Camp puts kids in the spotlight

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July 31, 2015 8:15 AM

This summer, Lloydminster youth can get a taste of what it’s like to put on a theatre production.

Lakeland College’s annual Theatre for Kids Summer Camp begins on Aug. 17. The first week of the camp is for children ages five to eight, while the second week is aimed at nine- to 17-year olds. Registration is open until Aug. 14, with organizers saying spaces are being filled quicker than usual.

“We run the camp as an introduction to our theatre program, so it’s a great way for kids, if they’re not sure if they want to sign up for the full program, they can certainly take the one-week camp and it’ll be an introduction as to the skills that they will learn about in the full program when we put on a full junior production of a musical,” said Mona Smith, business facilitator of performing arts at Lakeland College.

The camp covers the performing arts disciplines of singing, acting and choreography and concludes with a showcase performance in the Lakeland College cafeteria. This year, the camp is taking place in August instead of July to accommodate families who might be out of town earlier in the summer.

“What’s really special about a theatre camp or a performing arts camp is that you tend to build friendships very quickly. You’re working together, you’re in a camp for six hours a day for a week, so its pretty intense,” theatre camp instructor Kathryn Edwards said.

Every year, Edwards enlists the help of an assistant and she prefers to find someone who has been involved with her classes in the past. This year she will be assisted by Justin Marmulak, a student of Edwards’ who most recently played the Role of Gaston in Lakeland College’s production of Beauty and the Beast Jr.

At 18 years old, Marmulak is not much older than some of the campers. Edwards says some of the children who have taken part in past Lakeland College theatre productions are familiar with him.

“He’s a fantastic role model for the kids,” Edwards said. “One thing that I really admire about Justin is he always brings a lot of energy and enthusiasm. He’s always very well-prepared, he’s very encouraging to the other kids. I know a lot of the kids have really looked up to him in past productions.”

Edwards says the theatre camp is a good way to teach children the importance of teamwork. Whether on stage or behind the scenes, every cast and crew member is vital to putting on a show.

“Each person is responsible for their own part, but it all comes together to make this big picture,” Edwards said. “I often tell the kids in my class and in the camp that you’re just one piece of the puzzle and it doesn’t come together unless everybody is doing their part.”

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