CAMP MEDIA THEATRE IS A FUN WAY TO STAY FOCUSED ON MUSIC THEATRE THIS SUMMER

Children and teens have been singing and dancing at The Media Theatre each summer for more than a decade as participants in Camp Media Theatre. Now headed into its 14th summer, the camp first opened in June of 2001 with only 30 members. It’s grown into one of Delaware County’s most popular summer camps with registration of over 250 youth each summer who enjoy learning more about theatre while having a good time with others who share a similar interest. It is part of the educational component of Media Music Theatre Company’s mission.



With five two-week day camp sessions to choose from, plus a “Fiddler On The Roof” camp, there are plenty of opportunities for budding thespians, singers, and dancers.

Artistic Director Jesse Cline looks forward to Camp Media Theatre. “Each year we have more children sign up for the camp,” he said. “With the growth of our New School conservatory-style music theatre education program September through April, plus the success of our youth musicals, the camp is in direct correlation to our mission defining us as a professional music theatre company.”

Cline added, “The philosophy of education here is based on The Meisner Technique which states that ‘acting is living as truthfully as one can under an imaginary circumstance’. Camp Media Theatre is structured so that the young people involved gain self-confidence and a strong ability to work well with peers.”

“The camp is fun and upbeat, but the instructors and directors involved do enforce the idea that acting is not about pretending,” Cline explained. “It’s about living, it’s about doing, and it’s about being comfortable with who you are. There are no ‘theatre games’.”

Once everyone is registered for Camp Media Theatre, the youth are divided into three age groups. Generally, ages 5-8 work together, with the mid-age range group being approximately 9-11. Ages 12 and older make up the third and oldest age group. The age groups may fluctuate a bit, depending on how many children are in each camp session and what the median age range happens to be.


A typical camp day begins at 9:30am and ends at 3:30pm. Each age group works with the instructors on a rotating basis throughout the first part of the camp day, with all age groups working onstage together from 2pm until 3:30. As a courtesy to parents and guardians, early drop-off is accepted after 8:30am although the actual camp day does not begin until 9:30am. Counselors are on hand during the early hour to supervise the campers before classes start.  All ages have a lunch break in the Media Theatre’s Crystal Room. Arrangements can be made for late pickup.

This summer’s day camp themes highlight various genres of Broadway music. Session One (June 16-27) is focused on Disney, with Session Two (June 30-July 11) placing the spotlight on Dance musicals. Session Three (July 14-25) is Contemporary Broadway, while Session Four (July 28-August 8) goes back to Broadway Classics. Session Five (August 11-22) is OZ Camp and will feature songs from “The Wizard of OZ” and “Wicked”. 

After two weeks of rehearsing, and adding scenes which are created during the daily acting classes, each session has a camp performance which is held the final Friday evening of each session. Each child, regardless of age or experience level, becomes actively involved in the production.

Jesse Cline explained, “The performances are not scripted but with the guidance of the instructors are created through the creativity of the children.”

In addition to the day camp, The Media Theatre brings "Tradition" to Summer Camp with the Summer Youth Project Musical, Fiddler On The Roof. This will be the first summer musical at The Media Theatre that is not specifically for teens and is for participants ages 8 and up. 


The “Fiddler” camp will meet starting June 16 with three weeks of rehearsal and performances begin July 10. The musical will perform for the public through August 10, four times each weekend. Campers will work directly with Artistic Director Jesse Cline, plus resident music director Scott Anthony. The entire camp gives insight as to what it is like being in a professional production. It's also an educational opportunity in which young people will learn more about this time in history, simply by being involved in the production. 

In the legendary musical, set in Tsarist Russia in 1905, Tevye tries to maintain his family (with five daughters) and Jewish traditions while outside influences encroach upon their lives. The score is filled with memorable songs like "Sunrise, Sunset", "If I Were A Rich Man", "Matchmaker", and more.

Camp Media Theatre 2014 promises to be an enlightening, entertaining, and enriching experience for young people who have an interest in music theatre. Participants will perform on an award-winning professional music theatre stage in an environment which promotes and cultivates each individual unique personality as the singing and dancing creates a memorable summer.

For camp registrations and information, call the Media Theatre at 610-891-0100 or visit the website at mediatheatre.org.



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