What I learned at Summer Camp: Theater in the Back Yard
In the world of musical theater, you need a group of performers, and people who can direct the show. But you don’t always need an actual theater. At least not for those who are part of the Bunce Backyard Summer Theater Camp.
“Yeah so we are located at the Bunce home, the true Bunce back yard,” said Liz Smith, the director of the Bunce Backyard Summer Theater Camp in Maple Grove.
The camp is now in its fifth year.
“We’re an educational camp, so our goal is not just to put on a really cool show,” Smith said. “Our goal is to also educate them about, what does it look like to be in theater? What does it look like to go through an audition process? And really just to learn, what does it mean to be a good actor?”
Yet when you run a camp in a back yard, you’re subject to the mood of Mother Nature. And on the second day of the camp, rain was in the forecast.
“Well, it’s not opportune, but maybe we’ll be able to go inside and do some other things too,” said Emily Bergren, a camp participant.
“[The weather’s] not that great,” said Ben Cataldo, a camp participant. “But I guess it’s okay. It’s not too bad for Minnesota.”
Before the rain forced everyone indoors, the 40 camp participants went through a variety of singing and dancing exercises.
At the conclusion of the nine-day camp, this group will perform Disney’s “Sleeping Beauty Kids.”
“So they will be learning how to be a part of that group,” said Rhonda Roe, the board president of Bunce Backyard Productions. “And no matter how small their part is, it’s important to the overall success of the entire production.”
And while they learn how to put on a good production, each kid will take away something different from the experience.
“Just getting better at enunciating, acting and singing,” Cataldo said.
“I’m hoping to get more theater experience and more knowing what to do at auditions, what it’s like, maybe meet some new people and all that stuff,” added Bergren.
Whatever the motivation, it’s an opportunity for kids to get outside and have fun, provided that Mother Nature cooperates, of course.
The Bunce Backyard performance of “Sleeping Beauty Kids” will take place on Thursday, June 20 at 7 p.m. at 16938 Weaver Lake Drive, Maple Grove, MN 55311
Meanwhile, Bunce Educational Adventure Theater is holding a theater camp at Osseo Middle School on July 8. For more information, click here.