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Announcing KiDS ‘Disney’s Finding Nemo, Jr.’ Mini-Camp

Updated: Sep 20, 2023

Registration is now open for our KiDS Finding Nemo, Jr. Mini-Camp. CLICK HERE to get started!

The Matthews Playhouse of the Performing Arts is excited to offer a “Kids with Disabilities in the Spotlight” (a.k.a. KiDS) Finding Nemo, Jr. Themed Mini-Camp on Saturday, October 21, 2023! The KiDS camp program was created in the summer of 2022 by Matthews Playhouse Board Member and Actor, Amanda Mooney, M. Ed. to serve children on the autism spectrum and/or with a cognitive or developmental disability. "KiDS camp incorporates theater games, props, music, and movement to help campers make friends, build confidence, express emotions, and use their imagination, ”says Mooney. "It's a wonderful opportunity to explore the arts while strengthening social skills."

Multiple studies have linked theatre education to stronger communication skills, ability to follow directions, teamwork, organization and meaningful social interactions. Matthews Playhouse Executive Director, Sarah Baumgardner, agrees. “We’ve heard from multiple families who have children with autism, sensory sensitivities, or other social, learning or cognitive disabilities,” she says. "As a parent of a child on the autism spectrum, it is important that we create a more inclusive and comfortable arts experience for all.”

Finding Nemo, Jr. “KiDS” Mini-Camp

WHO: Children ages 7-16 who are on the autism spectrum and/or have special needs, specifically delays in social skills, communication and peer interactions due to a cognitive or developmental disability.

WHEN: Saturday, October 21 from 9:30 a.m.- 12:00 p.m.

WHERE: Matthews Community Center (home of Matthews Playhouse) 100 East McDowell Street - Matthews, NC 28105

PRICE: $25 per child. The cost of registration includes one (1) ticket to the 11:00 a.m. Sensory Friendly Performance of Disney’s Finding Nemo, Jr., an art project, a Finding Nemo character meet and greet and backstage tour, and other fun activities.


WHAT is a Sensory Friendly Performance?

The 11 a.m. performance of Finding Nemo on Saturday, October 21, 2023 will be modified to have lower sound and light levels and eliminate startling or loud sounds. The theatre will remain dimly lit during the performance, and audience members will be allowed to stand, roam around, and come and go as needed. Parents are also welcome to bring certain items that provide their children comfort, cushions, headphones, electronics, snacks, and other support items. Designated quiet and calm spaces will be available to children as needed.

WHO is the KiDS Mini-Camp Instructor?

“KiDS”Mini-Camp will be led by Amanda Mooney, M. Ed., a special education teacher at St. Ann Catholic School who has been teaching children with special needs for over 20 years. Amanda is also a familiar face in the Charlotte Theatre Community and a regular performer on the Matthew’s Playhouse stage. Amanda has been seen in multiple Matthews Playhouse productions including Scrooge! The Musical, Rainbow Fish, and Pinocchio.

How Large is the Camp?

The camp session will be limited in size (maximum of 15 students) in order to provide each child the attention and instruction they require in order to succeed.

More info

Please Call (704) 846-8343 or email with any questions.

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