It's showtime for kids in grades K-8 this week at the Miller Intergenerational Center, where Spring Break Drama Camp is in full swing, and area children are learning the joys and hard work of being performers.
The program is run by Lori Pelzel, owner of Kidstage, an international drama program that gives kids an opportunity to explore the performing arts in a non-competitive, non-threatening environment.
According to Pelzel, "We have 40 kids in camp this session, and they'll all have the opportunity to perform. On Friday, we'll put on a show for peers, parents and friends. It's an all inclusive program and every child will have a role in the show. Theatre builds skills like concentration, problem solving, public speaking and reading and also enhances a child's self-confidence."
Pelzel is assisted by Libby Simpson and Milford High School thespians Nancy Boyd and Katilyn Weickel. The instructors all displayed boundless energy and patience when I visited on Tuesday morning, teaching the campers choreography, songs and working with them on scenes.
The instructors are working on different scripts with each age group, and all the plays have a positive message of some kind. The youngest group of campers (4 to 7 years old) will perform The Blind Man and The Elephant. The oldest seven-year-old children will do The Seed, while a group of 8-year-olds will work on What It Takes To Work As A Team. The oldest group (9 and up) are putting together an abbreviated Alice In Wonderland play. In addition, all of the campers will participate in several music and dance numbers.
"It's amazing how quickly children learn things like dance moves and songs," said Pelzel.
That's for sure — they'd had only a day and half in camp when I visited and many of the kids were very comfortable performing dance routines and songs, and were well on the way to having memorized their lines. Look out Broadway, here they come!