Save the drama for Hill Country Community Theatre summer camp June 9-20

DANIEL CLIFTON • PICAYUNE EDITOR

COTTONWOOD SHORES — The Hill Country Community Theatre is looking for a cast of characters for its upcoming Hill Country Junior Players Summer Drama Camp — and no experience is necessary.

“The camp is for kids to come out and expose them to the theater,” said Maris Lynne Long, president of the theater’s board of governors. “It’s been a very popular summer program.”

The camp is June 9-20 and sessions are 1-4:30 p.m. On June 20, campers will hold a final performance at 6 p.m.

HCCT’s Theresa Bishop said the camp gives kids a taste of the theater, but it’s more than reading through a few scripts or acting on stage. The camp, led by Michelle Jett, provides a chance for youth to develop themselves as well as a character of their choice.

“The younger ones learn to express themselves and how to build a character,” Bishop said. “In the past, each of the younger children will pick a character — say a cat. And they’ll pick a name and really give it personality. Older ones pick a superhero or another person and really build its character.”

The program includes improvisation, acting, games, musical theater and theater tech. Youth will have a chance to perform and sing.

One of the toughest things people can do is get up in front of others and speak. Long said this camp helps participants develop that confidence and public skills at an early age so they can carry it over into other parts of their lives.

But it all starts with having fun at the theater.

The kids will tackle skills the first week on a rotating workshop basis. Then, during the second week, they’ll begin focusing on an actual production to be performed June 20.

Along the way, Long said she hopes the kids will pick up a love for the theater and drama.

“Quite often, many of the youngsters who attend the camp participate in one of our productions,” she said. “So we benefit as well because we’re getting a chance to foster a new group of theater fans.”

The lessons the students learn aren’t left on stage when they leave for the night or for the rest of the summer. Theater arts carry over into so many other parts of a person’s life.

“In theater, you learn a lot of responsibility, confidence and teamwork,” Long said. “You learn to take directions well. There’s so many things you can take with you in the rest of your life.”

The camp is $155 per student for ages 7-17. Go to www.thehcct.org or call (830) 693-2474 to register or for more information.

daniel@thepicayune.com