WCU to host theater camp for children July 13-17

Children ages 8 to 13 are invited to participate in Western Carolina University’s 2009 Theatre Summer Camp, from Monday, July 13, through Friday, July 17. At camp’s end, the children will stage a play of their own creation based on an activity where they assume characters according to different hats.

Children ages 8 to 13 are invited to participate in Western Carolina University’s 2009 Theatre Summer Camp, from Monday, July 13, through Friday, July 17. At camp’s end, the children will stage a play of their own creation based on an activity where they assume characters according to different hats.

Children can explore the world of theater this summer during a weeklong summer camp hosted by Western Carolina University’s College of Fine and Performing Arts.

The Theatre Summer Camp will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, July 13, through Friday, July 17. The camp is for children ages 8 to 13 years old. The cost is $125 per child, with additional children from the same family receiving a rate of $100 for the week. Camp is limited to 40 participants, with campers providing their own lunches, snacks and beverages.

Camp participants will perform a show of their own creation at 7 p.m. Friday, July 17, at the Fine and Performing Arts Center.

The camp requires no previous theater experience, although children with a theater background are welcome, said Paul Lormand, director of WCU’s Fine and Performing Arts Center. “The camp is an opportunity for children to develop an interest in theater and to develop an appreciation for live theater,” Lormand said. “It’s really about creativity and using your imagination.”

Professional actors with Bright Star Children’s Theatre, an Asheville theater company, will run the camp. Activities will include games, improvisation, basic directing, learning stage direction, tours of the WCU theater facilities and more. The campers’ performance will grow from an activity where the children play characters based on a selection of hats – such as a top hat, sailor’s hat or nurse’s cap – they are given to wear.

Lormand decided to host the camp as a service to the community’s younger children, who have limited opportunities to engage in theater. He would like the camp to become an annual event for younger children in the tradition of the Triple Arts Broadway Series, held each year on campus for high school and college students and led by Terrence Mann, a Broadway actor and WCU’s Phillips Distinguished Professor of Musical Theatre.

David Ostergaard, a native of Sylva, launched Bright Star Theatre in August 2003. Each year, the theater group’s 12 actors perform hundreds of children’s shows in 14 states. Bright Star’s summer theater camps are led by professional actors with teaching experience. Because the camp offers a variety of theater-related activities, it allows campers to find a niche, Ostergaard said. “The camps also inspire team-building skills, trust, confidence and friendships,” he said. “And by the end of the week, the students have the accomplishment of putting on a play.”

The camp registration deadline is Friday, July 10. For more information, go online to www.wcu.edu/fapac, or contact Lormand at (828) 227-2505 or lormand@wcu.edu. If e-mailing to register a camper, include the name of the child and parent or legal guardian, a telephone number and address. Payment is due the first day of camp.