Kids Hone Musical Theater Skills at Camp
“Who knows who Barbra Streisand is?” is a question that usually results in blank stares from most 10- to 15-year- olds — but that wasn’t the case with the group of kids sitting on the Ferst Center stage last Monday.
That’s because the group of 50 children were attending the Ferst Center for the Arts’ weeklong musical theater camp.
“The kids who attend this camp love to perform,” said Jenna Farmer, camp coordinator and marketing specialist for the Ferst Center. “The camp allows them to be onstage singing and dancing for an entire week in a professional theater setting, which is very exciting for a young performer, and they have a great time interacting with our talented teaching staff of professional actors and dancers.”
The Ferst Center created the camp three years ago to provide kids with an alternative to its 20-year-old, four-week drama camp.
“It was designed to be a shorter, one-week intensive camp that allows campers to focus their energy on one area of theater that we found was very popular during our drama camp,” Farmer added.
Camp activities included getting headshots taken by a professional photographer and attending a master class given by a local voice teacher. The rest of the week was filled with rehearsal for a final show held on Friday afternoon that was open to parents and friends.
The instructors who work with the campers are theater professionals from the Atlanta area who specialize in acting, dancing or voice.
Many of the campers are the children of Georgia Tech faculty and staff, such as Lynn Durham, assistant vice president and chief of staff to President G. P. “Bud” Peterson, and Dan Immergluck, a professor in the School of City and Regional Planning.
This was the second year that Durham’s daughter, Emily, participated in the camp. Emily had always been interested in the Ferst Center’s drama camp, but the time commitment never meshed with the family’s summer plans.
“It is truly amazing how much these kids accomplish in five days,” Durham said. “I love that the camp provides each child with a professional headshot, and as a Tech employee, you can’t beat the convenience of bringing them with you in the morning and taking them home with you in the afternoon.”
Immergluck’s daughters, Kate and Anna, are also returning campers. Kate learned about the camp from friends who had attended and recommended it.
“I would definitely recommend it to other parents,” Immergluck said. “Both girls are now more comfortable performing in front of an audience, and Kate won the lead role in her middle school musical last year — and I attribute that, in no small part, to her musical theater camp experience.”
Registration for the camp opens in late January at
www.ferstcenter.gatech.edu/dramacamp, and the 50 openings usually fill up by mid-April. The cost of the camp is $250.
For more information about this camp, or the four-week Drama Camp that the Ferst Center offers, contact Farmer.