Altoona Community Theatre announces summer drama camps

Deadline to register May 31

Altoona Community Theatre announces summer 2021 drama camps. Registration is now open and closes on May 31. For more information and a complete schedule of all camps, visit altoonacommunitytheatre.com/camps.

For 33 years, ACT has offered workshops for youngsters from kindergarten through 12th grade to help them build self-expression, confidence and concentration skills through theater games and improvisational exercises.

Students gain an understanding of what it takes to stage a live theatrical show. They also prepare a presentation for family and friends.

Basic theater terminology is taught, as well as the legacy behind Altoona’s historic playhouse built by Isaac Mishler.

The class sizes are limited for maximum participation by the students. Parents should register their child based on the grade they just completed. This is a change from previous registration guidelines and ensures that all younger students are used to daily school expectations and gives teens an additional year to participate.

Classes are conducted in the rehearsal hall at ACT’s administrative offices located at 1213 12th St. (beside Tom & Joe’s diner).

Class size is limited (generally 11to 17 students) to allow for maximum participation by the students. Classes fill quickly, but wait lists are available.

This year, ACT will offer 10 different sessions. Classes are divided into four age categories: kindergarten to second grade, third to fifth grade, sixth to eighth grade and ninth to 12th grade.

Classes take place in two-week cycles: Mondays through Fridays from 9 a.m. to noon or from 1 to 4 p.m. for younger ages; and 6 to 9 p.m. for teens who often have band practices, etc. during the day.

Sessions for the lowest age group are one week in length instead of two and only two hours per day instead of three. The workshop performances are presented the night before the final session, giving the students an opportunity the next day to discuss the experience and to help “strike” their costumes, scenery, etc. back to their proper storage areas.

Instructors for the workshops are members of ACT who have had specific training and/or experience in children’s theater.

This year’s teaching staff includes some of the most experienced theater performers and educators in the region.

n Julie Binus is a past student and longtime instructor of the ACT drama camps. This will be Binus’ 14th year teaching with ACT. Binus has a bachelor of arts degree in theater, as well as a bachelor of science degree in elementary education. She has taught at other children’s theater workshops in the past in Arizona and Pennsylvania.

n Brooke Meadows has performed on stage in numerous productions with ACT, Penn State Altoona, Things Unseen and McConnellstown Playhouse. Meadows is the co-adviser and director of Hollidaysburg Area Children’s Theatre (HACT) and has taught summer drama camps in Hollidaysburg and at the Blair Regional YMCA. Meadows studied communications and theater at Slippery Rock University and has her Pennsylvania teaching certification for grades K-6 from Saint Francis University, Loretto.

n Karen Volpe has been involved with ACT as director, actor, producer, board member, board president and camp instructor for more than 40 years. She wrote and directed 13 “Sparkle Shows” involving hundreds of young people from the area. She recently retired from the Blair County Arts Foundation where she served as program specialist for the Mishler Theatre. Her theater experience includes touring with a professional musical comedy troupe based out of Las Vegas and studying theater at Butler University.

n Kate Kale Wolf has been involved with ACT since 1990 and has performed in, stage managed and directed numerous productions, as well as co-founded the Isaac Awards 15 years ago. She has taught summer drama camps at ACT since 1995 and has directed productions for BCAF’s Family Theatre series. Wolf directed the musicals at Central Cambria High School, Ebensburg, for 14 years while working as a guidance counselor in their elementary school.


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