The Arden kicks off summer with Drama School Camp

June 29, 2009

Last week (June 22 – 26) we kicked off our series of week-long summer day camps. Forty-five campers, five counselors, and a handful of education interns set up shop at The Painted Bride Arts Center (since the Arden’s roof is being replaced). And what a week it was! Our campers got the chance to learn about many areas of theatre from a slew of theatre professionals.

Here’s an example of what a day looked like for a kid in the Yellow Group (comprised of mostly third graders):

10:00 to 10:15 – Warm Ups
10:15 to 11:00 – Puppet Design and Construction
11:00 to 11:45 – Acting Class
11:45 to 12:30 – Lunch and Lunchtime Funtime*
12:30 to 1:15 – Play rehearsal
1:15 to 1:45 – Playwrighting
1:45 to 2:00 – Snack
2:00 to 2:30 – Storytelling
2:30 to 3:00 – Dance Practice
3:00 to 3:30 – Improv
3:30 to 4:00 – Music Rehearsal

*Lunchtime Funtime is always a big hit. After lunch, campers get a chance to challenge (and almost always beat!) their counselors at Improv games.

At the beginning of each week, as the campers (who were in first through fifth grade) arrived, it seemed impossible that in one short week they would produce an original piece, learn a dance number, learn a song, build their confidence, and form new friendships. And yet, they did! Our Friday camp show finale featured several castles in space, a remixed Little Red Riding Hood, a wacky version of Family Feud, the hand jive, and music from Peter Pan.

Camper Sophia summed it up, “This camp is so awesome. I don’t think I had a favorite part. They were all my favorite parts.”

Our campers learned an awful lot, but mostly they had fun. Most of the credit for this goes to our talented staff of teaching artists. They taught an awful lot, but mostly they have fun too.

If last week was any kind of indicator, we’re in for a great summer.

We’re geared up for several more weeks with elementary aged kids. We’re also really excited about our three-week musical theatre camp for older kids. Last season’s Cabaret was the highlight of July!

-Sally Wojcik
Education and Group Services Manager

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