Theatre Arts to Host Second Virtual Summer Camp
The Alabama State University Department of Theatre Arts is hosting its second annual virtual camp, V-P.A.C.E. (Virtual Performing Arts Camps Experience) on June 1 to July 9, 2021.
Designed for children ages 6 – 23 in a virtual setting, the camp encompass each of the standing summer programs Camp 3T, Camp G.I.F.T.E.D., and TTI. The pilot virtual camp experience originated in 2020 during the height of the global pandemic. Initially, many parents and participants were disappointed that the regular camps could not take place.
“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 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 were amazingly flexible and supportive during the process. Even though things are slowly returning to face to face interactions, the decision was made to remain virtual for summer 2021. The success of the inaugural program made the decision to offer things virtually once again, much easier.”
All classes are taught via the Zoom app. There are sections in acting, music, and dance, which the 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 sends out videos for participants to study in preparation for recording. Sixty-five participants were in the inaugural class. Registration for 2021 is currently open and students can still sign up to participate. The fee for students is $75 per person and scholarships are available.
“It was a much different process than we were 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 were a couple of days that we had to extend class time, let the campers go eat, and come back to work some more. The parents were phenomenal throughout the entire process.
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 Kenderick Hardy, camp director and acting instructor. “We’re glad we followed the instinct to try something new. It’ journey thus far and I am looking forward to round two.”
Because the camp was a virtual experience, many of the participants parents and guardians were able to participate as well. The 2020 final performance was “The Show Must Go On” and can still be viewed via YouTube. Please click on the following link to enjoy the show. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QlwarVDEY90.
The 2021 final V.P.A.C.E. performance will be held on July 31, 2021. For more information and to register, visit www.alasu.edu/vpace.