Are you looking for a positive, engaging and constructive way for your children to spend time close to home? And, a way to introduce them to, or further their interest in, drama and performing arts? Look no further than our own community for an exciting opportunity that begins in April.
Thanks to the Sunriver Stars Community Theater (SSCT) and a grant from the Sunriver-La Pine Rotary Club, the long held mission and vision of the SSCT to enrich the lives of youth within its community is being fulfilled. The SSCT Board of Directors recently approved a six-week theater arts educational program for elementary and middle school aged children. The SSCT Stars Kids’ Drama Camp, or “Stars Kids Camp,” will kick off its new program on April 25th.
As part of the Sunriver community for 7 years, the SSCT is a non-profit community-based performing arts organization whose mission is to provide “quality, family-friendly entertainment and educational opportunities for Sunriver and the surrounding communities.” SSCT Artistic Director Victoria Kristy has always worked to uphold this vision by bringing theater arts enrichment opportunities to the youth in Sunriver and surrounding area. This is one way that SSCT feels they can give back to their community, by investing in its youth.
“My entire working career has included an introduction of the arts for children,” Kristy stated. “Theater is magic and I want all children to have the opportunity to experience that. I want to keep spreading the magic here in our community.” Kristy went on to explain that Three Rivers School in Sunriver is lucky to offer a marvelous drama program. “I want to provide other opportunities for our children here in Sunriver, along with homeschooled children and those in La Pine and surrounding areas who might not have the opportunity to personally experience being a part of live theater otherwise.”
Michele Hans, Sunriver resident and director of the new Stars Kids Drama Camp, has worked with SSCT for the past several years after moving to Sunriver from Southern California. Hans dedicated years to teaching performing arts while living in the San Diego area where she had developed a full-scale theater arts educational program for youth. Hans’ youth theater program included the production of original plays and musicals, with an emphasis on including all children, even those too shy to speak on stage. “I believe theater can facilitate a lot of personal growth and help children overcome barriers and develop their potential. I love to see children grow through performing arts.”
The SSCT Kids Drama Camp will run April 25 through May 30. The STARS Camp will meet Wednesdays, 2:00 – 5:30 p.m. at The Door, a church in Sunriver (56885 Enterprise Drive in the Sunriver Business Park). Classes will be broken into two parts, beginning with a general teaching session that includes introduction of a new character development focus, and a new drama technique. Practice and application of the new drama technique and character development trait will follow. After a break and snack, the group begins music practice including choir and ensemble and dance. “This camp will be a great introduction to theater arts, but can also be tailored for beginner through intermediate level students,” stated Hans.
At the conclusion of the six week Stars Kids Drama Camp, the students will present a Student Showcase for their families and friends on Friday, June 1 from 6:30-8pm. at the same location as the classes, The Door .
There will be room for 20 students, from third through eighth grade. For those interested in learning more about SSCT’s Stars Kids Drama Camp, a Parent Informational Meeting will be held on Saturday, April 14 (time and location to be announced). Auditions for students who wish to participate will be held on Saturday, April 21 (time and location to be announced).
Thanks to a generous donation from the Sunriver La Pine Rotary Club and volunteer efforts from SSCT members, there is no cost for students to participate in the SSCT Stars Kids Drama Camp. However, in order to have a successful program, Hans noted that they are asking parents to commit to 2-3 hours of volunteer time throughout the Stars Camp, either assisting during weekly workshops or assisting with the final Showcase on June 1.
“Our Stars Kids Drama Camp is a true enrichment program,” explained Kristy, whose most recent SSCT production of “The Secret Garden” was a children’s musical and included many Sunriver and La Pine youth in starring roles. SSCT produces four plays a year, one of which includes children of all ages. “The Kids Drama Camp will focus on music and dance at a slower pace than being cast in a show. The program will walk hand in hand, be an extension of, what the children might take on in one of our big productions.”
For more information about the Sunriver Stars Community Theater, their productions, projects and work in the community, go to www.sunriverstars.org.
For more information about SSCT Stars Kids Drama Camp, the upcoming parent informational meeting and student auditions, contact Stars Kids Drama Camp Director Michele Hans at MicheleHans@sbcglobal.net