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CAMP! is a unique summer theater institute where children learn from professionals in all areas of the theater arts and perform in a full length musical production. CAMP! offers children a fun, stimulating experience where they can be themselves, express themselves, and make new friends.

 

Our program lasts for five weeks each summer during which students will rehearse and take classes from Twin Cities arts professionals. The program culminates in three performances of a full-length musical often incorporating student-created content. 

CAMP! is designed for children ages 7-14 years of age. This age range facilitates a unique mentoring opportunity between older, more experienced children, and younger children who are new to theater and the CAMP! experience. It is a value of the staff at CAMP! that theater education be available to all, and scholarship funds are available to students who cannot afford the program tuition.

Scroll down to read testimonials, meet the staff, view pictures of our productions and learn more about the day-to-day of CAMP!

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"I like CAMP! because it feels great!"

- Lili

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 "CAMP! is about meeting old friends and making new ones"

- Aiden

That moment when I feel so happy and welcome here
— Katherine

"I just love it here!"

- Rylan

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"CAMP! is about being part of an awesome community"

-Annika

Performing as a community and as a family
— Ethan
Making new traditions
— Eloise
You can become someone else
— Lexi

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What to Expect

8:30 - Morning Welcome - Students are greeted and given an overview of the day before breaking into groups for the day

8:40 - Movement and Dance - Students will learn physical movement and dance techniques including choreography for the show

9:15 - Acting Class - Acting class may involve anything from improvisation games to dialects

9:50 - Music Class - Children are taught about vocal technique, musicianship and gain confidence-boosting performance skills

10:25 - Break  - All kids are given a break in the mornings to socialize and burn off some energy outside

11:00 - Art Class - Students work on a summer-long art project with our artist-in-residence. This project will be displayed for the audience before and after performances at the end of camp.

11:35 - Lunch - Students head back outside (weather permitting!) for lunch and social time

12:30 - Afternoon Rehearsal (Part 1) - Students break into groups to work specifically on preparation for the show. 

1:45 - Afternoon Rehearsal (Part 2) - After a quick break, students move into a different rehearsal. If they worked on music before, they may move onto learning the choreography for a specific musical number.

2:45 - Massed Rehearsal - Students all return to the theater to "put the pieces together". The students and staff all work together to compose large group numbers.

Staff

 
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Ellen Fenster - Artistic Director

Ellen Fenster is a professional theater director and teacher in Minneapolis. Apart from her work with Illusion Theater, Pillsbury House Theater, Gremlin Theater, The Guthrie and more, Ellen is the artistic director at South High School Theater. 

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Tim Kraack - Music Director

Tim is a musician and teacher from St. Paul. He teaches piano and voice at St. Joseph's School of Music and accompanies at St. Paul Academy. In addition to concertizing around the Twin Cities, Tim writes music and performs music in a variety of genres.

Learn more about Tim

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John CAtron - Acting INstructor, Director

John Catron is an accomplished actor, artist and musician active in the Twin Cities. An actor with a wide range, John is a company member with the Pillsbury House Theater and has stage credits at Park Square Theatre, The Illusion Theater, Theatre Mu, The Guthrie and many more. In addition to his coaching, John designs and builds the sets for CAMP! 

 
 
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Kate Guentzel - Dance Instructor

Kate Guentzel is a Twin Cities based actor and dancer. She has performances with Illusion Theater, Gremlin Theater, Jon Hassler Theater, Theater in the Round and the Guthrie among others. Kate is also the holder of an Ivey Award. Kate returns to her performance roots by working as a choreographer and dance instructor for CAMP!

 
 
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kari Olk - Assistant Director

Kari Olk is the Theater Director for Cristo Rey Jesuit High School, a Stage Manager for Wonderlust Productions and is involved as a stage manager, director, and assistant director for numerous theaters around the Twin Cities.

 
 
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Lisa Arnold - Art Instructor

Lisa is a visual artist who lives in Minneapolis but works all over Minnesota. Specializing in mosaic, Lisa has works hanging across the state thanks to grants including the Minnesota State Arts Board and projects in Minnesota libraries. Each year, Lisa engages the CAMP! students in a visual art project that relates to themes of the summer's show.

See more of Lisa's work