“I love the opportunity to work with kids outside of an academic environment,” Brooks said. “So they can really kind of let loose and have fun and not worry about how well they’re doing or how much progress they’re making. They just have to worry about if they’re having fun and if the show is good. One of my favorite parts about working with the summer camps is getting to see the kids that we worked with at a young age ... grow in confidence over the years and grow in ability and see them really take off and shine and even consider continuing with theater after high school once they get into college.
“With middle school, we kind of focus on the very basics of acting because in Elementary Camp, it’s a much more hands-on guided approach. So this gives them an opportunity to have a voice as an actor that they haven’t had a chance to yet. And that’s something that we expect from them in high school camp.”
Registration currently is underway for The Grand Theatre’s three summer camps. The Elementary Camp’s two sessions, June 16 to 20 or June 23 to 27, is for students who have completed second through fourth grade; the Middle School Camp, June 2 to 13, is for those who have completed fifth, sixth and seventh grades; and the Senior High Camp, July 7 to 25, is for students who have completed grades seven through 12. The cost of the Elementary, Middle School and Senior High camps are $150, $275 and $325, respectively. Following each session, students will present a production, which will be open to the public.
“This is our 25th year of Music Theatre Camps,” said Terri Cox, program director for The Grand Theatre. “We started in 1989 and our goal is to give young people in our community a chance to experience the performing arts and gain instruction in the areas of drama, dancing, music, singing and all the good things that [come] with that — learning to cooperate with one another and gaining self-confidence, things like that.
“We start out the summer with our middle-schoolers and they come for a two-week session. The plays that they do are a little more developed than the elementary school students. The younger ones will do a little bit more singing than [anything] else but each child will have a few lines to learn and some blocking or movement on the stage. We start out with the basics for them. The middle-schoolers will have more of a story to perform. They’ll each play a character and it will tell a story and have a plot to it and be more like a full-blown play with a beginning, middle and end. Then our high school students will do a full Broadway show. ... As they progress through these camps, they learn more and more about how to develop a character [and] how to express your emotions.”
For more details, visit www.thegrandtheatre.org and click on the Summer Camp tab or call Cox at 770-386-7343.