Drama camp to make return here in August

Sam Odrowski

Those with an interest in drama and the performing arts will have an excellent opportunity to hone their skills next month with the return of Fort Frances Little Theatre’s camp.
After a two-year hiatus, the local troupe has organized a week-long camp from Aug. 6-11, starting at 9 a.m. and wrapping up by 4 p.m. each day.
The camp’s programming is based on the hit musical film, “The Greatest Showman,” that celebrates the birth of show business and the start of circus-style entertainment set in the 1850s.
The movie’s musical numbers and storyline will be turned into a dramatic performance that camp participants will perform for their parents at the end of the week.
As well, attendees will meet new people, play fun games, make crafts, engage in creative projects, and do team-building exercises.
“It’s kind of a varied experience rather than it just being focused on a performance,” explained drama camp instructor Danielle Gray.
“And I think that’s what makes it special,” she remarked. “It’s a mixed bag.”
Originally from England, Gray has an extensive background in drama, with an undergrad degree in musical theatre and lots of experience teaching drama to kids.
She also has an especially strong background when it comes to teaching kids who struggle in social situations.
“I’m great at working with kids around those kind of issues,” she noted.
Gray is encouraging children aged eight-16 with an interest in drama to sign up for the camp.
“It’s not only for kids who have a background in theatre, but also for kids who are wanting to break into it but don’t have a lot of experience,” she said.
Gray added the camps also are great for building confidence in children who are shy.
“This will do them well and get them out of their shell a little bit,” she reasoned.
“I’ve worked with kids who have been through some serious turmoil in their short life.
“And that, to me, is the most rewarding part of it,” Gray said. “When you have the underdog who has struggled and has been through stuff, and then you watch them succeed-it’s even more special.”
She is hoping to provide a unique and empowering experience to those who sign up for the camp.
“I hope they’ll have a different experience,” Gray enthused. “I hope this is something they’ve never attended before, and I hope that more of them will maybe think about going into the arts and using the arts as an outlet in the future.
“It’s something that’s really special and I know for me and people that I know, it’s saved us from potentially going down a wrong path in life.”
Gray found purpose in drama and attributed much of her success to her passion for it.
“I truly believe that it really gave me some serious determination with what to do with my life,” she revealed.
Gray hopes to do the same for other kids who choose to attend the camp.
“I want to do that for one kid,” she stressed. “To inspire them to go, ‘Oh wow, I want to do this some day,’ and give them the fire in their belly to do that.”
Moving forward, Gray is eager to teach drama skills to kids and have a whole lot of fun along the way.
“It’s my absolute pleasure to be here,” she enthused. “I cant wait to see what the kids have to offer.”
The costs of the camp is $225 per person but siblings who sign up will get a 10 percent discount.
To sign up for the camp, e-mail Gray at Danniiormerod@gmail.com or call Cathy Richards at 271-0389.
Those who do attend are asked to bring along a packed lunch each day as the camp runs all day long.