DRAMA CAMP CURRICULUM
Basic Level Camp (Ages 4-10)
The Basic Level is about creating great performers at a young age. But it is also about so much more...
The First Week
We begin each day with warm-up games to help campers with physical and emotional expression. During the warm-up sequence, each camper does a "mini performance" -- usually a silly one-liner -- which they repeat several times in different ways. They are cheered on by their teachers and fellow campers. In other words, each camper is a performer from Day One, and performs every day in front of an audience!
Positive reinforcement is the name of the game here. After the warm-up sequence, we get to know each other through additional theatre games. Nearly everything we do involves working onstage. During the first week, we pay close attention to each camper's needs and talents. Then, we gear the rest of the camp toward "bringing the campers out," designing individual exercises for each camper, and experiencing with children's poetry, jokes, movement, and short scripts, until we come up with a solo performance piece for each camper.
As the Basic Level progresses, we bring in a variety of literature and activities. If a child is still learning how to read, we use performance to help improve reading. If a child is shy, we work with them on how to perform in front of an audience while feeling safe and confident. If a child wants to audiition for an upcoming play, we help them find short audition pieces and teach them how to express themselves in a way that grabs a director's attention.
During this time, we also give camper's all the basics they need to be successful actors: training in movement, stage direction, vocal projection, articulation, and emotional expression.
Final Weeks and Performances
The last 2-3 weeks of the camp are geared toward our final program. Basic Campers will present with the Intermediate Campers, while being mentored and assisted by the Advanced Campers. The last week of the camp is a lot like an extended "pep rally," in which all the campers cheer each other on and become excited about giving the best performances possible. It is also a time when the campers become intimately acquainted with the technical aspects of theatre (such as lighting and sound), thereby completing the "theatre picture" for them.
The Basic Camp concludes with two public performances on the final Friday and Saturday of the camp (7:00 pm on Friday and 2:00 on Saturday). The total runtime of the final program is 60-90 minutes.
The Basic Camp runs...
Mondays and Wednesdays, 9:00 am to noon
Intermediate Level Camp (Ages 11-16)
The Intermediate Level is for those who are serious about acting in high school, college, and civic theatre, as well well as older students just getting into theatre.
The First Week
The first week of Intermediate is somewhat similar to Basic. We take this first week to assess the individual actor's abilities and needs, while helping the catch up on and review basic acting skills such as stage direction, movement, vocal articulation, expression, and plot.
The Intermediate Level inevitably focuses on more formal aspects of acting, such as audition skills. We train each Intermediate camper to deliver a memorized, 1-2 minute monologue that can be used as an audition piece. Then we work on dialogue, characterization, and ensemble performance.
Each year, the subject matter for Intermediate is different. For example, in one summer we focused on adapting ancient myths for the stage. Another summer we focused on satirizing fairy tales. One year, we even did a summer on different types of comedy!
Each member of the Intermediate Level is treated as if they would eventually like to move up to the Advanced Level. Accordingly, there is a stronger focus on dramatic literature than in the Basic Level.
The Intermediate Camp runs...
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9:00 am to 12:00 noon
Advanced Level Camp (by invitation and interview only)
We take pride in providing our campers with training they normally would not get outside of an intensive professional program. We focus heavily on personal goal-setting and ﬁnding “the next level.” The ﬁrst week introduces the style of performance we will undertake in the ﬁnal program (for example, farce, radio drama, Shakespeare, oral interpretation, international plays). We then work each camper through the concepts and skills based on the Stanislavski System. Each year is a different type of performance, based upon what campers need to improve. Many of our Advanced campers are returning campers, but we always welcome new campers after an interview with the director. The interview process for new campers is used to assess 1) that the camper is capable of reviewing our most fundamental advanced material and 2) where areas of improvement and skill lie in the individual actor.
Whenever possible, we like to bring in guest teachers and former campers to talk to campers and give them mini "master classes" which we would not otherwise be able to provide. Placement in this camp is by director’s discretion, and is for experienced actors on the high school and college levels. New campers must interview with the camp director for a place in the camp. Placement is at the discretion of the Camp Director.
The Advanced Camp runs...
Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, 12:30 pm to 3:00 pm
Placement in the Advanced section is at the Camp Director's discretion.