Singing the praises of theatre camp
The curtains are drawn.
Soon, there will be music as students at the Stage One theatre camp rehearse this summer’s production, The Emperor’s New Clothes.
The production will stay true to the traditional story.
“It’s the classic story of a man who’s greedy,” co-director Stephen Sawka explained.
“He learns that having material goods isn’t the way to run his life.”
“It’s a well-written play.”
Terri Runnalls, co-director with Sawka, said the play is also adult-appropriate.
“While it’s a play done by children, it’s mature,” she said.
This is the first time the camp has tackled a play with musical numbers in its almost 20 years of existence.
The directors said students weren’t bothered by the idea of singing and dancing and they are confident the kids will pull it off.
“They’re adaptable,” Sawka said.
There’s a core group of students who have gone to the annual camp in the past and that is something Runnalls said they can build on with the production.
Twelve of the 20 students are returning performers.
“That speaks to what they learn and to the fun,” Runnalls said.
Sawka has been with the camp for two years and said for him, “it’s interesting to see how kids have grown and changed.”
The musical components are a fun new challenge for the students, but also for Sawka and Runnalls.
“It makes the show a little more exciting,” Sawka said.
The new element adds more work but, for the students, practising at home after camp hours is nothing new.
“The kids are here because they want to be,” Sawka said.
In the two-week camp, students receive their scripts at the beginning of the first week and perform for audiences two
They learn their lines at home and help with costumes and props.
“While this is a blast, it’s a lot of work,” Runnalls said.
The camp runs in the spring and summer.
An introductory week-long course is mandatory before the two-week performance camp.
A weekly after-school program is expected to begin for the first time this fall because of the interest in the spring and summer sessions.
The Emperor’s New Clothes is open to the public and shows at the Pavillion Theatre on Aug. 19 at 7 p.m. and Aug. 20 at 2 p.m.
Tickets are by donation to the Henry Vanderburghe bursary for theatre students.
For more information, go here.