Does your child enjoy music, dancing and the magic of putting on a show? Or, perhaps, show an interest in creating films? Then, Mainstage Center for the Arts’ Summer Stage performing and visual arts camp is the place for them. Discover the opportunities at the Summer Stage Open House, Tuesday, April 9, 6:30 pm, Mainstage Center for the Arts, 27 S. Black Horse Pike, Blackwood, NJ.
At Summer Stage, hundreds of children from throughout southern New Jersey embark on magical adventures – sharing smiles while they sing, gaining confidence as they learn their lines, and making friends while they perfect a dance, or even build scenery together. Entering its 31st year, Summer Stage provides a creative, nurturing, safe environment. With programs for children entering kindergarten through 12th grade, the fun lasts for many years.
The Summer Stage Programs
The youngest campers (entering k-1st grade), receive a perfect introduction to performing arts through Broadway Babies, a program offered at Mainstage’s Academy Hall, 27 N. Black Horse Pike, Blackwood. There are two two-week sessions of Broadway Babies from 9:30 am - 11:30 am. The next group, MT KIDZ (Musical Theatre KIDZ) (entering 2nd and 3rd grades), also meets at Academy Hall from 9:30 am 9:30 am – 12:30 pm. MT KIDZ is offered as two three-week sessions. Participants have the option of extending their day into the afternoon through Collaboration Station, an afternoon camp where they keep their creative energies flowing by trying new things like puppetry and pantomime, and Stage Key. Designed to fit parents’ busy work schedules, Stage Key provides before and after camp care.
After Broadway Babies and MT KIDZ, children advance to the Apprentice program, for 4th and 5th graders. This six-week program is designed to broaden children’s interest in the world of theatre. It takes place at Mainstage’s Academy Hall and also includes the option of full-day camp through Collaboration Station and Stage Key.
“Our youngest daughter was 'bit by the theater bug' after watching her older sisters perform when they were younger and she couldn't wait until she was old enough to join Summer Stage, too. There's rarely a moment when someone's not singing or dancing through the house!” said Michele LeMasney of Sicklerville. “Summer Stage has been a big part of our family for many, many years now, and we're grateful for the opportunity to watch our children develop new friendships, grow theatrically and express their creativity each summer.”
When students move up to middle school, there is Children's Theatre for students entering 6th through 12th grades; and the behind-the-scenes Technical Theatre and Video Film Production, for those entering 8th through 12th grades, offered on the Blackwood Campus of Camden County. Each of these programs spans seven weeks.
Most Summer Stage programs provide performance opportunities. In Children's Theatre, each participant will have the chance to perform in one of the three shows, plus the final musical revue. This year, the season includes: High School Musical, Jr; Cinderella (Getting to Know You adaption), Frozen, Jr; and School House Rock, Live!, Jr., a musical revue based on the popular Saturday morning cartoon series.
“This will be my daughter’s sixtth year with Summer Stage. She absolutely loves it! Doesn’t matter if she has a small roll or a lead character, she enjoys every minute of the time she spends there. The staff is wonderful and makes every child feel special. The shows are fantastic. If your child is interested in acting, this is a wonderful experience for them, said Kelly Hina. “Even me, the mom, I love helping out, meeting new people and just being involved in something my daughter enjoys so much. This really makes her shine. We will miss it when she graduates next year.”
Program fees range from $210 for a two-week Broadway Babies session to $595 for the seven-week Children's Theatre session. Stage Key, an affordable before and after-camp is available for the MTKIDZ and Apprentice programs at Academy Hall and all programs at Camden County College. Visit www.mainstage.org for schedules, fees, and discounts, call (856) 302-6485, or visit the open house on April 9, 6:30 pm at Mainstage Center for the Arts Academy Hall, 27 S. Black Horse Pike, Blackwood, NJ. Early-bird discounts run through May 1st.
Mainstage Center for the Arts, the parent program of Summer Stage, is located in Blackwood, NJ. It is committed to making the arts experience enjoyable for all its patrons. In an effort to make the shows, concerts, events, workshops, classes, and offices accessible to as many as possible, Mainstage offers many services for patrons requiring assistance. For anyone in need of assistance, please notify the office at 856-302-6485 at the time of purchasing tickets, or at least five days prior to the event you are attending.