Be a Camp Counselor!

You guys, I don’t know how to break this to you, but this school year is almost over.  I know this is devastating news.  What are you going to do with all of that extra time that you normally spend conjugating foreign verbs and creating PowerPoint presentations?

For SCT, the end of school means the beginning of summer camp, which is our all-time favoritest-favorite thing to do.  For eight glorious weeks, kids and teens get to focus on simply being here and enjoying a fully-immersive theatre experience without the added pressure of homework assignments, test prep, or matching socks.  We adore getting to watch our students relax and enjoy their summers, with an absolutely 0% chance of sunburn.

Junior Counselors     One of the best events we offer during the summer is our Junior Counselor program for rising 9th-12th graders.  High school students get to act as production assistants during camps, and in return, earn tuition to attend the teen camp.  Pretty sweet deal, right?  Junior Counselors work hard at each camp session, assisting younger students, facilitating theatre games, and providing production assistance; everything from sewing costumes to hot gluing props to building and painting scenery.  Oh, and they get to pick theme days and dress up to come to “work.”

Rising 9th-12th graders need to apply for the program by filling out a JC application form and having it signed by a parent or guardian.  If accepted into our program, JCs must attend a mandatory training session, and be available to work an entire session of camp, including the show weekend.  If you have any questions, please feel free to ask them!  Over the years, our JCs have repeatedly told us that they look forward to working summer camps more than almost anything else during the year.  So…what are you waiting for?

Juniors

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What We Did on Our Summer Vacation

 

Y’all. 

We had a busy summer. 

Between May 1st and August 3rd, we did 52 performances of 15 different musicals. Most theatre companies do 5 shows a season…but I guess we’re not most theatre companies! From Shakespeare to Fosse, Disney to Dreamworks, we offered our community a little bit of everything, and a lot of opportunities to smile. Here’s a glimpse at our 2014 summer theatre mania! 

Dreamworks Theatrical’s SHREK, the MUSICAL

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STAR STRUCK DANCE CAMP

 

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A CHORUS LINE

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Disney’s THE JUNGLE BOOK, KIDS
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SWEET CHARITYIMG_6537

Disney’s BEAUTY and the BEAST, JR.
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In addition to these wonderful productions (which include many others that are not pictured), we also had a few special events. Dr. Allan Taaca and Jenn Doubleday took home 1st place for Judge’s Choice and 1st place for Audience Choice at this year’s Ballroom Extravaganza, while raising over $11,000 to kickstart our 2014-2015 season! We also had our first ever Fairy Tale Festival (quickly nicknamed FairyFest), which offered the tiny pirates and princesses in our community the chance to experience a small taste of what SCT has to offer. Thanks to Renee McMahon and the folks at Enchant My Party, we had a magical time! 

2014 DANCING with the DOCS BALLROOM EXTRAVAGANZA
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2014 FAIRYFEST

fairyfest arielWe know what you’re thinking. What’s next?! We have so much in store for this year, and we look forward to sharing it with you! Keep checking our Facebook page and our website for information about classes, auditions, and the multitude of ways that your family can become a part of SCT. We can’t wait to make your fairy tales come true! 

 

Stage Light > Sun Light, by Jeremy Kole

     What’s your favorite part about summer in Savannah?  Hot Tybee days?  Time to hang out with friends?  Endless opportunities for sleep?  While all of these are valid and very enjoyable, I’ve decided that the Savannah Children’s Theatre Summer Camps are your new favorites!

And you can register for them HERE

     Subtlety has never been my strong suit.

     While schools shut their doors during the summer, SCT keeps their’s open to continue creating fantastic shows for audiences of all ages!  Guided by a crew of immensely talented counselors, campers will learn the fundamentals of musical theater (singing, dancing, art, acting, etc.), while auditioning and rehearsing for a full-length musical comedy. Their productions will run for a full weekend of three performances, complete with costumes, scenery, lighting, playbills, and most importantly, popcorn and cotton candy!

     This year we have four sessions of camp for 2nd-8th graders. It is important to note that, as of this blog post, Stories of Scheherezade, Princess Whatsername and Disney’s The Jungle Book are completely full.  If you really have your heart set on one of those shows, you can add your name to the wait list, or get outside of your comfort zone and do a new show you’ve never seen before!

     For teens who also have the theater bug, we are starting a brand new program called Summer at Arts!  Using the fantastic (and huge!) theatre space at Savannah Arts Academy, we will be producing an entire summer season of shows just for 9th-12th grades.  See?!

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   For the wee ones who like to play make believe, we have Camp Creative Adventures at Savannah Country Day.  Each week, PreK-1st grade students will tackle a new theme to let their imaginations run free. Activities include theatre games, story time, puppet crafts, and music lessons. This half-day camp is a great way to get little ones involved!

You can register here for those.

     Summer is the perfect opportunity for newcomers!  I know that new experiences can be daunting, especially to young people, but there is no place more open and accommodating to newbies than good ol’ SCT.  I can guarantee that any shy kid will slip into a smile by lunch…maybe sooner.  Also, everybody gets a chance!  Shows are auditioned for and cast during the camp, and while I cannot promise lead roles to everybody (a truth that saddens many), I can assure you that experience is not a requirement.  Even if you don’t get a “leading” role, TRUST ME, you’ll have plenty to do!  Inversely, campers who don’t feel ready for the limelight  will not be forced to do anything that makes them uncomfortable.

     My very first show at SCT was playing Tom Sawyer at summer camp, so this season has my head filled with nostalgia. Seven years later, I now have the opportunity to Stage Manage at SCT and share some of the things I have learned within its walls.

See that handsome devil in the straw hat? The cutie in the bonnet is SCT veteran Emily Browne..and the world may never know who is hiding behind that chalk board...

See that handsome devil in the straw hat? That’s me! The cutie in the bonnet is SCT veteran Emily Browne…and the world may never know who is hiding behind that chalk board…

     If you have been entranced by my praises for SCT Summer Camps (and how could you not be?), why not trade sun light for stage light?!  Sing some songs, dance some dances, even take a bow or two!  Yeah, receiving applause is always an adrenaline rush, but when the curtain drops for the final time and summer camp comes to an end, one of the most valuable things a camper takes home with them is a sense of community. Casts become families, ensembles become inseparable, and lifelong friends are made in the process.  So, what are you waiting for?

REGISTER!

Auditioning Techniques, by Christopher Blair

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Does auditioning make you nervous?  Me, too.  I always imagine my auditions feeling like this…

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     But they usually make me feel like this…
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     I’ve always found it fascinating that actors willingly walk into a room full of strangers to bare their souls offering it up to be critiqued and assessed, when most people would run from situations like these.   But it’s what you’ve got to do if you want to get the part.  So we muster up our courage, get up there and show ‘em what we’ve got!
     I’ve been doing theatre for approximately 4,000 years and I’ve learned a few things along the way.  So, if you’re someone like me who would rather clean Shrek’s outhouse than audition, here’s a few tips I have to share.
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Relax
     Easier said than done.  Everyone accomplishes this difficult task differently.  Personally, I like deep breathing.  Others might like exercise, or imagining everyone in the room wearing chicken costumes.  Just do what works for you.  Most theatre classes, including those at SCT, teach relaxation techniques to help you prepare for the stress of live performances.  But no matter how worked up we get, the truth is that the world will not end if you blow your high note or you miss a dance step, so do yourself a favor and relax.  Being relaxed encourages self-confidence.  Self-confidence inspires others to be confident in you.
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Make Yourself Comfortable
     Wear something that allows you to move.  If you know that there will be a dance audition, it might be a good idea to show up in loose-fitting pants or leggings rather than jeans.  Just make sure that you still look pleasant and professional, not like you’ve just come running in all sweaty from the gym.
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Do Your Homework
     Find out everything you can about the show for which you auditioning.  If the show has been adapted into a film, watch it.  If it has a cast recording, listen to it.  If the script is available for purchase, read it.  Use the internet!  There is no such thing as having too much information.  This gets you familiar with the material, and gives you an idea of what roles might be right for you.
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Pretend it’s Opening Night
     If you hate auditioning but love performing, use the same energy that you would for a performance.  Pretend there’s an audience there to entertain, even if there’s only one or two people.  Use all the joy you find in performing during the audition.  This will give the casting team a much clearer idea of your abilities and who you are as a performer.  Light up the stage!
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    I don’t guarantee that using these techniques will always get you the part you want, but they will help make auditioning a less scary and stressful experience.  Each of our summer camps starts with an audition, so if you or your child is registered for camp, I hope you’ve found these tips helpful!    Remember that everyone on the casting team wants you to be your best.  We’re all rooting for you!  Oh, and there’s one more tip…
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Don’t Forget to Have Fun! 
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Musical Theatre Summer Camps

     Our mission statement is to inspire, educate, and entertain children and families through the experience of live theatre, both on and off the stage.  This one sentence drives everything that we do.  We strive to uphold it every day, and if we find ourselves planning something that doesn’t achieve it, then we throw it out and start over again.  In every show, every class, every workshop we aim to inspire, educate, and entertain your family, whether you prefer to be on the stage or behind the scenes.

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Alice in Wonderland, Jr

 _____The On with the Show! camps we offer do just that.   Everyone who is registered for the camp is guaranteed a part in the show; the auditions on the first day of camp determine which ones.  When the show has been cast, they begin to rehearse!  For half of the day students take classes in dance, music and scenic arts, all designed to enhance the production they are rehearsing.  (For example, in Disney’s Mulan Jr. students learned tai-chi and fan dancing; in Robin Hood they learned stage combat and made coats of arms.)  The rest of the day is dedicated to rehearsing the musical and getting everything ready for three public performances!

42nd Street

42nd Street

_____In 2014 we are launching a brand new Summer at Arts camp experience at Savannah Arts Academy, designed especially for our teen performers.   For our inaugural season we will be producing Shakespeare’s The Tempest, A Chorus Line, and Sweet Charity.   Due to the mountain of material these teens will be learning, the day will take a more summer-stock approach to rehearsal.  They’ll rehearse until they’re all sweaty and happy, break for lunch, and then do it all again.  With this kind of schedule, we get to build an artistic momentum that is difficult to achieve with after-school schedules during the year.  I can’t wait to see the awesome theatre we’re going to make this summer at SAA!

     For the wee ones, we offer a series at Savannah Country Day School called Creative Adventures.  Our CA Director, Cynthia Holmen, has been directing this camp for eight years now, and it’s just about the most fun any 4-year-old can have.  Each week has a theme like pirates or outer-space, and the kids dive head-first into creative play using storybooks, puppets, costumes, arts and crafts, and imagination-igniting theatre games.  This is a half-day camp, and it is action-packed, to say the least!

The Bremen Town Musicians

The Bremen Town Musicians

      For the jittery among us, we offer a dance camp that focuses on jazz and lyrical dance styles commonly found in musical theatre.  As with all of our camps, we welcome students of all experience levels.  If you’re 7 and you’ve already won Miss Pirouette USA, or if you’re 17 and you’ve never lifted both feet off the floor at the same time, we will meet you where you are and take you to the next level.  This camp is fast-paced and fun, but we do include time for yoga and fancy breathing.

_____Of all of the wonderful things I get to do at SCT, summer camp is my favorite.   I love getting to spend time with my students when they are free from the stresses of their school lives.  Instead of seeing them in two-hour spurts, we have the time to truly get to know them, their strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes.  We share meals together, and we share inside jokes, successes, and failures.  Year after year I see new friendships built on lines of musical theatre.  This year, I hope you’ll be a part of it.

     Sign up for summer camps by downloading this registration form. Shows include The Stories of Scheherazade, Paintin’ the Fence: A Tom Sawyer Musical, Princess Whatsername, Twinderella, Disney’s The Jungle Book Kids, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Jr., Shakespeare’s The Tempest, A Chorus Line, and Sweet Charity.