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Annual Dallas Theater drama camp a sold-out show
by Mary Cosgrove
mcosgrove@neighbornewspapers.com
August 05, 2014 02:33 PM | 1456 views | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Samantha M. Shal<br>Aniston Williams, 10, daughter of Starla Williams of Hiram, plays the role of a grasshopper during the Dallas Theater’s 2014 Drama Camp.
Staff / Samantha M. Shal
Aniston Williams, 10, daughter of Starla Williams of Hiram, plays the role of a grasshopper during the Dallas Theater’s 2014 Drama Camp.
slideshow
Staff / Samantha M. Shal<br>Students from ages 10 to 12 rehearse for the show 'Attack of the Giant Grasshoppers' during the Dallas Theater's 2014 Drama Camp.
Staff / Samantha M. Shal
Students from ages 10 to 12 rehearse for the show 'Attack of the Giant Grasshoppers' during the Dallas Theater's 2014 Drama Camp.
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Staff / Samantha M. Shal<br>From left, Dallas Theatre Drama Camp counselor Terrell Flemings and Jaida Henley, 11, daughter of Terry Henley of Douglasville, act out a scene during an improv game.
Staff / Samantha M. Shal
From left, Dallas Theatre Drama Camp counselor Terrell Flemings and Jaida Henley, 11, daughter of Terry Henley of Douglasville, act out a scene during an improv game.
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Staff / Samantha M. Shal<br>Elliott Westbrook, 11, son of Bethany Voyles of Dallas, plays the role of Robert in 'Attack of the Giant Grasshoppers' during the Dallas Theater's 2014 Drama Camp.
Staff / Samantha M. Shal
Elliott Westbrook, 11, son of Bethany Voyles of Dallas, plays the role of Robert in 'Attack of the Giant Grasshoppers' during the Dallas Theater's 2014 Drama Camp.
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It’s a wrap on Dallas Theater’s fifth year of hosting its drama camp for children and teens — a summer event that is ever-growing in popularity.

The camp ran for six weeks, with weeklong camps offered in four groups from ages 5 to 15.

Campers got a crash course introduction to theater and learned various aspects of the art form.

Dallas Theater Manager Emily Shipp said the campers learned theater terminology, auditioning skills, improvisation and makeup techniques.

Each camp ended with a performance by the campers, and the skills learned during camp catered to the performance.

The camp did not just revolve around learning acting skills and the ins and outs of performances, Shipp said.

“We have kids who learn they aren’t geared for the stage,” Shipp said. “They are interested in tech, directing, stage managing. We had kids this year who got excited about advertising for theater — making show posters.”

In fact, she said with the camps having wrapped up at the end of last month, camp organizers are going to put their heads together to figure out a way to expand the camp in the future, including more aspects of theater and possibly hosting two camp sessions of different age groups during the same week.

Currently, the camp accepts only 20 children per session, so each camper gets the full attention of the teachers and assistants who lead the sessions.

“That’s why we do what we do so well, because we aren’t doing a cattle call and pushing kids as fast as possible through camp,” Shipp said.

The sessions are led by teachers who have extensive theater backgrounds, with each age group learning from between three and four instructors.

“We need them to know how to work with children and enjoy it, as well as understand the fundamentals of theater and articulate that and teach it to the kids,” Shipp said.

The drama camp has proven very popular, with participants coming back year after year and sessions filling up within days of registration opening.

“The kids walk away with a real personal experience and get the idea and grasp of what theater is all about,” Shipp said.

Educating children about theater is an important aspect of Dallas Theater and something Shipp said its staff members strive to do.

“We’ve always said one of our main focuses here is to build a love of arts in the community,” she said.

For more information, visit www.dallastheater-civiccenter.com.

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