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Summer fun: Piedmont Players has productions for all ages

PPT Summer Theatre Camps
Piedmont Players Theatre Summer Theatre Camps are accepting reservations. Spaces are limited, call 704-633-5471 to sign up a student, after which a registration form will be sent. Registration will not be complete until a signed registration form and payment are received.
Cost:
Drama, musical and technical camps — $150 or $130 for PPT season ticket holders.
Willy Wonka performer camp (2 weeks) — $250.
Special needs camp — $70.
Need-based scholarships are available. Contact the PPT office for more details.
Camps:
• June 11-15
The Lion King (elementary musical): Rising 3rd-5th graders; 9 a.m.-2 p.m.; instructor Gwen Matthews. Spend a week learning the rich music of “The Lion King.” Students will dance into the circle of life with Simba, Zazu, Timon, Pumba, Rafiki, Mufasa, Scar, Shenzi and Nala. The summer camp will journey from the Pride Lands to the Wastelands and back again to Pride Rock.
• June 18-22
Think it, Write it, Play it! (elementary drama): Rising 3rd-5th graders; 9 a.m.-2 p.m; instructor Amber Adams. Have you ever wanted to write your very own play? This camp takes creative ensemble work and turns it into a performance that each child can be proud of. Campers will focus on out-of-the-box thinking and “what if” analyses of many situations that could be staged. The goal is development of character and plot through fun theater games, activities and improvisation. Through this, the ensemble will work together to write their own short play for parent performances.
Broadway Boot Camp (middle/high musical): Rising 6th-12th graders; 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; instructor Gwen Matthews. Learn numbers from all of the Broadway classics: “Wicked,” “Grease,” “West Side Story,” just to name a few. Enjoy a week of singing and dancing, Broadway style.
• June 25-June 29
“Annie” (elementary musical): Rising 3rd-5th graders; 9 a.m.-2 p.m.; instructor Gwen Matthews. Experience the excitement of taking part in one of the most beloved musicals in history. Play the part of Miss Hannigan, Daddy Warbucks, the adorable orphans and, of course, Annie herself.
Voice and Dialects for the Actor (high school): Rising 9th-12th graders; 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; instructor Alex Reynolds. A weeklong opportunity to learn how to use your voice on stage, covering topics such as quality of the voice, finding your range, creating new voices and developing dialects. Learn how to use the voice in different ways, explore different accents and find the variations on your own speech through games, sound clips and skits. If you’ve ever made funny voices to get a laugh or imagined being from a different country because it seemed fun, this is the camp for you. At the end of the week our new characters will find life through a performance for family and friends.
• July 9-13
Improv (middle school): Rising 6th-8th graders; 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; instructor Alex Reynolds. Have you ever wanted to be the one that makes the joke people remember long after the day is done? An intensive one week study of improvisational skills. Learn how to play short form improv games. Basic acting abilities will be enhanced, ability to improvise will improve, as well as thinking on one’s feet and speaking in public with confidence. At the end of the week students will host their own improv show for family and friends and show off their newfound ability to make it up off the top of their heads. If you like to laugh and love being creative this is the camp for you.
The Art of Comedy (elementary drama): Rising 3rd-5th graders; 9 a.m.-2 p.m.; instructor Amber Adams. If you like wit, puns, farce and hilarity, this camp is it. With foundations in early Italian farce (Commedia dell’Arte), students will act out scenarios and given circumstances through improvisation to develop a better understanding of the inner workings of comedy. In respect to the history of farce, we will practice slapstick comedy and quick thinking skills. Students will learn ways to portray character through movement and tone. Lots of fast-paced, wit-filled theater games and fun sketches, scenes and snippets with hilarious and interesting characters.
• July 16-20
‘I like to move it move it’ (middle/high school): Rising 6th-12th graders; 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; instructor Alex Reynolds. Focus on movement for character and how to use our bodies to create a new personality on stage. Finding ways to get connected and focus our minds using physical warm ups. We will use stock characters from Commedia dell’Arte and then explore how movement creates stereotypes as well as how it helps us become non-human characters realistically on stage. Finding new ways to use your body and understanding how it influences your performance onstage is vital for every actor looking to expand their range. Introduction to Theater (elementary drama): Rising 3rd-5th graders; 9 a.m.-2 p.m.; instructor Shelley Porter-Walker. Kids can start loving theater at any time, but we find it��s best to catch them early. Games, puzzles, tongue-twisters and general silliness in this elementary school camp will give your child a basic grasp of design and acting skills. They will learn how to read a script and create a character, set a scene, choose costumes for a character and use props. A small production at the end of the week for family and friends will give them a chance to show off their new skills.
• July 23-27
“The Lion King “(elementary musical): See description above.
Costume Design – “The Lion King” (middle/high technical): Ages 12-plus; 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; instructor Shelley Porter-Walker. Learn the basics of costume design and construction from concepts and sketching to sewing and fitting. Bring your home sewing machine if you have one. Learn the importance of teamwork while meeting with the director and other designers to create a cohesive whole production. Discuss all aspects of design including color, pattern, themes and concepts. Learn the basics of how clothes are made and altered, follow patterns to create pieces and occasionally make simple patterns from scratch. An opportunity to experience costumes and clothes in a whole new way.
• July 30-Aug. 3
Special Needs Camp: Rising 6th-12th graders; 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.; instructor Jtan Whisenant. For students with physical and mental disabilities who want to have fun and do theater. Theater is a great way for these special students to learn and express themselves. Campers will play games, do puzzles and learn basic acting and design skills. At the end of the week they will put on a small production for family and friends.
Introduction to Theater (elementary drama): See description above.
Production Camp – “Willy Wonka,” join us for a summer production: with three options, there is sure to be a place for you in this summer production camp. For the performers out there, take the two-week performer camp to be on stage during the production. For our backstage youth, we have either a one-week tech camp or a one-week costume/makeup design camp.
• Aug. 6 – Aug. 17
Performer Camp (middle /high musical): Rising 6th-12th graders; 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; instructor Gwen Matthews. A two week intensive camp that puts together the production of “Willy Wonka.” Campers will learn choreography, music and scripts to the entire show. Campers must be able to attend both weeks.
• Aug. 13 – Aug. 17
Technical Camp (middle/ high technical): Rising 6th- 12th graders; 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; instructor Allen Jones. Does your child love the theater but does not want to perform? Tech campers will help design and build the set and lights for the production of “Willy Wonka.” Students will get the chance to experience building a production from the ground up, learn how to safely use hand and power tools, how to hang and focus theatrical lights, and how to work backstage as crew and stage managers.
Costume & Makeup Design (middle/high technical): Rising 6th- 12th graders; 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; instructor Shelley Porter-Walker. Learn the basics of costume design and construction, from concepts and sketching to sewing and fitting. Bring your home sewing machine if you have one. Learn the importance of teamwork while meeting with the director and other designers to create a cohesive whole production. Discuss all aspects of design including color, pattern, themes, and concepts. Learn the basics of how clothes are made and altered, following patterns to create pieces and occasionally make simple patterns from scratch.
About PPT’S instructors
Gwen Matthews is excited about her third year of Summer Theatre Camps. Last year she taught the hit “Little Mermaid” and “Glee” camps. Matthews has also directed Disney’s “The Jungle Book KIDS!” and “Honk! Jr.” at Piedmont Players.
Amber Adams is coming back for her second year of teaching PPT Summer Camps. Last year she taught elementary drama camps. Adams is finishing her BFA in theater education at UNC-Greensboro.
Alex Reynolds is a newcomer to the summer theatre camps but not a newcomer to theater education. He is the director of theater education at Carson High School in Salisbury.
Shelley Porter-Walker is returning for another year of Summer Theatre Camps. She has not only taught summer camps to elementary and middle school students the past two years, but she is also the costume designer for all of the Norvell Theater youth productions at PPT.
Jtan Whisenant is in her third year as special needs instructor. She is certified in working with special needs students and she also does a great job with the theater students.
Allen Jones is here for his second year of teaching technical theater camp. He holds a BFA in technical theater from Catawba College and is a backstage scene shop worker here at PPT.

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