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McPhersonSentinel - McPherson, KS
  • Lindsborg theater camp prepares children for acting

  • A group of children are spending two weeks at a drama boot camp, preparing to perform onstage in mid-July.
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  • A group of children are spending two weeks at a drama boot camp, preparing to perform onstage in mid-July.
    The 2014 Broadway RFD summer theater camp teaches children the basics of stagecraft, including acting, singing, dancing and accents. Participants are guaranteed a spot in the chorus for the theater’s production of “Oliver!” showing July 18, 19, 25 and 26.
    This is the third year the theater has put on the summer camp. Tami Dahlsten, one of the adults running the camp, said the camp was started to help young people develop acting skills.
    “We decided there was a real need for kids to learn about theater and how to act,” Dahlsten said. “We’re bringing up future actors for our community.”
    The two-week camp costs $45 and is put on entirely by volunteers. Dahlsten said topics so far have included sewing costumes, how to play a bad guy or die, and choreography.
    Participants learned how to talk in a cockney accent Tuesday morning, as many of them will be playing poor children in “Oliver!” In the afternoon, they learned how to apply accents to song and practiced choreography for a scene in the play.
    “It’s fun,” said Wyatt Odell, 12, who will play the part of Oliver. “You get to play different characters than who you are.”
    Odell said he also enjoys being able to do something close to home.
    “You can do it in your hometown without having to go someplace big, like Salina,” he said.
    Ellie Flynn, 12, also has a role in the play. She said the camp will help her prepare for a future career as an actress.
    “I like being able to portray someone else’s life,” she said. “This camp will help me later on.”
    Odell said he enjoyed the choreography classes in particular.
    “We do so much of it. It makes the songs more interesting,” he said. “Instead of just singing it, you have moves to go with it.”
    Flynn said the camp is a great opportunity for people looking to expand their horizons.
    “Music education and performing arts education is good,” she said. “When you try something new, it expands your experience.”

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