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Camp gets everyone in on act

August 08, 2009|By KATE S. ALEXANDER

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. -- After a week of memorizing iambic lines and learning songs in three-quarter time, the children from Children's Stage Adventures summer camp in Chambersburg took time to dream Saturday.

With nearly 200 family and friends in attendance, the 34 campers showcased their new skills in an adaptation of a William Shakespeare comedy titled "Shakespeare's Midsummer Dream."

The play was a mix of old English folk songs and simplified Shakespeare, narrated by the Bard, Children's Stage Adventures co-founder Rob Gray said.

Each child prepared for his or her part during the weeklong camp.

Tour Actor Hilary Kraus said that, in addition to rehearsing, the children learned team building and confidence.

The camp is designed for 50 students ages 6 to 16, Gray said.

"Our mission is to encourage children to strive for excellence through participation in a live theater performance," he said.

Chambersburg Community Theater Inc. (CCT) hosted the camp together with Capitol Theatre, CCT executive director Sally Herrit said.

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It was the theater's first summer camp with Children's Stage Adventures, a traveling, nonprofit theater troupe, Herrit said.

And it might not be the last, she said.

"We are going to talk about doing this next year," she said. "The feedback we have gotten is awesome."

Awesome. That was the word 6-year-old Hannah Stull chose to describe the camp.

"It was just awesome," she said. "Because there were a bunch of parts and everyone got to act."

Involving each student is at the heart of the Children's Stage Adventures program, Kraus said.

From the leading role of Puck, played by Celia Mendoza, to Hannah, who played a farmer and a member of the duke's court, each student felt involved.

"I would definitely do it again, Celia said.

While the adaptation simplified Shakespeare for younger actors, it kept true to the story to give them a taste of classic theater, said Gray, whose wife and co-founder, Lorrie Gray, wrote the script, music and lyrics.

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