Monday, June 25, 2012

Summer Theater Offerings for Kids

Recently at a party, I asked a friend what the age range was for her upcoming theater camp for kids.  She gave me a smirk and told me I was “too old.”  Actually, the reason I asked is that there were a few young people around who liked theater and I thought it might be a good opportunity for them.  And since that conversation, I’ve learned that there are a lot of theater camps popping up for kids.  Here are a few that I know about in the area:

Saline Community Education is having their yearly Broadway Boot Camp led by Rebecca Groeb-Driskill, who is the theater manager for the Saline Area Schools. If you don’t know about her wonderful skills, take a peek at an earlier blogpost I wrote, A Joyous “Hello, Dolly!” Rehearsal, to get an idea about how marvelous she works with kids. The summer program is a week camp for kids in grades 3-9 in which kids will learn about musical theater and its techniques and learn some scenes from popular Broadway musicals to be performed on the final day of camp.  For more information about this camp that meets July 16-20, check out the Saline Community Education catalog on page 8.

Another new opportunity is given by professional film and theatre actress Michele Messmer.  She will conduct two five-day acting workshops for youth from July 9-13.  The workshop will meet at Stone Arch Arts and Events and one session will be for grades 5-7 and another for grades 8-12.  The workshops will cover acting for stage and film, audition techniques, monologue, scene work and voice and movement training.  It will culminate with a show for family and friends on the final day.  For more information, email her at

Milan Community Education is sponsoring three theatre classes taught by Erin McDonald who has a Bachelor of Arts/Theater from Lock Haven University and a Master of Fine Arts, Drama/Theatre for the Young from EMU.  There is a two-day puppetry class for kids ages 4-7, a theater games class for kids in grades 2-5, and an improvisation and comedy class for those in grades 6-9. There’s also a Friday Fun Camp all about musical theatre. The classes are listed through Milan Community Education.

The Encore Musical Theatre company is sponsoring a summer program as well, led by Thalia Schramm who holds a BFA in Theatre from The University of Michigan and has worked at a summer camp in many positions in Frankfort, MI for 5 years.  The summer program includes camps for all ages, although some are already past. Students will have an opportunity to be part of an audition session as well and receive feedback from Broadway veterans.  

I’m sure there are many more opportunities that I don’t even know about, but these are certainly a few that are in the area.  I have this vague recollection of being in a drama class during the summer when I was a kid. I think we did Midsummer Night’s Dream or a variation thereof, but I can’t quite be certain.  Anyway, even though I posed the question for the young folks at the party, now that I think about it, I sure wish I WERE young enough to partake in these activities.  If you play it right, you can go to more than one!

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