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The Madison Record
James Clemens Theatre will offer its Summer Spotlight Camp on May 31 through June 3. In the photo, youngsters from a previous year’s camp take their final bow after a performance. CONTRIBUTED

James Clemens Theatre to train in acting, backstage work at Summer Spotlight Camp

MADISON – Youth who want to learn about acting and backstage work to deliver a production can enroll in the Summer Spotlight Camp.

James Clemens Theatre is presenting the camp on May 31 through June 3 from 9 a.m. to noon on the Jets campus. This camp is open to any prospective second- through ninth-graders.

“We are excited to bring the camp back after two years of not having it (due to COVID-19). This year would be our seventh annual, but it’s actually our fifth camp,” Amy Patel said. Patel teaches theatre at James Clemens.

The camp offers a fun, creative outlet to learn about acting techniques, performing in musical theatre or gaining skills to help in behind-the-scenes technical theatre . . . and put on a show at week’s end.

“One of the fun things this year is that after doing the camp for several years, a lot of our counselors who are now JCTheatre students were campers when they were little! As they’re planning the camp, I hear them saying ‘That was so much fun,’ and ‘Are we going to do (fill-in-the-blank) again? I loved that.’”

Patel is most proud that Summer Spotlight Camp offers a technical track. “Not many theatre camps do that; they offer acting or musical theatre, but a lot of young kids are interested in set, costumes, lighting, props, sound or hair/makeup, but they don’t have a way to get involved,” she said.

Campers will have a choice of study:

* Acting — In a small group, campers will rehearse and perform a short scene.

* Musical theatre — In a medium-sized group, campers will rehearse and perform a song from a Broadway musical.

* Technical theatre — In a small group, these campers will design, build and run the technical elements of the show, including building sets, making costumes, securing props to ‘dress’ a set, lighting, sound and hair/makeup procedures for the stage.

“With our camp, while the acting campers are rehearsing their scene, or the musical theatre campers are rehearsing their song, the ‘tech’ campers are recording sound cues, learning how to run lighting, building or painting sets, sewing . . . all the backstage work that makes the show come alive. (Of course, we don’t let them run saws),” Patel said.

Teacher Michael ‘Clint’ Merritt will share his technical talents with campers.

“Everyone will perform — onstage or backstage — in our Spotlight Showcase for family and friends at noon on Friday, June 3 to showcase what they’ve learned,” Patel said. “The final performance will last about one hour, followed by a pizza party for the campers in the lobby.”

Registration will close on May 9 or when “we will sell out. We’re limiting the number of campers this year,” Patel said. Campers who register by the deadline will receive a T-shirt.

Camp fee is $75 per student, which includes daily snacks. To register, visit forms.gle/WwCmrBP8GYnPFwtV6. Mail checks (payable to James Clemens High School) for payment to James Clemens, c/o M. Clinton Merritt, JCHS Theatre Summer Camp 2022, 11306 County Line Road, Madison, AL 35756.

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