Camp Broadway a Summer Sensation
Kids learn theater from professionals
Kid Reporter Cecilia Gault with Thommie Retter, who plays Mr. Braithwaite in Billy Elliot, and two other cast members at Camp Broadway event in New York City. (Photo courtesy Cecilia Gault)
Camp Broadway is a great way for young people to learn about the craft and magic of theater. For the last 15 years, Camp Broadway kids have received theater training in singing, dancing, and acting.
I had the privilege of joining Camp Broadway for a pre-show dinner and an evening at Radio City Music Hall to see the Tony Awards in June. It was truly a star-studded evening. We were joined by the 2009 Tony Award-winning Best Actor Trent Kowalik, along with fellow Billy Elliot cast members Thommie Retter, Tessa Netting, and Marina Micalizzi.
"I love to do Irish step dancing and it really helped me for Billy," said Kowalik about his dance background.
Kowalik lives on Long Island. "I love the beach," he told the Scholastic Kids Press Corps. "And I love being near the city."
Besides acting, Kowalik enjoys high school and excels at math. He is also a Rubik's Cube master. He sees a connection between acting and academics.
"When you're on stage, you always have to be thinking and connecting with other people," he said. "It's not just memorizing lines."
Hally Pace from Wellsville, New York, says she has been in Camp Broadway for a year. "It's been truly amazing," she said. "It has been so fun and I truly hope it will continue forever."
Luminaries of the New York stage come each year to speak to camp participants. Past speakers include cast members of Shrek, Billy Elliot, The Lion King, Wicked, and many others.
The talented camp kids come from many different parts of the world and seem to have positive and life-changing experiences. Camp Broadway's 2010 National Summer Tour runs for 12 weeks this year, including Florida, Arizona, Georgia, Rhode Island, and Texas.
For more about Camp Broadway, check out its website.
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