Hesston College’s summer musical theatre camp will feature a new format in summer 2022. Aspiring actors and tech crew members ages 11 to 18 will stay in the dorms June 13 to 18 while participating in an immersive production schedule culminating in a Saturday matinee performance of the musical “The Addams Family.”
The weeklong overnight theatre camp replaces the two-week day camp with the goal to more fully immerse students in the theatre process. Mornings and afternoons will feature rehearsals and tech preparations. In the evenings campers will stay in the dorms and participate in activities including movie premiere night, variety show, a pool party, ultimate game night and more.
Over the last several years, Hesston College’s Summer Theatre Camp has become a popular summer event for high school and junior high students. In the year prior to the pandemic, the camp drew its largest enrollment with more than 40 participants who staged the musical, “School House Rock Live!”. During the summer of 2020, the camp was adapted for pandemic circumstances and staff worked with campers individually and produced a smaller showcase. Last year, much of the pre-pandemic camp format returned but with a smaller cast and crew staging “The Jungle Book” for an open air audience of more than 200.
This year the show selected is the family friendly musical comedy, “The Addams Family.” The show revisits the kooky characters from the classic TV show and exposes the “wackiness that can be found in every family.”
The 2022 summer theatre camp will start with 9 a.m. check in the morning of June 13 and end with a 2 p.m. matinee performance for family, friends and the community June 18. Rehearsals and meals will be in Keim Center with dorming campers staying in Kauffman Court on the Hesston College campus. Evening activities will occur on campus or within the town of Hesston. Camp staff and participants will follow appropriate health guidelines for Covid for the duration of the camp through the final performance.
Hesston College Director of Theatre Rachel Jantzi will direct and design the show, oversee staff and all camp programming. Director of Choral Activities Russell Adrian will lead voice and instrumental sessions, set up sound as well accompany for the final performance. Additional staff will choreograph, lead in areas of costuming and set building and supervise the campers overnight.
“This is sure to bring about a strong sense of collaboration and teamwork beyond anything we’ve seen,” said Jantzi. “I was a program director for a large camp in Connecticut for many years and it was incredible. There are friendships that can form so quickly in a week’s time and when you combine that with the shared interest of theatre, it makes a lifelong, positive impact.
“We are also hoping, with it being a sleep-away camp, we can bring in students from farther away who haven’t had the opportunity – for whatever reason- to drive back and forth for a traditional day camp,” Jantzi continued. “This will be an exciting test of interest. We hope to offer something bigger and better to the students who have been coming for years while also expanding our reach, and we will continue to offer those who are excited about acting, singing, dancing, building shows and running tech a serious chance to work and shine as a company member in musical theatre.”
Registration is $295 per person and $275 for each additional child from the immediate family. This includes room and daily meals for 6 days and 5 nights, all theatre materials – script and score, guide vocal tracks – and full evening programming and events. For those who only wish to participate during the morning and afternoon theatre sessions along with lunch, the cost is $245.