Aspiring actors and actresses took to the stage last week to learn the fundamentals of acting during the 2013 summer Theatre Camp, held at the Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas.
Theatre Camp I participants, which included students ages 8 to 12 years old, were taught to combine voice, body and their imaginations to create believable moments on stage. The students were also taught theatre games and activities, movements on stage, voice projection, how to keep and use focus and how to develop confidence on stage.
Stephanie Ong, the instructor for the camp and a 2007 graduate of Watson Chapel High School, said she had two really energetic groups of students for the camp.
“All have been willing and eager to jump in and try new things which has made it really fun,” Ong said. “We have been teaching the seven basic movements, stage direction, connecting voice and breath … the basic theatre techniques. With the younger group, we’ve been tapping more into their imaginations,” she said.
Ashanti Lewis, 12, who said the camp had been fun, desires to one day become an actress.
“We learned how to act, have fun together and we have also learned the seven movements,” she said.
The camp also included a Theatre II session, which was designed for students ages 13-18. Theatre II was based on exercises that combine acting fundamentals with text, conflict resolution and acting with a partner. During this session, students were taught to develop character using vocal and physical elements and improvisation. Students also learned text with conflict and resolution, voice and diction, exploring through improvisation, acting with a partner, and creating honest moments in a scene.
“With the older group, it was like an acting laboratory where we give them something and they work on it as a group,” Ong said. “We let them express what their idea of theatre technique is and then we correct them. So that makes it well-rounded.”
Ong, a University of Arkansas at Little Rock graduate with a degree in performance theatre, will also serve as director of the center’s upcoming musical, “Oliver.”
Other participants in the Theatre I Camp included Hudson Bland, Jada Boyd, Myra Corpulis, Ramiro Corpulis, Aaliyah Handy, Darrien Handy, Paul McDonald, Claudie Saunders, Allen Smith, Maddison Stover and Allan Tate Jr.
The center will continue its slate of summer activities with Art Camp on Monday through Friday. Art I, for ages 5 to 11, will be held from 9 to 11 a.m., with Art II, for ages 12-18 from 1 to 4 p.m.
For those children who desire to explore scientific principles through hands-on activities, the center will offer its Tinkering/Science Camp on June 24-28. Tinker Jr., for ages 5 to 11, will be from 9 to 11 a.m. Tinker Sr., for ages 12 to 17, will be from 1 to 4 p.m.
For more information about participation in these camps, contact the Arts & Science Center at 870-536-3375. The center is located at 701 Main St., and is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, 1-4 on Saturday, and is closed on Sunday.