The Herald-Times

Summer presents theater camp options for budding thespians, playwrights

By Joel Pierson

March 27, 2011

Theater is good for children - both watching it and participating in it - and summer time presents many opportunities for kids to enjoy local theater camps.

Ivy Tech Waldron has partnered with the Bloomington Playwrights Project this year to bring new theater offerings for area children. The newly formed BPP/Ivy Tech Youth Education Program expands the offerings of Ivy Arts for Kids, and includes the camps below:

In Youth Musical Theatre Ensemble, students aged 11 to 17 perform in a contemporary musical during a four-week camp. Over the course of the four weeks, students learn the skills needed to produce and perform before presenting their show for the general public. This year's musical is the off-Broadway hit "Zombie Prom." Dates are July 11-Aug. 7; 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

DramatiCATS for ages 8 to 12 teaches students how to write and act in their own original plays over the course of a two-week day camp. To add to the challenge, all plays must have the same theme, a common line of dialogue and a common prop - all of which are announced moments before the students start to write. The camp is a virtual playground for young imaginations. Dates are June 20-July 2; 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Broadway Kids for ages 5 to 8 is an introductory theater course for elementary students. It teaches them the basics about music, movement, character, visual arts and performance. The camp will help foster creativity and imagination as it teaches the children about acting, storytelling and improvisation. Dates are June 9-17; 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Girls aged 8 to 12 can get their idol on at the Girls Camp of Rock, an intensive one-week camp experience, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. each day, where they'll learn how to sing, write songs and get the look of a rock star. As the girls "rock out," they'll build their self-esteem and develop performance confidence. The camp includes workshops on songwriting, rhythm and movement. Dates are July 5-9.

Prices range from $200 to $475 for the camps.

Also returning for another year is the BPP's venerable MiniPlay program. Students in grades 3 through 12 are invited to write short plays to be produced during the eight-week MiniPlay camp, in which students direct and act in these plays. Visit the BPP's website at for more on that.

For more information about BPP/Ivy Tech youth education programming, contact the Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center at 330-4400. There's also a year-round After School Drama Program offered.

Also upholding the importance of youth arts is Youth Theatre of Bloomington. I introduced you to the group last summer, and they're back with a new round of auditions for their summer season. They will be presenting "Little Women the Musical," "The Wizard of Oz" and "Disney's High School Musical."

Auditions will be held on Saturday and are for registered participants only. Registration deadline is Friday, so you'll need to act quickly (pardon the pun). Visit or call 812-339-2124 for complete details. The program is open to ages 7 and up.

Love musical theater? Stages Bloomington's summer camp meets at Sherwood Oaks Christian Church. This summer, kids in grades 5-12 will explore stories from various points of view through musical theater. Dates are June 13-24; grades 1-5 meet 9 a.m. to noon, while kids in grades 5-12 meet 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Campers will receive song, dance and acting instruction from local professionals as well as special guests. All campers will participate in a performance of Stephen Schwartz's "My Son Pinocchio" on June 22 and a Camp Showcase on June 23.

Find more info at, or send an email to info@stagesblooming

If your child has dreams of stardom or just a desire to exercise both mind and body, consider enrolling in a summer arts program for children. It's an uplifting experience for kids and a source of pride for parents and other family members, too.

Copyright: 2011