Summer is setting the stage for kids of all ages to experience exciting and creative performing arts camps throughout Jacksonville. From the Beaches and beyond, community theaters are opening the doors to young, aspiring thespians, stage hands and playwrights with a diverse offering of opportunities.
Stage Door Summer Camp
Stage Door Summer Camp offers creative campers the unique experience of working alongside theater professionals to stage a full-scale show. Campers will have the opportunity to sing, dance, inhabit different characters, and enjoy a variety of acting games.
Campers will also receive training in musical theatre-style dancing and Fit for Broadway aerobic dance, along with daily swim and special activities. The end of each session culminates with every camper presenting their own show. Session One is held June 12-July 7 with a performance of “20 Years of J Theatre Camp” on July 5 and 6. Session Two is offered July 10-Aug 4 with performances of “We Love Disney” on Aug 2-3. (www.jcajax.org)
Players by the Sea
In Jacksonville Beach, Players by the Sea will offer a number of different options, beginning with acting workshops June 12-16 for kids in grades 1-12. The one-week sessions are tailored to each age group and are dedicated to training campers to explore their individual creativity through character examination, movement, and environments. Kids will also learn the importance of working within an ensemble. Improvisation will be a key element, teaching campers to take risks and learn to make bold choices through a variety of warm ups, improvisational games, and environmental exercises.
Let’s Put on a Play is a two-week camp offered at PBTS that allows kids to rehearse a one-act play that they will perform for a live audience. Campers will learn to break down a script and develop characters from July 10-21. The final performance will be staged Friday and Saturday, July 21-22.
Following suit, Let’s Put on a Musical is a three-week musical theatre workshop for kids in grade 5-12. Campers will choose material for ensemble and solo musical theater numbers that they will rehearse and perform for an audience. The numbers will also include choreography instruction by DeWitt Cooper.
The Fundamentals of Music is a percussion-based workshop designed for campers to concentrate on the fundamentals of music theory and learn to apply those fundamentals during the rehearsal process. The course will be facilitated by Greg Hersey, who holds a Master’s Degree in Percussion Performance from the University of North Florida.
Kids who love to move will benefit from the Dance Workshop. Campers will learn jazz, modern and Caribbean dance styles that focus on body language, dance awareness and performance repertoire. The workshop will include warm ups, floor combinations and improvisation that the campers will use to perform in a finale. (249-0289, www.playersbythesea.org)
Camp Broadway introduces young people to the world of life on-stage and behind the scenes. Training in acting, scene study, improvisation, music theory, solo and ensemble singing, movement and dance make up the intensive class work. Triple-threat workshops give one-on-one instruction in singing, dancing, and acting. It is a self-contained summer workshop that travels around the country, bringing Broadway to kids.
With authentic Broadway instructors teaching dance routines and musical numbers at the same break-neck speed as a real Broadway show, Camp Broadway is a fun-filled, 40-hour week of activities designed to teach kids aged 10-17 about the serious business of live theater. Every kid gets their own headshot, and a Camp Broadway t-shirt.
Camp Broadway, presented by the FSCJ Artist Series, is scheduled for June 12–16, 2017 in Jacksonville at the FSCJ Nathan H. Wilson Center for the Arts. (www.campbroadway.com)
Apex Theatre Studio
Now in its second year, Apex Theatre Studio in Ponte Vedra encourages young artists ages 10-21 to discover their passion and realize their full creative potential in a series of performing arts camps and workshops. Summer camps are recommended for ages eight to 14, although some exceptions can be made.
From May 30-June 2, campers will learn the basics of stage combat and improvisation in Super Heroes Unite. Kids can create their own superhero complete with costume design, back story and super powers.
Improvisation for Theatre features a series of warm ups, games and other exercises that allow kids to create their own work. The workshop is held June 5-9.
Advanced Improv for Theatre is an intermediate level workshop that challenges campers to take more risks and make bigger choices by employing various forms of comedy. Session dates are July 10-14 and July 24-28.
Grease Is the Word (Musical Theatre Fundamentals) is held June 12-16. The class offers instruction on the basic fundamentals in performance musical theatre with musical numbers from Grease.
Grease Is the Word Pt. 2 (Intermediate Musical Theatre Workshop) is held June 19-22 with two high-energy numbers from Grease: Greased Lightning and the Hand Jive.
Apex closes out its June musical theatre workshops with Grease Is the Word Pt. 3 (Advanced Musical Theatre Workshop) from June 26-30, which climaxes with a staging of the final number from Grease, ‘We Go Together,’ as well as two smaller numbers from the film.
All musical theatre showcase performances will be staged at 1:30 pm June 29 at the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall.
At the FSCJ downtown campus location, Apex will also hold its first ever bilingual theater camp. The ensemble-based workshop encourages young artists who are interested in communicating in both English and Spanish. The camp will feature theater games and warm up exercises that allow campers to explore acting, singing, and dancing using material from the Broadway hit In the Heights. The class will present an informal staging of the material on the final day of camp in the auditorium of the FSCJ downtown campus. The two-week camp is held July 17-21 and July 24-28. (www.apextheatrejax.com)
In St. Augustine, the Limelight Theatre is hosting performance camps June 5-July 21 for grades K and up with themes based on Disney classics. The Despicable Me, Beauty and the Beast, and Cars play time camps are all open to campers in kindergarten through second grade. Children will use the popular Disney films as inspiration to explore the essential theatrical elements of imaginative play, music, storytelling, and costumes.
The Cinderella Kids camp, held July 24-Aug 4, will culminate in a fully staged and costumed musical for kids of all ages. Performance dates are Aug 4-6. Campers in grade 3 and up will also stage a complete musical performance of Disney’s The Little Mermaid July 21-23. Cost for both musical performance camps is $425. (825-1164, www.limelight-theater.org)