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Catching rays, acting lessons and life skills

by Lenise Willis

While many summer camps are sweeping up the cabins or cleaning up the court, Community Theatre of Greensboro is warming up their voices. Last Thursday, CTG hosted an open house at the Greensboro Cultural Arts Center so parents and kids alike could get the skinny on their upcoming theatre camps.

From now till August, the theatre is hosting dozens of week-long camps, including the ABCs of Acting, Telling Tales, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Pop Star Showcase and Jump, Jive and Boogie, just to name a few. Camps are for ages 3-16. They’re also hosting three two-week-long production camps, in which kids will perform an entire musical (Shrek, High School Musical or Peter Pan).

“It gives kids first-hand experience in theatre and another chance to be in a production since many can’t participate during the school year,” said youth programs director Rozalynn Fulton. “It also (teaches) them dedication and responsibility.”

The most unique thing about CTG’s summer camps is–well””they’re unique. Each summer the camps change according to the year’s most popular shows and themes. “Yes, I write (about) 40 different camp descriptions every year,” Fulton said with an exhausted sigh. She actually begins planning the camps in December.

The camps are led by numerous instructors from a variety of backgrounds. Adam Miller, for example, started as a camper himself and has grown into the role of teacher.

So, who are some of our young, local rising stars? Well we just might see some great things from these kids:

Jennifer Urana and her daughter Ava, 12, signed up for five camps, including Pitch to Perfection, Wicked and Music Mash Up. This summer will actually be Ava’s first theatric experience. “I hope she gains the confidence to present in front of people and learn things she can use no matter where she goes in life, and just have fun,” Jennifer said.

Ava said she’s most excited about “learning about performing and getting to know what to do.”

Ava, who wants to be an actress when she grows up, not only is already well spoken, but has initiative, too. She became interested in acting after seeing an online audition calling for the TV show, Jesse, and didn’t hesitate to sign up. She’s still waiting to hear back from them.

Joanna Pendleton’s 4-year-old daughter, Neve, stole the show for a little while, donning her pink crown and showing off her best princess pose. “We went to see Sleeping Beauty (by CTG) and she decided at that point she was going to be an actress when she grows up,” Joanna laughed. And since Neve is already her “little actor and drama queen” at home, she decided to sign her up for the All About a Princess camp. How appropriate.

Another young aspiring drama queen is Audrey Hohstadt, 3, who will be shimmering in CTG’s summer camp, Mermaids and Monsters. “She’s not shy at all,” said Christine, her mother. “She’s always singing, dancing and being dramatic. I just hope she has a lot of fun and gets to express her dramatic side.”

Lenna Murfin, 12, and her mother, Melissa, stopped by the open house to explore the summer musical productions. Although Lenna doesn’t yet have any acting experience, she has an intense love of musicals and has been taking voice lessons. Her favorite musical is Phantom of the Opera. “I’ve seen a lot of musicals and I really enjoy watching them, so I wanted to be in one,” Lenna said. During open house Lenna was most interested in joining the Shrek production camp. !

WANNA go?

CTG is hosting dozens of summer camps June 15-August 14. Visit ctgso.org for a full camp brochure with dates, cost and descriptions.

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