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by Lenise Willis

Trying to find ways to keep children safe and entertained this summer can be difficult, especially if they’re more prone to stay inside playing video games. For any child that’s allergic to grass, or simply not the outdoor-camp type, a summer theater camp is a great opportunity to get them out of the house, entertained and active.

NCShakes will be holding its Kids Theatre Camp at its Spirit Center in High Point this coming Monday through Friday, July 8-12. The summer camp runs from 1-4 p.m. for ages 7-9 and costs $200. For more information call 336.841.2273 or visit ncshakes.org.

During the week, students are encouraged to enjoy themselves on stage by combining theater games, creative dramatics, improvisation, art and fun. The camp aims to increase self-confidence, while teaching campers to think on their feet, create interesting characters, relax in front of a group and become part of the magic.

For the smaller ones NCShakes will host a summer theatre camp that same week, July 8-12, for ages 5-6. The cost is also $200 for the Creative Dramatics Theatre Camp, which runs from 9-noon and inspires in kids an early interest in theater.

Participants will play games, act out stories, sing, dance, and create theatre arts and crafts. Campers will also learn how to become more apart of a book’s excitement and adventure by bringing it to life. For more information call 336.841.2273 or visit ncshakes.org.

A few children who are already experienced in theater will perform in City Arts Livestock Players’ Big, The Musical at Weaver Academy in Greensboro, next week, July 12-14 and 18-21.

Even for those without kids, performances themselves are entertaining and provide a much younger and interesting take on some of the classics.

Other performances you might want to check out include that of Children’s Theatre of Winston-Salem, who will soon relish in the sweet world of candy — not by playing Candy Crush Saga, but by performing in its production of Willy Wonka Junior at Arts Council Theatre. Performances are July 19, 20.

Of course, if G-rated isn’t your thing, then be sure to check out the deceivingly adult production of Avenue Q, which Theatre Alliance will perform July 19-28. The play’s actors might be puppets, but there’s nothing childish about the racy script.

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