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Theatre Camp Needs Help!

Printed From: Community Theater Green Room
Category: Producing Theater
Forum Name: Play Suggestions
Forum Discription: Need help finding a show that's right for your theater? Ask here.
URL: http://www.communitytheater.org/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=1815
Printed Date: 6/25/24 at 1:48pm
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Topic: Theatre Camp Needs Help!
Posted By: kinnimaples
Subject: Theatre Camp Needs Help!
Date Posted: 4/24/06 at 9:26am
I am teaching a 1 week camp (9am - 12 noon) which ends with a performance on Friday night.  I will have approximately 20 children with usually no more than 3-5 boys.  Last year I wrote a short musical and the year before we performed short skits/reader's theatre and dance numbers to open and close the show. 
This year I'd really like to find a 15 - 25 minute show appropriate for this age group (and don't forget, they only have a week to learn it).  I've already spent $$ ordering 2 children's musicals  but they were awful!  I can't afford to make another mistake.
I'd be thankful for any information or direction given.
kinni



Replies:
Posted By: Playwright
Date Posted: 4/24/06 at 11:30am

Kinni,

    I live in Ontario, Canada.  I have 3 sons, two of whom have Autism.  My 14 year old is very verbal and has a form of autism called Asperger's Syndrome. Last summer he took a one week long drama camp. All the kids in the camp had a form of autism. The camp went from 12 to 4.  On the Friday night they put on a short play.  It was very well done considering the skills of the kids.  The play was all about one child seeking some kind of 'magic' or something.  At the end it turns out to be 'friendship' or somthing like that.  The roles in the play could mostly be played by a boy or girl and most of them were quite short so there wasn't a lot of lines to learn for most of the kids. 

    If you are interested I can try and put you in touch with the leaders of the camp.  They might even still have a copy of the script. 

     When is your drama camp?  What time line are we looking at?

Sondra



Posted By: Kathy S
Date Posted: 4/25/06 at 12:59am

I hope you will post the information on this board when you find it, Playwright.  There are probably a lot of children's programs that would like to use that script!  We do a one day blitz on a Saturday that your play might work for. 

Very touching story, by the way, about your kids and their camp.



Posted By: kinnimaples
Date Posted: 4/25/06 at 8:19am
My camp runs from June 19th -23rd so I have a little time to find a show.  It would be great if you could either get the name of the play or have someone pm me with info.
I have worked with a few children that have Apserger's but they are usually working within a typical peer class.   I'd love to offer a class specifically for children with autism.  Kudos for Ontario.- by the way we're practically neighbors, I'm in Wisconsin!
kinni


Posted By: DeeC
Date Posted: 4/25/06 at 10:51am
I too run a summer acting camp, and a middle school drama club. For the ms we write our own recitals - we have more time.  I give the kids a subject - and they go with it - we add in familiar songs I download onto a practice cd for each student, and a teach little basic dance and it becomes a mini muscial - last year we learned drama basics - monologues, auditioning tech, improv, - etc. the recital was a 'time travel' piece - where they went to different 'auditions' and theaters - 'Drew Carey improv sounstage",(displayed their improv skills using the audience) "musicals in progress etc."(used scene studies from Big River, MacBeth, West Side Story) and more. It allowed us to show the parents what we learned & at the same time made it entertaining - this year we tackled a deeper subject, 'what it's like to be in middle school" again, they wrote it themselves - but touched personal and true subjects like divorce, anorexia, social status, fitting in, etc. through a 'week in the life' kind of production and displayed this all through monologues and dialogues pieced together with true to life characters culminating at the school dance the cahracters were dealing with these and more subjects throughout the script - we added in songs from Disney's HS musical and other familiar show songs and oldies - it was our best show yet - each of our recitals including our summer camp showcase are no longer than 1hour - my advice is to do something like this - it's cheap and the kids/parents love it - add in slides from the camp to add to the display! Or perhaps just take from a few scenes from exisiting children's shows and tie them together with a group song or script they or you write displaying what they have learned - parents like to SEE where their money went. Good luck!

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Dee


Posted By: TxAltCountry
Date Posted: 4/27/06 at 2:37am
A great site I've found for children's scripts is http://www.lazybeescripts.co.uk - http://www.lazybeescripts.co.uk   The wonderful thing about this site is that you can read the entire script online before you buy it.  (Sorry, I know I sound like I work for them!)  It's where I got the script for my group for camp this year.  We have about the same number of kids as you do, with the same amount of boys , I know it can be hard to find a show that fits into those numbers, and running time constraints.  This year we're going to do "Snow White and the Seven Other Dwarves", from Lazybee.  Very cute show, about 15 minutes, and a lot of the boy parts can be switched to girls easily. 




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Give me a bottle of bourbon and half a chicken and I'll conquer the world! - The Wild Party


Posted By: Playwright
Date Posted: 4/27/06 at 3:05pm

 Kinni,

     Here's the info from my friend and his email.  Read his message below.  

Sondra

 Michael-  mailto:dont_brush_your_teeth@hotmail.com - dont_brush_your_teeth@hotmail.com
    

Hi Sondra, i can try and dig up the script. Although i wouldn't necessarily recommend that they use it. What we did was on the first day of our 1 week camp at the end of the day for the last hour the whole group did a brainstorming session, and we got the themes for three scenes putting the campers in the group they wanted to
be a part of. Underwater scene, haunted scene, space scene. Then that night we wrote out the scenes... truthfully though, its really not easy writing a script that is short concise, funny and presentable for a group of children with various degrees autism . After writing the scripts for the Notre Dame Special needs play the last two years, i think i have found a nice balance. So i would suggest that they perhaps use the script we wrote as a guideline, and write their own based on the needs and interests of their group.   I would also be quite glad to offer any other advice from experience i gained during the drama camp, including all sorts of activity and game ideas. I'd be quite glad to help. If any such person is looking for assistance, please feel free to refer them to me, and to give them my email address so they can ask me any specific questions, that might make things easier.

Michael 




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