Youngsters Explore Theatre at Summer Camps

Children's TheatrePalm Beach Atlantic University’s two summer theatre camps expose aspiring thespians to all aspects of the art of the stage.

The first, SummerStage, is four weeks of immersive theatre instruction for students completing grades seven through 12. Theatre artists and educators teach performance technique and theatre appreciation. At the end of the camp, students present five, fully-produced performances of “The Addams Family” at PBA’s Fern Street Theatre, 500 Fern St.

Auditions take place May 17 at the theatre, with callbacks the next day. Auditions determine who gets what role. They also are used for educational purposes, said Becky Saunders, coordinator of children’s theatre.

“We take them through the processes as if they’re auditioning for a show,” Saunders said.

Performances are June 20-23.

The Summer Theatre Experience offers daily classes in a one-week session for budding actors and actresses in kindergarten through 12th grade. Younger theatre students learn about performance techniques and movement and play improvisational games that explore fundamentals of theatre. The Theatre Conservatory for Young Adults is for serious high school students who want to delve into theatrical disciplines such as singing, dance, Shakespeare and improvisation. 

Campers make new friends, sharpen their social skills and build confidence, Saunders said.

“One of the benefits of being in a summer camp is that they get to try new experiences. If they haven’t been exposed to theatre, that’s a great experience for them,” Saunders said. “For the parents, it’s a safe place for their children to explore those gifts in a safe and loving environment where Christ is the center. That’s what we’re trying to emulate for them – to be a light in the world.”

Students perform for family and friends at the end of the week. The Summer Theatre Experience is July 8-12. The cost is $150 for campers ages 4-10 and $250 for campers ages 11 to 17. SummerStage costs $450.

For more information about SummerStage, or to register, click here. For more information about the Summer Theatre Experience, or to register, click here.