Island summer camps at a glance
Island Theatre Workshop's Children's Theatre of Martha's Vineyard, in its 40th year, provides children between the ages of 6 and 18 with an overview of theater arts from June 29 to August 24. Campers take classes in music, acting, voice and speech, and body movement. "We encourage all of the children to express themselves," says Brian Ditchfield, the newly appointed director and an alumnus of the camp. The camp, located at the Sailing Camp Park off Barnes Road in Oak Bluffs, offers four two-week sessions and with the performance of an original musical at the end of each session. Contact: 508-939-4244, 508-693-2769; itwmv.org.
IMP All Things Theatre Camp, based on improvisational theater, allows kids to work in an ensemble format, and provides children the tools they need - through music, acting, movement, and stagecraft - to find their own voice. "IMP is all about choice," says IMP Camp Director and Founder Donna Swift. One- and two-week sessions from July 6 through August 21 focus on a specific theme, such as Joy, Trust, and Inspiration, and culminate in a student-created show. Contact: 508-939-9368. troubledshores.com.
Summer Stars Theater Arts Camp, 15 years running, is a small, friendly program for ages 9 to 14, that meets at the historic Vineyard Playhouse in Vineyard Haven. From July 6 to August 28, instructors and kids work together to explore weekly themes - African Tales, Greek Week and Shakespeare, for example - by combining theater and visual arts. Each weekly session ends with a presentation Contact: 508-693-6450, ext. 28; vineyardplayhouse.org.
The Yard, Chilmark's performing artists' colony, offers a summer program called Kids' Creative Theater that ties into The Yard's professional performances. Led by teaching artists, each one-week session from July 6 to August 14 combines an introduction to the basic skills of theater, music, movement, circus, yoga and stage combat. The Yard's artistic director Wendy Taucher explains: "Although The Yard was traditionally a dance venue, we introduce kids to a mix of genres to encourage their creativity." Children from first to fifth grade participate in family showings on Fridays and perform with The Yard festival artists in Saturday family matinees. Contact: 508-645-9662; dancetheyard.org.