Youth Theatre camps to share with community

Not only does Pier One entertain Homer with quality plays, but it also provides youth with the opportunity to learn about acting with hands on experience through youth theatre camps.

Jennifer Norton, along with many other members of the Pier One community, firmly believes in the benefits of theatre camp.

“It’s just such a wonderful opportunity, getting kids used to speaking in public,” said Norton, also adding spontaneity and helping kids get used to new situations as benefits of theatre camps.

Lindsey Schneider, former camp attendee, and now a camp director, added to Norton’s statement, saying that theatre camps enabled her to build stage confidence, and helped her to gain basic acting skills. She went on to recount many fond memories from her theatre camp days.

Beginning Pier One’s camp season was the Theatre Play Camp for young kids, ages five to eight. This group, directed by Kathleen Gustafson began June 6, ends today, but does not have a sharing performance open to the public.

The Skills Conservatory, which began the same day as the camp for younger children, has been directed by Lindsey Schneider with the help of Gustafson, and is for kids ages nine to 14.

According to Schneider, a typical day will begin with warm-up focus games and tongue twisters, followed by a lesson on an element of acting, such as movement on stage, character analysis or voice projection. She also says that they often brainstorm about how they are going to organize their sharing performance.

The sharing performance, taking place June 24 and 25, will be a collection of different things including monologues, duets and big group scenes, formed to one connected theme.

“We all sit down and think, ‘How do we want all these random things to connect in a show?’” said Schneider.

This year, the sharing performance is titled, “Pandora Bounty Hunter,” a name which is intriguing in itself.

“It’s about what happens with Pandora after she opens the box and evil is unleashed in the world… and has to go track down the incarnate of evil,” said Schneider.

Following the skills camp will be the Summer Production Camp, directed by Casey Parrett and Schneider. This camp, for ages 6 and up, focuses on the preparation of a specific play, this year’s being “Alice in Wonderland.” Due to high costs for differing arrangements of this play, the script for Pier One’s production has been pulled directly from the text of Lewis Carroll.

“I’m really excited for it,” said Schneider, “I was going through doing some editing and cutting on the script and there were so many little puns and stuff in there and little jabs at even politics and how people communicate.”

It seems that Schneider is not the only one excited for this production. She says that there has been plenty of enthusiasm from past camp attendees who want to come back specifically to do this show.

“I think we’re going to have a really good turnout and a big cast for that,” said Schneider, “It’s going to be fun.”

For anyone interested in participating in the Summer Production Camp, auditions will be held at Homer High on June 18, where paperwork will also be available. Schneider assures those in tight financial situations that it is still possible to be a part of the camp. She says that it’s not about the money, and that Pier One is very flexible, offering payment plans and scholarships.

“We basically just want people to show up,” said Schneider.

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