Irish acting academy for kids comes back to town, adds new Mini-Camp for Adults
Published 9:00 am Monday, June 26, 2017
Karen Logue said after years of holding a summer acting camp for kids, there have been several inquires received by West T. Hill about an adult camp.
“Adults would watch their kids partaking, and say ‘Wouldn’t this be fun for us?’”
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So Logue ran the idea past Ryan Moffett — who runs Uplift, an acting academy out of Carrickfergus, Danville’s sister city in Northern Ireland.
“Ever since the first ‘Shamrock,’ we have heard parents say ‘I’d love to do something like that’ or ‘Wish I had this experience when I was younger’ and this lead our team to thinking, why not…” Moffett says. “I am a firm believer that there is always time to try new things. A saying my grandfather had was ‘Every day is a school day’.”
Moffett says they want the parents to participate in a production similar to what the younger students go through so they can experience first-hand the growth in confidence and how this is achieved through the program. He says they began weekly adult classes at Uplift in Northern Ireland, and it has been “a brilliant success.”
Logue sits at her post at the front of West Wing, the additional location across from the main theater on Larrimore Lane which houses the business offices and extra rehearsal spaces. She leans over and pulls out a chart.
“He has it all lined out …” she says, pointing to the procedural manual. “First day: Go home happy. Second day: Go home confused. Third day: Go home tired. Fourth day: need a counselor….”
“He has it all planned out, but all jokes aside …” Logue says acting can do amazing things for the human psyche.
“For adults, it does the same thing that it does for kids. Helps with self-esteem, self-confidence, dignity. And for some people, they may be able to check something off of their bucket list,” Logue says.
“I think it’s even more important for adults, as speaking from experience we have to deal with so many things as an adult and we need to remember to have fun and enjoy life,” Moffett says. “The growth I saw in the adults in Northern Ireland was very humbling and they are all buzzing to start back in September. Music is a universal language that appeals to all age groups and can affect people in many different ways.”
But mostly, just like what is planned annually for CAMPCAUSEWELOVETOACT, the adult campers will have a blast — just like they’re kids again.
There will be skits and musical numbers, like medleys and numbers from “South Pacific,” for example. Logue says her ideal mix of people would be newcomers to the theater, as well as veteran actors.
Moffett says from personal experience, he loves having a mixture. He finds the experienced cast members turn into leaders in the workshop, encouraging those who are not so used to the program.
“They have a vital role to play to help build each other up and support. I believe that if you have a cast of all experienced cast members, sometimes egos can take over and it makes the whole creative process very difficult.”
“You can’t get the feeling that you get on stage from a party,” Logue says. “You can’t get this feeling from anything else, except from being on stage and performing in front of an audience. It’s magical.”
“I would love to encourage as many adults as possible to take part in with production. If you have never taken part in a musical theatre or a performing arts show before, an Uplift production is a fantastic step forward. You will gain new friendships, grown in confidence, laugh so much and have an amazing time. Normal life stresses are to be left at the door upon arrival.”
Logue says you never know — she may even take the adult camp session. “Well see,” she says, a huge smile spreading across her face.
“I think they will be surprised how quickly they will put together the show, the workshops are packed full of material, such as dance numbers, musical arrangements, acting medleys and so on,” Moffett says. “I hope they will be pleasantly surprised by how much they enjoy the whole experience and that they will wish to continue with performing. The adult cast can expect a relaxed, positive, creative environment and a place where they can laugh and be themselves.”
Anyone interested in the adult acting camp may fill out a registration on WTH’s website, but payment must be made in person or mailed to the office. The theater is set up to take cash or checks for camps, and Logue’s office hours are noon-2 Monday-Friday.
Kids’ camp returns
CAMPCAUSEWELOVETOACT will be back in full effect, with registration beginning Monday, June 26. Moffett will have three camp counselors will with him this time around, bringing UpLift’s unique style of acting classes back to Danville.
“It’s just an event that we never want to walk away from, no matter how much it costs to bring them here,” Logue says. The high energy, the musical numbers — it’s something she, and the many campers who return year after year, as well as the newbies — continually get into.
“Kids can expect an epic summer scheme full of new material and some golden oldies that they love,” Moffett says. “It is always a pleasure to direct the young people in Danville as they are always so talented and open to new ideas.”
The teachers for the workshops are Johanna Johnston, Ellie McKay and Moffett, as well as a singer-songwriter from Gallatin, Tennessee — Alissa Klein.
SO YOU KNOW
Registration for CAMPCAUSEWELOVETOACT (ages 5-18) will be noon-2 p.m. Monday-Friday, June 26-30 at West Wing, 137 N. Third St. The cost is $150 each, with additional siblings $100 each, with classes lead by Ryan Moffett from Uplift of Northern Ireland, and additional camp counselors. Camp will be held 10 a.m.-3 p.m. July 17-22 at West T. Hill Community Theatre. Registration for the Mini-Camp for Adults may be completed online at westthill.com, but payment must be made at West Wing. The cost is $100 per person. Camp will be held 6-9 p.m. July 24-27 at WTH. For more information, email
email@example.com or call (859) 236-8607.