WPYAC update!

WPYAC stands for White Pines Young Artists Camp - and we're halfway through our summer! We thought it might be a good time to share some of the magic our campers have been making at The White Pines Place!

Week One was all about creating your own superhero. Here's a .gif of our beloved camp teaching assistant Julian playing a dastardly villain and getting his just desserts from a gang of superheroes!

Week Two was film school - and the campers made skits based on some of their favorite movies. Below are pix of a Harry Potter inspired scene, and an Indiana Jones inspired scene!

In week 2 they also made their very own music videos with Tina Budnik of KXB studios!

In Week Three we looked at making creative choices with social media. We made some frames . . . 

 . . . and some masks! 

Week Four was Hamilton week. It was the second most well attended week in the history of camp! We learned songs from the hit musical, studied the history and ideas it is based on, and made our own performance! Check out these videos from our week 4 share!

The next video is thanks to Devon's dad Joe Dougherty. Our memory chip ran out of space before the final song "Yorktown", but you can watch it here, along with Xander's poem! 

We have three more weeks of camp, and some spaces left for you! Sign up today! Click on the title of the camp week to enroll . . . 

Week Five: August 14th-18th

What's Your Story?

Everybody has a story to tell. Even young people. Especially young people. We'll show you how to tell those stories through visual and performing arts.

Week Six: August 21st-25th: 

Actionable Arts!   

Art can change the world an inspire communities into action. This week we'll explore how we can contribute art into our families, neighborhoods and community that can activate change.


Week Seven: August 28th-September 1st: 

Books Alive! 

Join us for a week that honors and celebrates our favorite books! We'll engage in hands on arts projects involving creative writing, illustration, theater and storytelling! 



Full Day: $270 // 9:00am-4:00pm

Half Day (morning): $150 // 9:00am - 12:00pm

Half Day (afternoon): $150 // 1:00pm - 4:00pm

Other FAQs

  • For ages 8-14 (there is flexibility!)

  • Students provide their own lunch.

  • Full camp days run 9:00am - 4:00pm with extended day options available 8:00am - 5:00pm.

  • Camp location is The White Pines Place in Elkins Park PA. Outdoor activities in High School Park across the street.

  • Camp Celebration is at 4:00pm on the Friday of each camp week.


Contact Dani at education.wpp@gmail.com  for any questions!

Fall Classes Announced

Enrollment is open for fall classes at White Pines!

With classes for people aged 3 to 103, with and without disabilities, beginners and experienced performers, White Pines has something to offer everyone! "We are so excited about our fall semester," says Dani Bryant, White Pines' Director of Education. "And this year, we have created a full year of classes from the start, so you can see the progression of classes through 2017 and 2018." 

New in 2017 is the White Pines Young Artist Studio (WPYAS) - a comprehensive sequence of performing arts classes for the serious student of acting. Taught by Alee Spadoni, member of Bright Invention and BFA graduate from The University of the Arts, and Benjamin Lloyd, Executive Director of White Pines and MFA graduate from The Yale School of Drama, WPYAS is a fun way to acquire the skills used by the 21st century American professional actor. "We spent the summer working with Dani to create a three-course sequence," says Alee, "and Ben and I are super excited to work with focused and enthusiastic young people in this new class!" 

Returning to teach classes in the fall are Joy Weir (Ready, Set Create, and Youth Improv), Julian Morein (Anime Club), Klemintina Budnick (Animation) and Sutie Madison (Acting Out!). Ben and members of the White Pines ensemble Bright Invention will be the teachers for the adult improv classes. 

Click below to enroll today!

White Pines awarded grant to work with refugee children

White Pines Productions has been awarded $3,500 by the Employees Community Fund of Boeing to design and implement creative programming for refugee children at The Spruance School in Northeast Philadelphia. This award supports a partnership between White Pines and HIAS, the program leader. 

Valeri Harteg, the HIAS Refugee Education Coordinator, says "The HIAS PA Refugee Education Team is delighted to continue its partnership with White Pines Productions. Together, we look forward to encouraging language development and creativity in refugee youth in Northeast Philadelphia!"

White Pines Executive Director Benjamin Lloyd said "We are deeply grateful to the Philadelphia-area employees of Boeing Corporation for their support of this wonderful program. Boeing is an innovation leader, and it makes sense that they would support this innovative partnership between White Pines and HIAS." 

Tina Budnik of White Pines works with kids at the HIAS program at Spruance Elementary in Northeast Philly. 

Tina Budnik of White Pines works with kids at the HIAS program at Spruance Elementary in Northeast Philly. 

Since January, White Pines Education Director Dani Bryant and White Pines animation teacher Klemintina Budnik of KXB Studios have been working with the kids at Spruance, delighting and stimulating them with theater and animation projects. "We are so excited to expand this work beginning in the fall, and continue to assist these kids and their families adjust to their new lives in America." says Dani. To learn more about this partnership click here. 

This work falls under a suite of programs White Pines offers off-site, away from its Elkins Park home base. These are the White Pines ACCESS programs, and you can learn more about them on the front page of our site! 

Thanks Boeing! 


A Hero's Journey: An After School Residency at Spruance Elementary

This Spring White Pines Productions embarked on an amazing 7 week residency in partnership with HIAS.

HIAS is a Philadelphia based organization which works to "protect the most vulnerable refugees, helping them build new lives and reuniting them with their families in safety and freedom."

HIAS "brings the lessons of HIAS’ history and Jewish ethics and experience" to their "commitment to serve refugees and other displaced persons of concern around the world through the following values: Welcoming, Dignity and Respect, Empowerment, Excellence and Innovation, Collaboration and Teamwork, and Accountability."

Val Harteg of HIAS explains that "The HIAS PA after-school program at the Gilbert Spruance School aims to support refugee youth who have been in the United States or three years or less. The three main goals of the program are to provide academic support through homework help, support English language development through interactive language activities, and encourage social development through peer socialization and community building activities."

We were lucky enough to be connected to HIAS's After School Program via Klementina Budnik of KXB Studio. 

Klementina is a long time WPP teaching artist and has taught animation class at White Pines for several years. 

KXB Studio offers "group & individual classes to people of all ages and abilities" Klementina's "curriculum is designed to provide a complete understanding of how to manipulate creative materials to tell animated stories." 

Klementina and myself set off to create a fun and engaging after school residency which would honor the goals and outcomes of the after school program. Over the course of our residency we led students through storytelling activities (both written and theatrical) which helped create a narrative that we turned into super hero puppet making project. After the students made their unique puppet, each with it's own personality and characteristics, we walked them through the mechanics of animation and voice over recordings. 

This final product "combines animation and literacy in order to author a short story as a class. As you'll hear in the video, several different students wrote and narrated sections of the story, and all 18 students contributed to the sound effects and designed a superhero and/or super villain paper puppet."

Val Harteg articulates the value of our programming as "arts enrichment activities support personal identity exploration and social development. Additionally art-based activities provide a platform for supporting language development. Students learn new vocabulary based on the content of the art projects and discover how to explain their artistic products to others. Linguistically, students are better able to express themselves through the practice of creating and talking about their art. Furthermore, art-based activities importantly encourage critical thinking, a learning goal that spans across school day and after school curricula. Because art projects are unique to the individual and what the individual wants to express, art-based workshops provide a space for even beginner level learners to completely be themselves and to have a voice that is distinctly their own. The hope is that this will develop a level of confidence that will transfer to the classroom and other activities in which the students participate."

We had a wonderful experience working with HIAS and the students and volunteers at Spruance and we look forward to next year!


New: The White Pines Young Actor's Studio!

Yale School of Drama graduate Benjamin Lloyd leads a rehearsal with young actors at White Pines

Yale School of Drama graduate Benjamin Lloyd leads a rehearsal with young actors at White Pines

We a thrilled to announce a new beginning for our theater training for young people! "For too long, the actual life of the working actor has been misrepresented in the training offered to the young actor," says White Pines' Executive Director Benjamin Lloyd. "The White Pines Young Actor's Workshops will change all that." 

Scene work

Scene work

At the White Pines Young Actor’s Studio it is the passion for the work that matters, not the experience level.  In our ensemble environment, young actors will have a unique opportunity to get a head start in understanding the foundations of professional acting training.  White Pines Young Actor’s Studio will prepare young artists for future work at a collegiate level, and for the professional field of performance.

White Pines Young Actor’s Studio is for the inquisitive and driven young actor ready to challenge themselves creatively! Together we will explore their dramatic/comedic potential, free up physical expression, tap into emotional depth and find power in their ability to create their own work as well as connect to contemporary text by great playwrights.

Director of Education Dani Bryant says “I’m thrilled to be offering professional training for the total artist. Young actors need innovative training which pushes them artistically and provides space to develop their authentic voice. White Pines Young Actor’s Studio fuses the mission of our organization with a forward thinking approach to professional high-level training.”

Practical skills taught:

  • Audition technique
  • Cold readings
  • Improvising
  • On-camera auditions, slating, ad copy
  • Scene rehearsal, preparation and performance
  • Headshot and resume preparation 
Scene work

Scene work

Each semester, students will meet casting directors, producers, and theater professionals from the thriving and dynamic Philadelphia theater and film communities. But we don't stop there.  Collaboration is a 21st century art. Whether a young person chooses to pursue a career as an actor or not, we believe that there are many life skills to be learned in an artistic environment like White Pines Young  Actor’s Studio

  • Working as an ensemble

  • Practicing empathy both onstage and off

  • Developing technical discipline

  • Building personal and artistic confidence

Through the White Pines Young Actor’s Studio young people will become a more skilled in working with others and sharing their authentic voice. Thus, they will be ready for whatever job they choose to pursue in the future as well ase work better with those who come into their lives in the future. Lead teacher Alexandra Spadoni says, "I am thrilled about the launch of our young professional studio. My aim is to give students a cohesive foundation that they can build upon with confidence as they grow. I am reminded that I was once in my student’s shoes starting out as a teen in the Philadelphia area hungry to understand how the actors I was seeing in movies and plays were doing what they were doing. It’s an honor to pass down to my students some valuable lessons in American acting technique from the mentors who have inspired me. I can’t wait to get started this Fall!"