The Cortland Repertory Theatre (CRT) Summer Camp was built to help people who want to learn more about theatre, but the program can be fun from anyone who might not be interested in theatre, performance and the arts. The camp provides activities on various topics related to theatre, not just acting. For example, if you like music production or make-up there are workshop at the camp that help you with those skills.
The CRT Summer Camp was started 23 years ago, by Bill Coughlin, to teach kids who are going into 6th grade all the way up to 12th grade about different techniques in theatre. The camp covers all the different aspects of the theatre that you might not learn from simply doing a school play.
The camp is located at Little York Park. The building is built right next to Little York Lake giving an amazing view of the lake. You get a good idea for what the building looks like on the outside with the pictures above but the inside of the building looks really nice as well. The inside of the bottom half of the building has a nice wood floor, tables for working at and one giant desk so when they are going over something specific. They have quite a few windows most having a different view and they all look beautiful.
The really cool thing about the program is that it is really flexible so you choose when you go. Basically that means if y0u only want to go to the camp to go over makeup you can go the week that they do makeup on. If your only into musicals, you could go the week they do musical items, so it is really your call when you go to the camp.
What the Camp Does
The camp is about teaching that acting is not the only part in plays. When I went there, the campers were making themselves into zombies! Though before they could put the actual make-up on they learned about shading techniques, practicing on a sheet of paper with a face on it. Some of you may wonder what this has to do with theatre? Well, make-up and many other details are a big part of what goes into a production.
The way the camp is set-up is neat because if you are only interested in one aspect, you can go for only one day or one week to learn about that thing and skip the rest. During the zombie make-up workshop, the teacher explained shading which can allow for more practical use outside of the theatre for people who love using make-up.
(CRT campers applying the makeup)
The camp also allows for creative people to be creative! Even though everyone is focused on one project and follows the lead of the teacher or camp director, you are able to have some fun with it and do things your unique way. Someone accidentally put on blush all over their face instead of the foundation, and instead of having her restart, she kept going and made the most out of it.
(A CRT teacher giving campers tips before they start)
The camp goes over many different things that are fun and exciting and also teaches about things that go behind the scenes of the different parts of plays. The kids at the program all seem to get along with each other so they are probably open to new kids and would welcome new people.
Reviews of the Program by Some of the People in it
After talking with some of the CRT campers, most of them LOVE the camp! The people I talked to said that their favorite things to do are play the games or do improv, but they all enjoyed all of what they did at the camp. Most planned on going to the camp for all four weeks and they had went to the camp before.
My personal opinion is that the program seems very interesting because they are going over things that make people realize that acting isn’t the only thin that goes into making a play. The program can also show people the different parts of theatre if they’re interested in theatre as a career.
Learn more about the camp here.