Parents can't stop talking about the BEST summer workshops in Cincinnati

Updated 04/17/19

It doesn’t take more than a glance at their fresh ideas and slate of talented teaching artists to see why WordPlay Cincy’s annual summer workshops always fill up quickly. Just take a look at this list of offerings for summer 2019:


Drumming & Storytelling explores the process of using self-reflection to compose a piece through the art of percussion with teaching artist Liz Wu. The young participants will drum as a group and share the stories and emotions of their personal journeys. This is an exciting and unique way to experience the power of storytelling, and Liz Wu’s background will truly help them bring the art of storytelling and drumming to life.

Liz Wu is a professional musician, fitness instructor, and published children's book author with a passion for bringing people together. She has been a resident artist for several schools within Cincinnati Public School District, through the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Arts Association, and WordPlay. She also created #Kindflash, a grassroots volunteer effort that organizes monthly community outreach events, and World Music Fest, a celebration of world cultures through music, dance, art and food.

Drumming and Storytelling is for ages 8-12 and takes place in Northside, Cincinnati. It is one week long: 9a-12p Monday-Friday from June 3rd through June 7th, 2019.

STORY PLAY with Spring Starr Pillow

Stories are more than just written words on a page; they are living and breathing works. By playing fun games with composition and improvisation, students will work together as a group to combine their own stories into a new work of art. The craft of improvisation is one where you rely on the team to create the most powerful story that you can, together.

Spring Pillow (yes, that is her real name) is employed as the music and drama teacher for DePaul Cristo Rey High School and is an Administrator and Director for the Wyoming Middle School drama program. Spring teaches private voice lessons and is an active artist who has performed at The Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati, Showboat Majestic, The Covedale Center for Performing Arts, and with her band “No Guarantees.” In her spare time, Spring enjoys writing poetry, short stories, plays and music, rehabbing old homes, singing whenever possible, and spending time with her boys, Nick, Eli, and Max, and her dogs, Sophie and Herman.

Story Play is for ages 8-12 and is one week: 9a-12p Monday-Friday from June 10th through June 14th, 2019.

PUPPETS TELLING STORIES with Terrence Burke, Wump Mucket Puppets

Puppets have been used to help children both understand stories and express themselves for decades. The power of hand-crafting and then characterizing their own puppet is appealing to both shy and extroverted children alike, helping them master important writing and communication skills with the basic elements of storytelling.

Puppeteer Terrence Burke is the creator, voice, hands and arms behind the lovable cast of hand-crafted puppet characters who are the Wump Mucket Puppets. An artist with many interests, Terrence has found that puppetry allows him the creative outlet to write, build, compose, and perform his original stories and songs for children and family audiences. Terrence is a native of Boston, MA, and grew up in the town of Andover. He now lives with his wife and creative partner, Lara, along with their daughter and son in Cincinnati, OH. In addition to puppetry, his interests include reading science fiction and fantasy novels, eating homemade popcorn, listening to jazz and rock music, watching classic cartoons and Doctor Who, and taking early morning walks around the neighborhood. He definitely considers himself a “cat person.”

Puppets Telling Stories is for ages 5-9 and takes place in Northside, Cincinnati. It is one week long: 9a-12p Monday-Friday from June 17th through June 21st, 2019.

RHYTHM AND RHYMES with Teisha Murray

Poetry has always captured imaginations. Dr. Seuss, Shel Silverstein, and Roald Dahl have been delighting youth and adults for ages with their whimsical approaches to storytelling through rhyme. Teaching Artist Teisha Murray will have students experiencing poetry in a different way: through the use of hip-hop and movement. This is an exciting and upbeat workshop in which children will truly make words leap from the page.

Teisha Murray, also known simply as “Murray,” is a local poet and dancer. Her writing and movement styles play with a similar cadence, and she approaches both with an organic, exploratory spirit. Murray uses her skills in Youth Development, as well as art and healing to help students find and develop their voices as artists, while exploring what words and movement mean to them.

Rhythm and Rhymes is for ages 7-12 and is one week: 9a-12p Monday-Friday from June 24th through June 28th, 2019.


with Desirae Hosley

Back by popular demand for the third summer in a row, this three-week writing workshop focuses on the theme "Reflection on My Role in the World." As our world evolves and we try to keep up, our youth must also face the challenge of defining who they are. In this workshop, teens will use poetry and prose to examine human rights on a local and global level, through the many different voices that strive to reclaim who they are in this world.

Desirae "The Silent Poet" Hosley was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. The leader of the new teen poetry generation, Desirae is also a published author, spoken word artist, community organizer and actress. She is the founder and president of SlamCatz, the University of Cincinnati’s first spoken word poetry slam and dialogue team, and she competed in the 2008 Poetry Slam Inc. Nationals.

Human w(R)ites is for ages 13 and up and will take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays in June from 1p-2:30p.

Enrollment for WordPlay’s summer workshops is open to the public. Spots are limited, in high demand and fill up quickly, so register your child early at You can also email or call 513-996-0010 to enroll.

These incredible programs are 100% funded through the generosity of individuals just like you, as well as grants and sponsorships, so that they can be provided at no charge to participating families. To make a donation, please visit

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