Then & Now- What Summers at American Stage Did for Me
Do you have children that think outside the box? – Love art, or acting, or creating? Would you love to see them have an experience that builds confidence, empathy, and critical thinking skills – all while having a ball and building life-long friendships? Then you should consider American Stage Summer Camp.
Here are some thoughts from theater campers past and present.
Out of the Mouths of Babes
We asked four 9-10 year old students, currently attending American Stage classes, to tell us what they love about it and what they want to be when they grow up.
Maxwell Ruhe - Age 9
“I really like theater because it’s fun to be able to do things that you can’t do in school. I love being able to create and I can also do that in my free time and on weekends. I want to become an actor one day.”
Georgiana “Georgie” Booksh – Age 10
“I love that everyone’s not afraid to be who they are, and we play a bunch of fun games all the time, like murder mystery games. I liked how dark it got. I just like acting a lot. When I grow up, I’d like to be an actress or an attorney.”
Bailey Schwerzel – Age 10
“Mostly, I love the games we play and the people in it. They’re really nice. I always have fun and I like making friends. I want to be a child nurse when I grow up.”
Carolina Reilly Burke – Age 9
“I love acting and I love putting myself out there. I have a huge case of stage fright and it helps me a lot when I just get out there and do it. I literally act every day, even in school. It’s hilarious. I like the people here at American Stage because they are kind and they let us play games and let our imagination fly away. I love that. I want to be a preschool teacher who takes her kids on field trips all the time.”
Where Are They Now?
We asked four “grown-ups” from theater camps past, what it meant to them and what, if anything, was the impact on their future careers.
Jordan Stovall – Dramatists Guild of America
“Someone asked me recently, in an interview, what my first theatre memory was. American Stage was my answer. Summer Camp was the first time I ever got on stage or was encouraged to make something – I learned what theatre could be - silly, fun, creative, and collaborative. I met friends that are still in my life today. American Stage cares not only about producing great work, but shepherding artists through every stage of development at any age: from simple curiosity to making a living doing what they love. I now have a full-time life in the arts, and American Stage helped make that possible.”
Miriam Rochford – Freelance AEA Stage Manager
“American Stage summer camps gave me confidence and long-lasting friendships, fostering my love of the performing arts and ultimately introducing me to a community that I still consider home. I went from being baby-sat in the box office of American Stage, to attending their summer camps, to camp counselor, then I worked my way up the ranks to Production Stage Manager of a Park musical. I received my Equity card from American Stage. I truly cannot imagine my life without the impact this theatre company has made on it.”
Leonard Williams – Healthcare Administrator
“Some of the things that stand out to me are the friendships built during that time. We came from many different backgrounds, but the shared experience of theater brought us together in ways that may never have happened otherwise. I was so grateful for the teachers, turned mentors, who invested themselves in me. Theater camp greatly contributed to my growth, not only as an artist, but as a person. Even though I am not currently active in theater, there is comfort in knowing that my love of music and the arts will never leave me.”
*Of Note: Leonard appeared in American Stages’ production of Gem of the Ocean – the first play in August Wilson’s Century Cycle.
Alana Clapp – General Stage Manager, Cirque du Soleil Las Vegas, NV
“I started attending summer theater camp in elementary school. There, I was exposed to a carefully crafted universe full of joy that forever instilled in me the importance of arts education in my life. Those years were my introduction to the world of entertainment, a world I am privileged to live in professionally today. In college, I even got to teach some of the things I learned as a child to a new generation of students. My camp experience has continued to shape my current path and, 25 years later, I still stand on those experiences – a proud theater geek, forever tied to a camp whose example serves as a guide for us all to bring a little bit more joy into the world.”
American Stage Summer Camps
Camps run June 5 - August 4, 2023
Camps are in three age groups 5-7, 8-12 and 13-18.