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This is the first in an ongoing FCN series on educational school camps for children this summer.
Liberty Middle School’s musical theater camp offers something for everyone. Thursday, it was comedy.
After perfecting their rendition of “Comedy Tonight,” the kids were all smiles, energetic to try their hand at more improv games.
“It’s been awesome. I’ve had all this fun,” said rising eighth grader Bri Owens. “Doing all these songs and everything, I feel like I’m on Broadway in a little classroom.”
The camp, now in its second year, is just one of several being offered by the school and system. Classes began Monday and will end Thursday, when students have an end-of-camp performance. The two-week drama camp is under the direction of the school’s drama teacher, Evelyn Cummo, and Bob Russell, a well-known producer, director and musician in the Forsyth County arts community.
Cummo said she has a passion for musical theater and wanted to teach children to have that same appreciation.
“It’s such a creative outlet for them,” she said. “I’m trying to find a good mix between learning and fun. Because it’s a camp, and so even though I’m trying to teach them some of the fundamentals of drama, I want to make sure that they’re having a great time too.”
In addition to learning songs, monologues and dialogues for Thursday’s camp showcase, students are playing improv games, learning choreography, stage management, voice projection and how to own the spotlight, something Owens knows a lot about.
“I really like to be on stage and I like to have the spotlight,” she said. “I take dance so I know how to express myself through music, but I was really excited to do more stage presence and have more self-confidence on stage.”
Rising seventh grader Kara Middleton said she was just as excited about the learning part as she was the games. The camp, she said, is a perfect combination for her.
“I really love drama. All those feelings you feel throughout the day, all those emotions you can just express through your character ... I’m also really serious about music so it’s two of my favorite things rolled up into one.
Middleton said her favorite part so far was the audition round, where each camper sang a song in front of the group.
“It was just fun to see not just other people’s voices, but their style of music,” she said. “It’s really cool.”
Accompanying the group on piano while they performed, Russell said he was having a great time at camp.
“It’s really fun to work with these kids,” he said.
The final showcase performance will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday at Liberty’s drama classroom stage. The show is free and open to the community.