The Grand Rapids Players is excited to announce its second round of this year’s newly created, COVID 19-compliant, Summer Theatre Camp. According to program coordinator, Sharon Marty, “We didn’t know what to expect, when we rolled out this summer theatre camp alternative. But we knew we had to come up with something to replace our traditional 3-week camp. After 14 years and over a thousand kids, it’s become a tradition in our community that we didn’t want to lapse. So, we came up with a way for families to produce their own show, in their own home, free for the asking, and to have those productions aired publicly.”

The program provides user-friendly Script & Tips packets crafted from popular folk tales. Reading levels, incorporated in the scripts, range from emergent to independent reading abilities. Cast sizes range from 4-6 along with a narrator. Some productions include sound effects. Some lend themselves to song and/or dance. This program invites creativity, ingenuity and allows for artistic freedom such as changing the genre from folk tale to fantasy, science fiction, and cultural diversity. Additional lines and characters can be inserted. Although this program is restricted to in-home family members, it is also available to child-care facilities as well, because these kiddos and places are COVID compliant.

Executive Director Steve Jaeger added, “We had a great response from families interested in joining us. Once I saw our first video, I was absolutely sold on the project! It was amazing! I couldn’t be more excited to see the others that come in.”

July Script & Tips packets are The Gingerbread Man, The 3 Little Pigs, and Goldilocks and the 3 Bears. Script & Tips packets include a brief history of each folk tale, casting options, and suggestions for simple sets, props and costumes, along with some performance techniques. Marty added, “We imbedded a bit of curriculum in the program both in literature and theatre education.”

Because all of the information is on the GRPlayers’ website, it’s accessible to anyone. Some videos have already been submitted, with more arriving daily.

“One of our participants,” Marty explained, “was a grandma looking for something fun for her grand kids to do. They had so much fun with their first production, that they’re going to revisit our website when they return to North Carolina and produce another one of the selections!”

Participants are invited to choose from a variety of staging options that include costumed characters, sock puppets, stick puppets, stuffed animals/dolls, as well as a Readers Theatre suggestion. Families are asked to send a video-recording of their production to be uploaded to the GRPlayers’ website and Facebook page. The most recent videos are available for viewing. At the culmination of the program, August 31, a composite DVD will be crafted and shown on ICTV. Theatre coaches, Kayla Witherill and Marty, are available throughout the program, via email and/or phone.

For more information, visit grplayers.com to download the registration and request forms. Once completed and received, your Script & Tips packet will arrive quickly. There is no fee for this program. The Grand Rapids Players supports “Itasca Strong”.

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