Aspiring actors take first steps onstage in MHS Drama Camp

This week, aspiring actors, singers, and dancers began to train in their craft.

From June 8 — 12, the Mason High School drama department continued the annual tradition of organizing a drama camp for rising kindergartners through eighth graders, exposing them to the inner-workings of a theater production.

Allen Young, theater director at MHS, has been organizing and volunteering with the camp for 14 years. He said the camp provides the basic knowledge necessary for auditions or pursuing a role.

“It lets our kids teach the things that they’ve learned through our program,” Young said. “And then (it) also teaches younger kids some of the basic fundamentals that they’re (going to) use when they’re auditioning or working backstage.”

The camp offers seven classes to pass on that knowledge, including: Selling the Song, Acting, and Dancing–available to all participants–and Improvisation, Make-up, and Technical Theatre–available to campers ages 10 and up.

Throughout the week, participants focused on two classes in preparation for the camp’s showcase for all the parents. MHS alum and Big-Kid Acting instructor, Katey Henry, hoped to prepare her group, so they felt comfortable acting and performing in front of a crowd Friday evening, while still having a great time.

“We want them to learn to be comfortable in front of an audience, and learn acting skills so that they feel confident,” Henry said. “But mostly (we want them) to have fun.”

Come Friday, June 12 at 6:00 p.m., the stage was set to show parents what their kids had been learning for five days.

The Little-Kid Acting class taught by Collin Aldrich and Sheila Raghavendran performed an original skit titled “The Princess Camp.” The Big-Kid Selling the Song class performed the songs “Cups”, as seen in Pitch Perfect and “Be Our Guest”, from Beauty and the Beast. The Technical Theater class showcased miniature square flats painted by each of the students.

According to Young, the skills these students are taught in drama classes are skills they can carry with them in the future.

“I think theater helps you do a lot of things,” Young said. “Theater classes aren’t just about performance. It teaches a lot of practical skills that will help you no matter what you’re (going to) do.”

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