By LEE WARD
On the second floor of the Paramount Arts Center, several young, aspiring actresses are sharing their inspiration as they learn more about their craft during the center’s summer camp.
Kids Summer Camp got under way June 10, with classes that included theater, crafts, art, dance and modeling.
This week, classes continue those themes with the basics of acting, Fun with Clay, Barnyard Dance, craftinging and Best of Broadway, which is where the actresses could be found Monday afternoon learning the song “Naughty” from the musical “Matilda.” The sheet music was stacked on a table and education assistant and voice instructor Joshua Jannotta was preparing to show a video of the Tony performance of the song when the participants talked about why they wanted to attend the camp.
“I have loved to sing and dance and act since I was 5,” Katlyn Brumfield, now a freshman at South Point High School, said.
Gracie Holmes, a 9-year-old at Fairview Elementary, said she, too, has always enjoyed performing.
Eleven-year-old Shaylin Lewis knows she wants to be on Broadway.
“I know someone who is a Broadway actor and has told me all about it,” the Hager Elementary School student said. “That’s exactly what I want to do.”
MacKenzie Lee, 8, a student at Hager Elementary School, said she’s preparing to audition for the play “Rug Rats.”
All the actresses love singing, dancing and acting and will get their opportunity to hone their skills this week during the session that will teach current Broadway hits and classics, culminating in a performance on Friday, the final day of this week’s camps.
Education/Outreach Director Melanie Cornelison said the Paramount has offered camps for many years but expanded camp to multiple weeks about four years ago, offering more variety, including crafts and visual arts.
She said between 80 to 150 campers will attend per week.
There also is a two-week Production Camp, which culminates in a performance of “101 Dalmatians” at 7 p.m. July 19,
“Children will learn how to do choreography, they’ll learn songs, blocking scenes, set design, makeup,” she said, noting the camp booked up quickly. Many attendees hope to audition for a Paramount Players show in the future and some have already participated in Paramount Players but want to learn more.
Cornelison sald this year, the camp also has added another acting class for those 12 to 16. The session, which is from July 8 through 12, aims at improv.
“It’s a more in-depth class that will show children how to create a character and how to bring it to life,” she said.
Meanwhile, around the corner at Ashland Regional Dance Theatre, children 5 to 10 assemble to learn a few dance moves in the class called 1, 2, 3 Hip, 5, 6, 7 Hop.
Instructor Kaitlyn Kincade said although the class is about hip hop, she is starting students with a few jazz steps.
“They need to learn the basic movements before they learn the bigger moves,” Kincade said. “Then they can learn how to make it their own because hip hop is about being creative. We just want them to have fun and express themselves.”
She said it’s exciting to see so many 5- and 6-year-olds interested in dance.
“When they’re interested this young, they are more likely to stay interested as they get older,” she said.
All the while, yet another group of children are quietly enjoying a session called Pinterest Party. Led by Kelsey Craig, the eight crafters sit in silence, making designs on bandanas. It’s the first day and they’re already on their second project — the first was sand art in a bottle.
“At the end of the week, we’ll have an exhibit of their work,” Craig said.
‰July 8 through 12 includes crafts focusing on Japanese culture, sign language, intro to improvisation, creative movement, acting theories, origami and jewelry making.
‰July 15 through 19 includes drawing, crafts focusing on “girly” items, creative movement, dance with an emphasis on a princess theme and an art class that includes drawing, painting, printing and collage.
Cornelison said the only class that’s full is the production class; those who wish to attend any other classes may register at the Paramount’s box office or call the box office at (606) 324-3175.
LEE WARD can be reached at email@example.com or (606) 326-2661.