earn community service hours for their participation.
There are two sessions this year:
- Session 1: June 30 through July 18, 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- Session 2: July 22 through August 8, 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The National Portrait Gallery has just extended the application deadline for the program until June 6, 2014. E-mail ProvostG@si.edu to request an application. Applicants will be notified of their acceptance by Monday, June 9 2014.
The National Portrait Gallery is not the stuffy museum you might imagine.