Saturday, August 04, 2001

Mason High theater camp teaches art of performing

By Sue Kiesewetter
Enquirer Contributor

        MASON - Nine-year-old Bridget Sova is used to acting.

        But this week, the Loveland Elementary School fourth-grader got her first taste of choreography during Mason High School's theater camp. There, her group put together a routine to the song “Cool” from West Side Story.

        “It was a little harder,” Bridget said. “I thought they would help us a little more. We had to think about the counts and decide which steps would be good. It was fun.”

[photo] Katie Klahm, 16, (left) and kids from area schools dance to the song “Cool” from West Side Story during a Friday morning rehearsal at Mason High School's theater camp.
(Dick Swaim photo)
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        Bridget was one of 50 campers ages 5-14 who attended the weeklong camp under the direction of Allen Young, Mason High School's theater director.

        About 22 high school students divided the campers into small groups by age and taught them aspects of theater work including how to act, choreography, costumes, monologues, comedy, improvisation and a sampling of Shakespeare. Campers were allowed to take two classes during the three-hour daily sessions.

        “The hardest part was getting everyone to put in their own ideas and not teach them too much or take over,” said Katie Klahm, a 16-year-old Mason High School junior who was teaching choreography.

        “I always went to camp and it's kind of nice being on the other side.”

        The students' newly acquired skills were showcased during a two-hour performance Friday evening that included the West Side Story song, a scene from Toy Story II and other short skits, performances and improvisations.

        “It's a good outreach to the community,” Mr. Young said of the camp. “The students reinforce what they've learned through the show. The high school students teach the class and have to write lesson plans which helps them.”

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