Camp Broadway, billed as the premiere performing arts program for children ages 10-17, completes its week-long session in New York City on Friday, Aug. 10. The program, now in its 6th year, has been in progress since Aug. 6.
Camp Broadway is designed to introduce young folk to "the tradition and history of the theatre," says Lesley Mazzotta, a Camp Broadway spokesperson.The program offers training classes in acting, solo and ensemble singing, improvisation, movement and dance. Guest artists from Broadway also offer their expertise by instructing special sessions in tap, physical comedy, theatrical makeup, mask-making and rhythm. This year's guest artists included company members from The Rocky Horror Show, Blast! and 42nd Street.
Participants attended daily classes at Theatreworks USA/Chelsea Studios in Manhattan, where they were provided with 40 hours of intensive instruction and rehearsal. Make-up artists Milagros Medina-Cerdiera (The Rocky Horror Show) and Joe Anthony taught them about professional stage make-up application and Broadway fight coordinator Rick Sordelet, along with Blast! cast members, led Physical Movement Workshops focusing on rhythm and stage combat. In addition, Kelli Barclay (Assistant Choreographer) and Melissa Giattino (Assistant Dance Captain) of 42nd Street taught the campers a tap dance routine.
Camp Broadway offers a series of other activities, including a "Behind The Scenes" Production Workshop that gives campers a backstage tour of a Broadway theatre. The "Salute to Singin' and Dancin' Kids", which took place on Wednesday, August 8, gave participants the opportunity to meet and mingle with young actors that are involved in current Broadway shows. Camper also visited the "Stage Door Canteen" on a daily basis to have lunch and meet with a variety of special guests involved in the many aspects of the theatre industry.
The program concludes tonight at "The Family Finale", a two-part performance that allows the children to showcase what they have learned over the past five days. The highlight of the event is "The Gypsy Showcase" where the campers, divided into several groups, perform musical numbers for a panel of celebrity judges. Camp Broadway, originally founded in 1996, limits its enrollment to 100 and costs $875. Some scholarships and financial assistance is available to accommodate individuals of all economic backgrounds. This year, the program has attracted participants from 24 states, as well as Canada, Columbia, Ireland and Morocco. Before coming to New York this week, the program toured throughout the summer in Tempe, AZ, Jacksonville, FL, Buffalo, NY, Detroit, MI, Atlanta,GA, and Providence, RI.
For more information about the program, contact Camp Broadway at (212) 575-2929 or visit their website at www.campbroadway.com.
— by Esther Sapan