Category: summer camp

Playbill Series: Sweet Charity

Sweet Charity PlaybillI’m featuring a musical that I saw in the month of July in this month’s Playbill post. It was 11 years ago in July 2005 that I saw Christina Applegate in a revival of Sweet Charity at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre. I was already familiar with the music (Cy Coleman), plot, and choreography (Bob Fosse) from my musical theatre studies.

This was my first summer teaching at the Emma Willard School, a private all-girls boarding school in Albany. Each two-week session in this academic program for middle and high school students had the opportunity to travel to NYC twice: first on Saturday for entertainment and exploration of your choice (museums, shows, shopping, Statue of Liberty) and then on Wednesday for an activity that directly related to your program (in my case, performing arts).

I saw Sweet Charity on Saturday, July 9th, with a group of 10 teenagers (mostly my performing arts students with 2-3 students in other sections). The entire program traveled on a coach bus and had a drop off spot in Soho.  We then grabbed lunch at a local cafe and headed uptown on the subway. It was many of these students’ first trip on the NYC subway and on a hot summer day with crowded trains, I was very careful not to lose anyone on the platform. We made it to midtown and all grabbed student rush tickets. With a little time for souvenir shopping, we made our way back to the theatre in time for our 2pm matinee.

It was fun to be in NYC as a tourist again. Even though I hadn’t yet made Manhattan my permanent residence, I spent quite a bit of time there for continuing education (aka voice lessons and musical theatre classes), auditions, and social fun! I even interviewed for this specific teaching position in Brooklyn.

I glance at this playbill and I smile with the memories that were created at the Emma Willard School’s summer program, both in and out of the classroom. I made friends that I’m still in contact with today (one of those friends was even a bridesmaid in my wedding), gained experience in teaching (this was my first teaching gig outside of college), and discovered my passion for training young musical theatre artists!

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My first group of students!
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Summer Programs for the Broadway Bound Child

MVCCT Summer Camp 2014 (98 of 124)
Dear Edwina at MVCCT Summer Camp 2014. Photo: Laura Webster Marshall

It’s time to start thinking about summer programs and camps even though it’s only February. I have taught at summer programs all over the country and I’m confident that you can find a local program that is the right fit for your little star.

I’m focusing this post specifically on opportunities for kids in elementary school and early middle school in the Washington, D.C. metro area. Stay tuned later this week for information on programs for middle and high school students…

1. Mount Vernon Community Children’s Theatre (MVCCT) is a great place to foster your child’s creativity. I have taught at MVCCT for 3 years and the children in these camps have fun, learn, perform, and make friends! Classes are divided based on age (5 to 14) and there are 3 two-week sessions and 1 one-week session over the summer. There is also a spring break camp and specialized workshops on school holidays. Click here for more information.

2. Creative Cauldron offers theme-based camps for children ages 4 to 14. This summer, puppets, music, and storytelling will all be explored. Children will work on performance through improvisation, storytelling, music, and even composing! Visit here for more information.

3. Imagination Stage has great programming for young children interested in theatre starting at age 3. Located in Bethesda, your child can explore their dramatic side with a one or two week summer camp. Check out their website for more information.

4. Adventure Theatre MTC has summer camps for children that focus on musical theatre and culminate in a performance of a show that is age-appropriate. Check out their website for more information.

The DC Metro area has a plethora of opportunities for children interested in the performing arts. Spend some time seeing some local youth theatre this spring and see if your child longs for a moment in the spotlight!