Last summer’s Grease was Chemainus Theatre’s most-successful production ever. Student actors can get a taste of how to do that kind of musical theatre this summer through a series of acting camps. (Chemainus Theatre photo)

Dunk yourself into the musical theatre experience

Chemainus Theatre hosting a series of summer camps for student actors

Jesse Bixby Special to the Chronicle

Have you ever dreamed of performing on Broadway?

You can get a taste of what it’s like this summer in Chemainus.

The Kiwanis Summer Theatre Camps are week-long programs where teens learn the skills they need to perform in musical theatre. There are three camps happening this summer in Chemainus. The first two are musical theatre intensive programs.

“Students take classes in dance, voice, and acting all week, and then they’re going to apply these skills in production numbers from Broadway musicals,” said Melissa Young, education coordinator at Chemainus Theatre Festival. “Our theme this year is pop musicals because we’re doing Mamma Mia! at Chemainus, so we’re going to be learning songs and numbers from Dear Evan Hansen, Hairspray, Wicked, and of course, Mamma Mia!”

The third camp is the teen acting intensive program, where students sharpen their acting skills through physical theatre, vocal work, improv, and scene study.

At the end of each week, there’s a showcase where students can perform what they’ve been working on. The students also get to see two shows, Mamma Mia! and The Magician’s Nephew.

“It’s very inspiring for the kids to be working and then go into the theatre to see professionals do it. It’s a really cool component of this experience,” said Young.

Week one of the Musical Theatre Intensive camp runs July 15-19 and accepts children ages 9-12. Week two of the camp runs July 22-26 and accepts teens ages 13-18. The Teen Acting Intensive program runs July 29-August 2 and accepts teens ages 13-18.

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