Picture me, dressed in my lime green camp shirt, anxiously awaiting the first arrivals of summer camp, wondering what this summer with bring. Well, I knew it was going to be a GREAT summer camp season when on the first day a little boy says to me (standing tall, big toothless smile, swinging his lunch box) “Will there be singing and dancing?” To which I reply, “Of course there will be lots of singing and dancing!” “Good,” he says, “because I have been practicing.” He then busts into full singing and choreography to “It’s a Hard Knock Life!” right in the lobby of the theater.
This is why I love summer camp season at Sunset School for the Arts.
This year marked our FIFTH summer camp season at Sunset School for the Arts. And what a great summer it has been! We had our first ever summer camp for students ages 4 – 5, where they brought famous paintings (Monet, Picasso, Kahlo, Seurat, etc.) to life through acting, pantomime, storytelling, singing, dancing and, of course, painting. It all wrapped up with a great production of “A Sunny Sunday in the Park” where students each became a person from the famous Seurat painting. They told a story, sang and danced in front of a backdrop of their own huge copy of Seurat’s painting (done with sponge dots, of course).
Next, our Summer Stars, ages 6 – 15, joined us for two weeks of acting, singing, dancing, writing and having a ton of fun. Highlights included a well-executed scene from Midsummer Night’s Dream, some HILARIOUS original commercials, twenty 6-8 year olds dancing to One, clever improvisations, original characters of queens, r2n2, and killer cats, and a great finale with all 54 kids performing “We Go Together” from Grease. More than 200 parents, family members, and friends had a great time watching all of the fabulous performances on Saturday.
These talented kids should all be proud of their hard work (the talented and patient instructors, too). Thank you to all the kids, parents, instructors and volunteers that make these weeks possible.
It truly is my favorite time of year at the theater. As one parent said, it is amazing to see the progression and range of confidence and ability when watching six year olds and 15 year olds on the same stage. I feel the same way—I love it—especially when I get to know the six year olds and watch them grow through the years.
I’ve known some of these kids since they started in their first Creative Drama class at age 2 and it’s a great feeling to then have some summer camp graduates working backstage and assisting in classes. I cherish the fact that the performing arts have become a part of these kid’s lives through participation and appreciation. And I feel even better knowing that Sunset had a role in their new-found passion.
See you in the fall!
Take a look at some of the best moments from this exciting performance: