by Lenise Willis

Trading mosquitoes for stage lights

Several theaters, including Community Theatre of Greensboro, run summer workshops.

For me, summertime meant riding horses, swimming in the lake and only taking one or two showers for the week. It also meant dirt under my fingernails and mosquito bites up and down my leg, which is why a summer theater camp might be a better option for your kids who prefer to stay indoors.

Growing up at Mountain Top Youth Camp and being a counselor at United Methodist Camp Tekoa will forever be a part of my life, not just because of what it taught me about the outdoors, but also for the social skills I developed while surrounded by peers with a common interest.

Theater camps can achieve the same thing and there are several in the Triad for campers of all ages.

Community Theatre of Greensboro has a wide selection of camps for all ages, from learning to sing and dance in a musical, to how to be a pop star (July 28-Aug. 1). They even have a camp to help students hone their singing skills (Aug. 11-15).

Check out their website at for more information.

There are honestly just too many great options to recount here. The theater also produces several productions throughout the year, including Hairspray and The Wizard of Oz.


North Carolina Shakespeare Festival has two ongoing camps for younger children.

Creative Dramatics camp runs July 16-18, from 9-4 p.m. for ages 5-6. At a cost of $200, the camp is aimed at introducing youngsters to the magic of theatre and instilling the interest early.

Campers will play games together, act out stories, sing, dance and complete theatre arts and crafts.

NCShakes’ Kids Theatre Camp runs July 7-11, from 9-4 p.m. for ages 7-9. At a cost of $200, the camp combines theatre games, creative dramatics, improvisation and art projects to encourage kid’s creativity and self-confidence. They’ll learn to think on their feet, create interesting characters and how to be more comfortable in front of a group.

Children’s Theatre of Winston-Salem has several wonderful camps that teach acting techniques by focusing on one fun story.

Coming soon, children ages 4-6 will get the chance to learn the musical, Snow White, at the theater’s July 7-11 session, Monday through Friday from 1-4 p.m. Cost is $185.

Also beginning next week, campers at the July 7-27 camp will learn the musical, Disney’s The Jungle Book. Classes are Monday through Friday, from 9-4 p.m., for third-ninth graders.

Students will learn the songs and dances onstage, as well as the behind-the-scenes work that goes into creating a musical. Topics include the script, music, choreography, costumes, set and props. At the end of the session, there will be three performances on the main stage. Right now there’s still a few spots left for rising first and second graders. The cost is $525.

For children looking for more of a challenge, try the theater’s half-day Camp Shakespeare, which runs July 14-18 for grades second through fifth. Students will learn some of Shakespeare’s dialogue and perform some of his scenes at the end of the camp in the Rehearsal Hall Theater. Cost is $195.


Finding ways for your teen to fit in or find a clique can be difficult.

For me, theatre not only provided a great outlet while I was in high school, but it also helped me to overcome my shyness and not be afraid to speak up.

NCShakes’ Camp Shakespeare, which runs July 7-11, from 9-4 p.m. is a great pastime for ages 13-17. At a cost of $250, the fastpaced workshop is aimed at teens that already have an interest in theatre and are looking to explore Shakespeare’s work. Campers will dig a little deeper into the art of acting and learn how to use rhythm, movement and voice to better portray the playwright’s eloquent yet confusing dialogue.

Students will also learn interactive principals and techniques used during Elizabethan times and apply them to a modern setting.

Another good social group for teens is Greensboro’s Livestock Players, which produces shows all throughout the year. The group, together with Greensboro Children’s Theatre and 3 rd Stage Theatre Co., will perform Pippin at Weaver Academy July 11-13, 17-20.

Livestock Players will also perform Shakepeare’s Much Ado About Nothing July 25-27 at Barber Park. Admission is free for the show. For more information on how to be a part of Livestock Players call City Arts at 373-2026. !


Several of these summer theatre camps and children’s groups will be presenting final performances as part of the workshop, so keep reading the Playbill to find out when you can see a show.