ELKINS - In the course of three summer camps at the Old Brick Playhouse this month, 75 local students have performed plays for their families, broadened their theatrical skills and had an educational good time.
Summer camp season at the Old Brick closes out this week with 35 students ages 8 to 11 ready to take on their roles in "The Further Adventures of Beauty and the Beast" on Friday. The summer camp program has been servicing aspiring actors and actresses during the summer for nearly 22 years.
Executive Director Missy Armentrout McCollam always aims to create a positive learning environment for those participating so they will grow to become more comfortable on stage.
The Inter-Mountain photo by Sarah Cooper
Alexandra Hall stacks glasses during an activity at The Old Brick Playhouse summer camp this week.
The Inter-Mountain photos by Sarah Cooper
Raven Currence, Ravyn Weirich, Kaia Miller and Hannah Cutright read lines from ‘Further Adventures of Beauty and the Beast’ while Maxie McCollam reclines on a bench.
Dylan Hinzman and Alexandra Hall participate in activties at The Old Brick Playhouse.
Campers Eli Wells-Bolyard and Lucas D'Angelo practice their roles.
"I know that it builds self-confidence. The first time they're in a play somewhere, it's usually a negative experience," said McCollam, "Even if they forget their lines we try to make it as low stress as possible so that they want to do it again."
McCollam and her staff try to incorporate a packed schedule of theatrical events and games into the camps. She said this way kids can enjoy a summer camp experience while meeting others from the community and exercising their creativity through theatrical projects.
Each play is handpicked from familiar material and transformed into a script that accommodates both the amount of students participating and their needs.
"The camps have gone really well. We had great attendance this year," said McCollam.
The first week of the summer camps featured the youngest group of campers, ages 5 to 7, McCollam said.
The second week featured middle school and high school campers participating in what the Playhouse calls,"Studi-oli-o." The program is modeled after college acting classes.
"Studi-oli-o" students write and perform their own original monologues, and perform aspects of musical theatre in order to broaden their training.
For more information about the Old Brick Playhouse, call 304-637-9090.