Acting camp helps children build confidence, talent
Published: Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, August 1, 2012 12:08
Someone walking into the Metropolitan Theatre on a weekday morning might think a bunch of noisy children inside were just misbehaving. They might be acting up, but they’re doing so for a summer acting camp sponsored by the Morgantown Theatre Company.
On weekdays this summer from 8:15 a.m.-12:30 p.m., children ages 7-12 can attend camp at the Metropolitan Theatre on High Street. Students participate in theater, art, music, dance and creative writing activities, depending on the theme for the week.
This summer is the first summer the camp has been only half of a day instead of a full day. Consequently, enrollment is down, according to Nick Keresztury, volunteer event coordinator for the Morgantown Theatre Company.
"When we got started 10 years ago, this camp filled a void in Morgantown," Keresztury said. "There weren’t many theater camps around, and now there are quite a few."
According to Keresztury a full day is difficult to organize, and it’s more beneficial to focus on the theater aspect.
Despite the drop in attendance, Keresztury believes the camp is a perfect opportunity for children to learn about theater, from making costumes and props to acting in the final performance at the end of the summer.
"I think it’s important to get the kids involved at a younger age because they’re more likely to come back and gain more experience in theater," Keresztury said.
Keresztury enjoys working with the camp and marvels at the children’s talents.
"I think the most rewarding part is seeing how excited the students are to participate," Keresztury said. "A lot of times this is their first experience, and it’s possible that the parents are just looking for something to do, but the kids come in and keep taking classes year after year."
Camp instructor Katie Luckini agrees the summer camp is a beneficial opportunity for the children.
"These camps are great for us as a company because it recruits new kids to be in our plays and we promote children’s theater in Morgantown," she said. "This camp is important because it builds confidence in the kids and allows them to socialize."
Luckini described how the camp can help children break down social barriers.
"When kids can sing and dance and express themselves in that way, it just gives them the confidence to speak in front of a crowd or go talk to a new person, for example," she said.
The children enrolled agree they enjoy MTC’s summer camp. Cord Cobun, who has been attending camp for four years, enjoys meeting new friends and will always remember playing the steel drums two years ago.
"This week has been really, really fun because it involves my favorite pastimes: singing and dancing," Cobun said.
Kate Aultman-Moore, age 11, is enjoying her first week of MTC summer camp.
"I like being with all the people, and doing the same dances and having a lot of voices with me when I’m singing," Aultman-Moore said. "I just like being with a lot of people and doing things in unison, especially dancing."
Every year, Luckini looks forward to spending time with children at the camp and watching them progress.
"When a little kid comes out of their shell a little bit, when someone really shy has a big smile on their face during a performance, or when someone sings their solo at the end and are no longer scared, that’s always a rewarding moment," said Luckini.
Tuition for the camp is $125 per week. To register, visit www.morgantowntheatrecompany.org and submit the Summer Camp 2012 registration form. Contact the Morgantown Theatre Company if you have any questions or concerns at (304) 291-6826.