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Matthews Playhouse Launches New Summer Camp Program for Special Needs Children

Updated: May 18, 2022

"KiDS” Camp, June 13th-17th, 2022, is a half-day performing arts camp program created by Amanda Mooney, M. Ed. for children ages 10-14 on the autism spectrum and/or with a cognitive or developmental disability.

As part of its mission to make the performing arts more accessible and inclusive, the Matthews Playhouse of the Performing Arts has announced the addition of a new program to an already robust roster of Summer Camp sessions. “Kids with Disabilities in the Spotlight”, or “KiDS” Camp for short, is a new summer camp session developed specifically for children ages 10-14 on the autism spectrum and/or with a cognitive or developmental disability.

The camp session is June 13th-17th, 2022 from 9:00 am-12:00 pm and will focus on enriching performance activities designed to build confidence, positive social interactions and communication skills in a safe and supportive environment.

Multiple studies have linked theatre education to stronger communication skills, ability to follow directions, teamwork, organization and meaningful social interactions. “It’s important that children and teens with special needs have more representation and opportunities to shine in the performing arts,” says “KiDS” camp creator and lead instructor, Amanda Mooney, M. Ed. “‘KiDS’ camp is a wonderful opportunity to explore the theater arts while strengthening social skills. We will incorporate theater games, props, music, and movement to help campers make friends, build confidence, express emotions, and use their imagination”.

Frequently Asked Questions

WHAT is “KiDS” Camp and WHO is it for?

“KiDS” stands for “Kids with Disabilities in the Spotlight” and is catered specifically for children ages 10-14 that 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.

WHO is the Instructor?

“KiDS” 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 recently played Starfish, the lovable character in Rainbow Fish The Musical at Matthew's Playhouse, she has also appeared as The Blue Fairy in our 2020 production of Pinocchio.

WHEN & WHERE is it?

“KiDS” Camp will be held at The Matthews Playhouse of the Performing Arts June 13th-17th, 2022 from 9:00 am-12:00 pm.

HOW Do I Know if “KiDS” Camp is Right for My Child?

Please answer the questions you are comfortable responding to.

1. Does your child have a diagnosed disability and/or an IEP?

2. What are your child’s main areas of need?

3. What does your child LOVE to do?

4. What are your child’s favorite things to talk about?

5. What are some things that your child does NOT like? (Are there any sensory needs to be aware of?)

6. What assistance would your child need with selfcare? (bathroom needs, eating, dressing, fine motor skills-writing, cutting, etc.)

7. Is your child able to read? If so, about what grade level are they reading?

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. Waitlist provided to help gauge interest for future camps

To learn more about “KiDS” Camp, please visit Interested parents with questions can also reach out directly at


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