In the summer of 2013, Interlochen Arts Camp will welcome a group of young actors, dancers and singers for the inaugural summer of the junior musical theatre production program. For six weeks, the students will work with faculty and staff on a production of “Dear Edwina,” which they will perform at the end of the summer.
While musical theatre has been part of Interlochen Arts Camp, in some form, since the earliest years of the summer program, there has not been a dedicated six-week musical theatre program for juniors until now.
Bill Church, director of the theatre program at Interlochen, noted that there has always been considerable interest in expanding the program to include younger performers. “Our high school and intermediate musical theatre programs give young actors an incredible opportunity: to take students from nothing to a full production in six short weeks. It is an amazing learning experience, and we are thrilled to extend this opportunity to our junior campers.”
Students in the program will develop their performance skills further, learn the value of working as an ensemble and, most importantly, they will have fun! Daily class and rehearsals will be filled with movement, dancing, singing, acting and exploration through the imagination.
“My teaching approach will focus on helping students work in an ensemble,” said Johamy Morales, the director of the program. “As with any Interlochen program, we will maintain high expectations. But the emphasis will be on creating a strong individual and artistic foundation for them to succeed as young artist as they go forward in the future. We want all these students to reach their potential.”
The production was selected with the needs of junior campers in mind. "Dear Edwina" is an educational, inspiring and fun musical that tells the story of Edwina Spoonapple, a young girl who is in search of recognition and notoriety. Edwina runs a show called The Dear Edwina Show, where people from around town send her letters in hopes of receiving her invaluable advice. Through the help of her family, friends and aspirations, she discovers the true meaning of giving back.
“Dear Edwina" shares many universal children's struggles and questions: identity, sense of belonging and the results of giving back,” explained Morales. “This musical also gives these young actors the opportunity to learn about the craft of acting and how to tell a story through song and dance.”