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Future stars welcome at Stage Right! camp in Greensburg

| Thursday, July 31, 2014, 3:23 p.m.
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Working on an upcoming show for Stage Right! are campers (from left) Lucy Cramer, 7, of Latrobe, Sydney Joyce, 9, of Apollo and Laura Stanish, 8, of Youngwood and instructor Maurissa Auer.

What viewers see up on the stage gives only a glimpse into the purpose of Stage Right!, a performing arts school in Greensburg.

“The whole idea is to build amazing kids,” artistic director Anthony Marino said of its classes, programs and camps. “It's not only about performing. It's about building confidence, character and self-esteem.”

Stage Right! will offer its final “Stars of Tomorrow” summer camp Monday through Friday.

Children will gather for instruction and entertainment at the David Mateer Center for the Performing Arts, 105 W. Fourth St., Greensburg. Sessions for campers, ages 5 to 9, run from 10 a.m. until noon.

“This is the perfect age for them to start,” Marino said. “Their imaginations are just beginning to become ripe.”

On the first day, campers will be given a script for “Cinderella” for a show that will be performed on Friday.

“These kids are so excited, and they adapt very quickly,” Marino said. “They will get their characters and their script, and most of them will know their lines the next day.”

The production is a special adaptation of the classic fairy tale that features some original music.

“It's a way to get the whole family involved,” Marino said. “A lot of the time the parents will tell us that they have also learned the script while going over and over it with their children.”

The camps have grown in popularity over the 16 years that they have been offered, Marino said.

His son, Anthony Marino, 14, said that he has enjoyed the camps and programs because he can share his interests with other students.

“Schools are centered on sports and academics,” Anthony said. “I like coming here because I like musical theater and I like performing. This teaches you good discipline, and it also gives me the chance to meet other kids who like the same things that I do.”

The camp incorporates theater games, basic singing instruction and basic dance lessons.

“These are really good programs and camps that benefit the kids while also giving them the opportunity to really work with their imaginations,” said Maurissa Auer, a former student who is now an instructor.

“Everyone here is always very welcoming,” Auer said. “They know that they all share the same interest and they can identify with each other. It's a great group of kids.”

Many former participants of the “Stars of Tomorrow” camp have stayed with the center, rising up through other camps as they enjoy the experience of learning and performing.

“I really like coming here,” said Sydney Joyce, 9, of Apollo. “I really enjoy it, and I love to perform.”

Marilyn Forbes is a contributing writer.

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