After hosting the inaugural year of their youth camp online, Sudbury Performance Group is excited to offer their youth programming in-person this summer, said Mark Mannisto, founder and president of the Sudbury Performance Group (SPG).
Their Youth Company is a summer day camp designed to give youth in the Greater Sudbury Area the chance to get up on stage and have fun!
“They just want the opportunity to be creative, and certainly over the past year-and-a-half or so with the pandemic they haven’t really had that opportunity,” said Mannisto, adding that they also get to interact in-person with their peers, something that wasn’t possible with online schooling.
The day camp will be held in two-week sessions and offered to children ages six to ten,and ages ten and up. This year, these age groups will be kept separate in order to be compliant with the current Ministry of Health Guidelines for day camps.
What kids will experience in SPG’s Youth Company summer day camp
The children will be learning the essentials of stage performance including acting, choreography and vocals, taught by four, highly-skilled artists who will be their camp counselors.
“They are artists who have a significant amount of experience in their own specific fields, for example, whoever will be teaching the choreography will be an experienced choreographer…,” said Mannisto, adding that each counsellor will also have a vast amount of prior stage experience.
At the end of the two weeks, the children will be performing a full-scale musical theatre production that will be chosen based on each group of kids, and what their capabilities, strengths and preferences are.
“And with these camps, you don’t need to have any past theatre experience, so this gives them their first taste at what it’s like to be an actor on stage,” said Mannisto. “The goal is to have these children who are participating in our camps end up being the stars of one of our productions down the road.”
The benefits of summer theatre camp and why kids enjoy it
Mannisto, who has organized and worked with youth camps in the past, said in his experience kids love theatre camp because they get to explore their creativity, and with such vast imaginations they’re always eager and excited to try new things.
“They’re basically blank canvasses that are just dying to be painted,” Mannisto said. “So you give them a task and they just run with it, they don’t hold back they just want to be up on stage with their friends and this gives them the opportunity to do that and to do a full-scale musical production comprised completely of their peers.”
Mannisto said there’s also an incomparable energy that happens when kids are learning and being creative in a group setting. He said they feed off of each other’s creative energy, and build off of it, all culminating in a live performance they get to share with their friends and family.
“We’re really looking forward to it because this will be our first time being able to offer some programming with a live performance for over a year-and-a-half now,” he said.
Registration for SPG’s Youth Company is now open. Cost of registration is $275.00 per child, per session, and there’s a 10 per cent discount for families that enrol more than one child. First session begins on July 12, and will be every two weeks until the last session ends on September 3. Camp runs from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., but kids can get dropped off at 8:30 a.m. and picked up by 4:30 p.m.