Summer holds nearly countless possibilities for children and young adults to spread their wings and make the most of their time off from school.
For a summer experience that offers a little extra razzle dazzle, however, you'll need to go upstage.
Located at 844 W. Danforth Road in Edmond, Upstage Theatre and Performing Arts focuses on teaching various performing arts to ages pre-K to adults, including singing, dancing, acting and technical theatre skills.
Broadway or Bust
Both performances and classes are offered year-round. However, during the summer season, Upstage hosts two separate summer camp sessions and produces a summer season of productions.
"This summer's camp is called 'Broadway or Bust!' said Jenny Rottmayer, Artistic Director of Upstage Theatre. "The campers will be learning show-stopping songs from popular Broadway shows like 'Wicked' and 'Hairspray.' In addition to that, the campers will learn very important theatre basics. We will have different learning days like Backstage Day, Movie Musical Day and Team Building Day. At the end of the week, they will perform a short show of Broadway musical numbers for their friends and family!"
There are two camp sessions, separated by age group. Session 1 focuses on ages 4-9, and Session 2 focuses on ages 10-15. Both camp sessions are relatively small with a maximum of 20 campers.
"We like to keep our camp sizes small," Rottmayer said. "It is more fun for us to really get to know the campers and work more one-on-one."
In addition to their two summer camps, Upstage has a 2016 Summer Season of productions.
"We have a huge season happening this summer!" Rottmayer said. "Our first musical is Disney's Beauty and the Beast with a three-weekend engagement. This is our 30th production since we opened in 2010 so we wanted to do something really special that the community would remember for many years. Our second musical is the classic 'Bye Bye Birdie,' and if you grew up listening to Elvis, then you are sure to love this musical!"
Patrick Towne, Director of Choreography and instructor at Upstage, will direct the production of Beauty and the Beast, with performances on June 16-18, June 23-25 and June 30-July 2. Performances of Bye Bye Birdie will be on July 21-23 and July 28-30. Both productions take place at The MAC Amphitheatre at Mitch Park, located on Covell between Kelly and Santa Fe.
For more information about show times or tickets, visit www.upsagetheatreok.com/current-season.
Although summer has just begun, Upstage is always looking ahead. During the school year, Upstage offers a variety of classes for students from Kindergarten to 12th grade. The duration of each class is about four months, coinciding with the Edmond Public Schools' schedule.
The production class is an intense musical theatre production class where everyone is guaranteed a spot on the cast for the musical at the end of the semester. No prior experience is required, and students will learn lessons in acting, music and dance.
For the fall session, two acting classes will be available. Acting, for 5th through 12th graders, teaches theatre terms, voice projection, stage direction, warm-up exercises, character development and more, through age-appropriate materials. Fairytale Acting, for pre-K through 4th grade, focuses on exploring characters, strengthening verbal and reading skills and learning foundational acting skills.
Upstage also periodically offers dance and show choir classes, private music lessons (piano and voice), and audition and theatre etiquette workshops. According to Rottmayer, it's never too early to think toward the next season.
"Enrollment is already open for our Fall Production Class for "The Addams Family" and all of our acting classes are open for enrollment, as well," Rottmayer said. "Our first day back will be Monday, August 15."
For more information about Upstage Theatre, visit their website at www.upstagetheatreok.com, call (405) 285-5803 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.