ASU Theatre Hosts Inaugural Virtual Summer Camp

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Alabama State University Theatre Summer Camps is hosting its inaugural virtual camp this summer. The camp, called V-P.A.C.E. (Virtual Performing Arts Camps Experience), includes campers ages 6 – 23 in a completely virtual setting. The camp, which started on June 15, encompass each of the standing summer camps – T.A.P.S., Camp 3T, Camp G.I.F.T.E.D., and TTI – incorporating them into one 4-week virtual camp experience.

The culmination will be a recorded performance, which will premiere Saturday, July 11 at noon CST via YouTube, Facebook, and other social media platforms.

“Like many customary processes, our camps were impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. We didn’t want to take the chance of bringing our precious campers to an in-person camp. The virtual performance concept is not new, but it’s very new to us,” said Dr. Wendy R. Coleman, executive director for ASU Theatre Summer Camps. “We had no idea how it would really work or come to fruition, but the students and parents have been amazingly flexible and supportive during the process.”

All classes, Dr. Coleman explains, are taught via the Zoom app. There are sections in acting, music, and dance through which the 65 participants rotate during the first few hours of the day. The second step in the process is recording scenes, songs, and dances to be included in the final production. A small staff instructs the campers in these areas and send out videos for participants to study in preparation for recording.

“It’s a much different process than we’re used to in terms of interacting with the campers as well as providing training & instruction in a virtual setting,” said Mrs. Guenada Meaux-Lambert, camp director and music instructor. “There have been a couple of days that we’ve had to extend class time, let the campers go eat dinner, and come back to work some more. The parents have been phenomenal throughout the entire camp.”

The importance of keeping the camps going during the coronavirus pandemic was paramount to the theatre.

“This idea was sparked in my spirit when I thought about all the campers who have been positively impacted over the years through ASU Theatre Summer Camps. Even though we were unsure of how it would look, we had to do something,” said Mr. Kenderick Hardy, camp director and acting instructor. “We’re glad we followed the instinct to try something new. It’s been an amazing journey thus far.”

The final performance for V-P.A.C.E. will premiere on Saturday, July 11 at noon CST via YouTube, Facebook, and other social medial platforms.

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