The 2014 Summer Theatre Camp will present Disney’s “High School Musical 2 Jr.,” which will showcase the talents of local performers ranging from those entering third grade to seniors in high school. The camp is set to run June 3 through June 27, from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m., Monday through Thursday and will be located at Bevill’s Rowland Education Center on the Jasper campus.
The cost of the entertainment-infused camp is $400, but it includes a plethora of performing arts education, including instruction in dance, voice, acting, sound, costume, lighting design and much more. Maria Ross, owner of the Athletic Arts Center, is excited about this summer’s program and hopes it continues to be an annual event.
“This theatre camp really brings together some amazingly talented staff to work with the kids and teach them from beginning to end what it takes to do a show. They really do get exposure to all aspects of a performance and the theater life and what it takes, not only on stage, but off stage as well,” Ross said. “The gem of the entire thing is the fact that the staff is amazingly qualified and has loads of experience in theatre and performing arts. It’s really a unique opportunity in our area to have people ... who have so much to offer these kids. It’s really amazing how much education they’re going to get out of it.”
This year the camp is being funded by the Walker Area Community Foundation. The Foundation is supporting the program with a grant worth $8,500. Paul Kennedy, president of the WACF, said, “We're really pleased to be able to promote the arts in our county, especially because this involves children not just in the dramatic production, but all areas of the arts. Any enrichment like that, especially in the summer, is very valuable to our community.”
Last year, the program had 35 participants and the show was only able to put on one performance, but Ross said the crew will deliver three performances this year. Scholarships also were given to students last year but with help from the WACF, more kids will benefit and receive financial assistance.
“We were able to give scholarships last year as well, but with the Foundation’s help this year I think we’ll be able to do more,” Ross said.
Bevill State’s dean of the Jasper campus and health sciences division, Penne Mott, said she would like to see programs like the theatre camp grow and continue to develop in Walker County.
“I think the big thing is that it exposes them to the arts and it gives kids an opportunity to participate in a play that they may not have ever dreamed of having that opportunity to do. We had a great response last year. The kids just loved it,” Mott said. “The performance was just great, and the Walker Area Community Foundation really helped us out in providing the scholarships for the kids. It was a significant grant.”
The deadline to submit registration forms is Thursday, May 15, and should be taken to the BSCC business office. Forms and information about the camp can be found on the BSCC website at www.bscc.edu and the Athletic Arts Center website at www.athleticartsctr.com.
According to the camp’s overview, “Students will be accepted on a first-come-first-served basis and enrollment is limited.”
“There’s so many benefits to performing arts, giving kids an opportunity and an outlet, a healthy outlet, is so important,” Ross said. “... It really goes along with what they learn in school and if they have an interest towards it, it makes it [academics] more fun.”
For more information, call the Athletic Arts Center at (205) 387-9337.