Theatre, Music, and Dance Camp Starts June 20
For the past five years, Edgecombe Community College has been drawing scores of talented young people to its annual Summer Theatre, Music, and Dance Camp.
“They say that the fifth year is when you know a restaurant will make it,” says the camp’s executive director, Roberta Cashwell. “Well, this is our fifth year, and we’re still here. We’re excited to be back.”
The camp typically brings together 20-25 young people, ages 9-19, to learn the ins and outs of a theatre production. The camp concentrates on teaching all aspects of theatre – not just performing.
“We don’t focus on one area,” Cashwell explains. “It is mostly a performing arts camp, but students have to have a working knowledge of all aspects of theatre. This camp touches a broad base of theatrical talents.”
In addition to acting, singing, and dancing, campers learn about costume, makeup, and set design.
This year’s one-week camp is scheduled for June 20-24 in Keihin Auditorium on the college’s Tarboro campus. The cost is $90 per person.
Dooley Ezzard, who teaches music at Wilson Preparatory Academy, returns as the camp’s musical director, and Patricia K. Bradshaw, who runs Dance Studio “B” in Wilson, again will be the camp’s choreographer.
“Last year, the camp grew significantly,” Cashwell says. “We held the camp for two weeks, with performances after each week.
“This year, the camp will be one week, but we hope to have as many students sign up as we did last year.”
Cashwell says the show for this year’s camp has yet to be determined, but she has selected several songs, around which a performance will be based.
“In the past, we have done selections from the Wizard of Oz, Wicked, Little Mermaid, and the Candy Man,” she says. “We try to focus on shows that have been on Broadway or are familiar to the kids.”
Cashwell, who teaches drama, communications, and English at Edgecombe Community College, is a 45-year veteran of the stage. Also a playwright and novelist, Cashwell started the Tar River Players, a theatre troupe which she led for 11 seasons.
Although some of the previous theatre campers have come in already signed by an agent, most are simply interested in learning more about the stage.
“Experience and training are not required,” Cashwell says. “Some of our students have signed up because their parents made them, but ultimately they discovered a new interest and really enjoyed themselves.”