On Stage

Camping Out

Seasonal stages for kids

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Summer “break” doesn’t have the same connotations for parents as it does for kids. While the time off from school can be a relief for those who’ve been stuck in a classroom for the past nine months, it can be challenging for adults to figure out how to keep their youngsters occupied and still give them freedom to have a good time. The following drama camps offer sensible solutions for keeping busy—while still focusing on fun.

Bellingham Children’s Theatre’s Drue Robinson isn’t a kid, but she sure knows how to relate to them—both as a co-conspirator and as an instructor. The weeklong summer camps she’s set up throughout July are indicative of her passion for combining community interaction and solid theatrical experience. First up is “Random Acts & Sneaky Set Ups,” a July 8-12 camp filled with “the fun of flash mobs, city bus sings, fortune cookies, spontaneous musicals, making Bellinghamsters into ‘celebrities’ on the street, and European clowning techniques.” “Wutcracker Boot Camp,” “Spring Park: The Musical” and “Wozard of Iz” camps will follow. Each class happens from 12-5pm at various locales around Bellingham, costs $150, and is guaranteed to entertain. More info: http://www.bellinghamchildrenstheatre.com

It might be too late to sign up your kids up for Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth’s “Alice in Wonderland” classes and performances—which begin July 1 and continue through July 13 at the State Street venue—but there’s still a whole lot of acting, dancing and singing to be had throughout the summer. Highlights include a “Mamma Mia Camp” (July 8-20), a jazz improvisation camp for instrumentalists and vocalists (July 29-Aug. 14), summer youth voice classes (July 8-12), a “Pippi Longstocking” camp (July 15-26), the “Michael Jackson Experience” dance camp (July 22-Aug. 3), Disney camp (July 29-Aug 9), an indoor/outdoor camp featuring a mixed bag of dancing, singing, acting, playing in the park and more (Aug 5-16) and, finally, a “Grease the Musical” camp (Aug. 19-Sept. 6). Costs vary, and scholarships are available. More info: http://www.baay.org

The Missoula Children’s Theatre will be making its 14th stop in Bellingham this summer, so it’s obvious the nation’s largest touring children’s theatre is doing something right when it comes to enticing local kids to try their hand at professional theater. While the company brings along almost everything it will need to pull off a high-octane show—including sets, lights, costumes, props, makeup and more—the added ingredients of the main stage at the Mount Baker Theatre and the 50-60 students who rehearse with the pros throughout the week before showing what they’ve learned via two public performances make the recipe for success complete. This year’s theatrical offerings include Robinson Crusoe (showing July 27), The Wizard of Oz (Aug. 3), and Blackbeard the Pirate (Aug. 10). Each camp is $185, with discounts if your kid signs up for more than one, or if you have more than one camper taking part. More info: http://www.mountbakertheatre.com

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