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Geyer's Camp Curtain Call to stage production

| Thursday, June 19, 2014, 7:21 p.m.
Marilyn Forbes | For the Daily Courier
Practicing a song from the upcoming “Willy Wonka Junior” are (from left) Michelle McCalmont, 11, of Donegal, and Halle and Hanna Detwiler, both 11, of Connellsville.

Fostering the creativity and imaginations of young performers from the area, students taking part in the annual Camp Curtain Call held at the Geyer Performing Arts Center in Scottdale will present “Willie Wonka Jr.” for the public on Saturday.

The camp, sponsored by the Geyer Performing Arts Center Education Department, teaches participants the fundamentals of theater, such as stage direction, voice projection, acting, dancing, costuming and prop making.

“I have seen children transform from a shy fly on the wall to a belle of the ball,” said Mandy Onder, education department manager at the Geyer. “It is magical watching kids come out of their shells and shed their inhibitions.”

The camps are divided into two age groups. The June camp is offered to students ages 9 through 17 and the July camp is geared for those 4 to 8 years old.

June's camp was well attended.

“We have 33 kids this year ranging in age from 8 to 17 years old,” Onder said. “The response this year has been astronomical.”

Students who have been at the camp said that they enjoyed the experience.

“I really like it,” Tatum Detwiler, 13, of Connellsville, said. “We came because we like to act and everything. This has been fun.”

“This year we were able to put on an actual musical where as in the past the kids have created their own materials or sang musical theater reviews,” Onder said. “We have written plays and shared theater experiences with the audience. This year we are sharing the wonderful world of ‘Willy Wonka Jr.' the musical. Our program has really blossomed along with our students.”

Onder said students have been working hard and are excited about bringing a real production to the stage.

“I have really had a blast working with this group,” Onder said. “They really work well together as an ensemble which is one of the main focuses of our curriculum. They have really taken the show and made it their own.”

The July camp, entitled “Once Upon a Time,” will be held 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. July 14 through the 18 at the theater.

Cost for the July camp is $50 per student. Volunteers are needed to help with the upcoming July camp.

There will be only be one performance of “Willy Wonka Jr.” It will be staged at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Tickets will be $6.

For Saturday show ticket information or to volunteer call the theater at 724-887-0887.

Marilyn Forbes is a contributing writer.

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