ARTE Jr. camp gives youngsters a taste of being on stage

About three dozen aspiring young thespians have been working on their craft during a week-long theater camp at Struthers Library Theatre.

The Allegheny Regional Theater Experience (ARTE) Jr. summer camp invited students entering grades one through four to learn about and practice musical theater skills.

Under the direction of Jennifer Koebley and Charmaine Check, with assistance from local youth theater veterans Jordan Ewing, Abbey Streich, and Eric Zavinski, the students practiced the dance and the words for one song.

“We focused on one song – ‘I am but a Small Voice’,” Streich said. “I feel like we’ve learned a lot.”

They also toured the theater, from the stage to the light booth, and the Liberty Street annex where costumes, sets and props are stored by Warren Players.

Koebley calls the camp “Intro to Performing and Intro to Theater.”

During the two-hour sessions, campers worked on specific skills including self-esteem, improvisation, acting, terms and vocabulary, team building, voice, music, movement, staging, and choreography, among others.

This camp was her first to include six- and seven-year-olds.

“There are other classes throughout the year,” Streich said.

Koebley said signups for fall semester will open in September. That class culminates with a Christmas show.

The spring semester signups begin in January and that class also features a final show.

Students in grades two through five may enroll in ARTE Jr. Students in grades six through eight are part of ARTE. High school students go into Youth Connection.

Those interested in signing up may contact the theater office at 723-7231.