CenterStage Summer Workshops

The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge, but imagination. — Albert Einstein

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What are SYAA's CenterStage Summer Workshops?

Well, for starters, these workshops are FUN! They are jam-packed with fun theatre, music, and dance activities for our campers, ages 5-12. These activities ranges from wacky theatre games and challenging team-building exercises to fun choreography and snappy Broadway musical numbers. All of this is packaged in a week-long, half-day camp that culminates with a one-hour parent showcase to show off everything that the campers have learned.

So, are SYAA's camps just about goofing off and having fun?

Most definitely not, but we're not going to deny that we have a GREAT time. True, the ultimate purpose of our camps isn't to produce the next big movie star or television personality (although wouldn't that be cool?).

Our camps are actually meant to help our students increase their self-confidence, develop more self-awareness, strengthen their communication skills, and practice their teamwork skills. Of course, the students don't realize this is what they are doing as they play games, learn lines, develop characters, and sing and dance along to the music, but that's the magic of theatre. And these lessons develop skills that they can put to use right away, the very next school year, and that they will be able to use no matter what profession they end up pursuing as an adult.

If they are all theatre camps, why would my child do more than one in a summer?

Each camp is themed around a different pop culture topic. Past themes have included Little Mermaid, Star Wars, Pirates of the Caribbean, Frozen, Moana, Harry Potter, and more. Plus, each and every camp includes a special focus class (or two!) that is unique to that week's camp. These classes can include lessons in dance, music, stage combat, set design, or improv comedy. We have even had a science class that focused on how science can be used to make special effects in theatre! Not to mention that the parent showcase at the end of the week is different for every camp and is written by our resident artist Walter Allen especially for the kids in each camp. So no matter how many camps your child attends each summer, each one will be different with new games, activities, and skills to discover and explore.

So, what does a typical camp day look like?

Students are divided into four or five classes of no more than 15 students each for the week. Each class is assigned a class name befitting the theme of the camp and is assigned two or three teenage student interns. (These interns are students who regularly participate in SYAA activities during the school year and who apply for summer internships in March. Then, they complete a leadership training program in May before working to earn credits for production fees in the following school year.)

Each class then makes their way around the theatre building visiting four or five different teachers each day. These teachers will work with them in a variety of classes, which include Production, Acting, and Creativity for all camps no matter the theme.

In Production class, students are assigned lines for the parent showcase on Friday, and they practice their scenes, learning where to stand and move and learning what it's like to be on a big stage. In Creativity class, students explore the five tools of an actor (body, face, voice, imagination, and teamwork) through different theatre games and activities that are tons of fun for everyone involved. And in Acting class, students put these five tools to work as they run their lines, building character, and practicing how to project and enunciate so that the audience can hear and understand them. Students will also visit teachers that will instruct them in their focal area for the week such as music, dance, stage combat, set design, etc.

Each day, students spend 35-50 minutes with each teacher before gathering together as a whole in the performance space at the end of the day. Monday through Thursday, parents are invited into the performance space for the last fifteen minutes and students get to show off some of the games that we played that day before heading home. And on Friday, parents and family join us for one final celebration of the students' hard work as we present our workshop showcase, a short 35-55 minute performance that highlights some of the fun stuff that the kids have been doing for the week.

Still have questions?

If you want to know more about our dramatically fun summer workshops, feel free to give our box office a call at (318) 812-7922 or drop us a line at info@syaaonline.com. Or if you haven't been in our building, feel free to drop by our lobby during business hours (M, Tu, Th, Fr • 3:15 p.m. - 7:45 p.m. or Sa • 8:45 a.m. - 1:15 p.m.). Please note that our office hours can vary due to our current production needs. Or if you're ready to get registered, click here to see what our summer workshop offerings are for this year!

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