Youth in Airdrie will have the opportunity to learn introductory theatre skills and flex their creative muscles through Nose Creek Players’ (NCP) virtual summer camps, Aug. 10 to 14.
According to Tare Rennebohm, NCP’s education director, the two camps will be operated via Zoom and cater to children aged seven to nine. Haley Day, a director with NCP, will be instructing the classes.
“This is a great beginner's platform to come see what script-reading is like and how to read expressively and build characters around that," Rennebohm said, adding the camps will be tailored for those with little to no prior theatre experience.
“If there are students out there who have drama experience and want to be a part of the group, that's great, but the way I see this particular summer camp going is helping kids who know they like theatre and they like going to see plays, but they don't know how to start."
The program's focus, according to Rennebohm, will be teaching participants about Reader’s Theatre – a style of theatre where actors recite simple scripts, usually based around a fairy tale. The actors rely on their vocal expression rather than using costumes and props to tell the story.
“There are going to be games for the kids to get comfortable with getting creative and exploring drama elements,” he said. “It's definitely going to be an opportunity for kids to read, explore literacy, read expressively and perform dramatically."
Each camp will have an initial capacity of eight kids, Rennebohm said, and registration will be on a first-come, first-served basis. The camp costs $30 per participant, and registration can be done online at ncpsummercamps.eventbrite.ca
After a week of learning, the participants will conclude the camp with a presentation Aug. 14, Rennebohm said. On that day, students will recite a script they have been rehearsing to their parents and the rest of the class.
“[The scripts] are created in a way that is very simple for kids to grasp the basic storyline, with age-appropriate language,” he said. “It's not so much about reading hard words but understanding what the words are and how to express them."
NCP is an Airdrie-based community theatre group that puts on multiple drama productions a year. While the company’s focus in the past has been providing theatre opportunities to adults, the company is branching out by offering educational programs for children in Airdrie and area.
Rennebohm, who is also an elementary school teacher with Rocky View Schools, said NCP’s goal through its educational programming is to inspire local youth to take an interest in drama.
“We're constantly developing our skills and we're all life-long learners as performers, directors and producers of theatre in Airdrie,” he said. “I'm just so excited we're now looking into educational programs for youth – it's a great time to be a part of the company."
He added more learning programs will be announced in the future.
"As we go forward, this is just a summer camp – there are more classes to come,” he said. “I've talked to a couple of teachers and we are moving forward with other classes, so keep your eyes peeled for what's coming next."