The end of May and beginning of June is a time of hectic last minute panic for parents of young children. Why? They’re frantically trying to find a summer camp to keep their young'ins entertained during summer vacation when school is not in session.
Open any parent magazine and you’ll find a slew of choices: sports camps, science camps, music camps, sleepaway camps, art camps, dance camps… the list is endless.
One of the most popular camps is summer theatre camp, and one of the best out there is held in Valley Village at the Colfax Charter Elementary School Auditorium. Lori Ada Jaroslow and Pam Shafer Moser will be directing the Broadway Junior Disney version of Beauty and the Beast.
“The Musical Theatre Arts Summer program is run like a conservatory,” Pam explained. “The children have daily classes in improv, dance, voice and art while also rehearsing and performing in a full scale musical.”
There are still a few open spots for the production.
“There will be no sitting around this camp,” noted Lori. “You are either rehearsing for the play or you are in a class,” who added that each class teaches a craft needed for the show.
Last year’s production of Alice in Wonderland was “a magical, collaborative experience and I cannot wait to work with the kids again,” Pam said. “Our goal is to provide an experience for kids in which they learn to work as a team, all the while building self confidence, to appreciate their own creativity, to find their voice both literally and figuratively, and to celebrate the joyfully collaborative nature of theatre.”
Pam and Lori both have been acting and teaching their craft for most of their adult lives. Lori performed on Broadway in Grease and Fiddler on the Roof and won a 2010 AUDIE award (the Oscars of audio books) for directing Tell Me a Story, which won numerous gold and silver parent choice awards. Most recently she was awarded an NEA grant to produce her own musical, Project Baby, which coincidentally has a reading at The Road Theatre tonight, May 21, in NoHo.
Pam has had a lively television, film and stage acting career and wrote and performed in two plays that were produced at regional theatres across the country, including the well-received Moms Gone Mad, which had a run recently at Sherman Oaks’ Whitefire Theatre. She created the New York’s Bendheim Performing Arts Center theatre arts program and ran it for a decade before she moved to L.A. The Hollywood Arts Council invited her to create their school theatre arts pilot program and Pam received special recognition from State Assembly member Mike Feuer, who stated, "I come from a family of educators and was an educator myself, and Miss Pam is one of the finest educators I have ever met."
Art class will be taught by the creative Karen Gold, and she will be guiding the kids in creating props, painting sets or working on independent projects. Besides rehearsing dance numbers in the show, choreographer Jodie Roland Patterson will be instructing general dance classes including her well-known Zumba workshop. Actor Tait Ruppert, perhaps the truly nicest guy in the entire world, will be teaching improv. Gina Wingate Ladomade, who had a fruitful career as a film costumer, will be creating costumes and teaching the craft to the children.
Beauty and the Beast welcomes kids between 7 and 17 years of age. They will have rehearsals Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. beginning June 26. Performances are on July 27-29, and rehearsals will take place every day the week of July 23. The fee for the 5-week camp is $750 (less than $43 per day), with a $50 discount for siblings. Payment is due by June 15. Lori and Pam will also be holding auditions before the first day of rehearsal with final roles announced in plenty of time for the actors to learn their lines beforehand so they can hit the ground running starting on the first day of camp.