Lucy Moses School’s Summer Musical Theater

Lucy Moses School’s Summer Musical Theater Workshop Turns 20!

A Different Kind of Summer Camp Where Kids Create & Perform in a New Musical

This Year’s Theme is “The Little Apple”—“The Big Apple” from a Child’s Point of View

New York City offers many options for kids during the summer, but where else can they take part in the creation of a new musical they’ll perform on the stage of a major concert hall? Lucy Moses School’s Summer Musical Theater Workshop (SMTW), which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, give kids ages six through 15 a unique opportunity to work in small groups of children their own age together with a director/writer, a musical director/composer and teenage interns to rehearse new musical plays written especially for them. Five weeks of classes in singing, acting and movement lead up to an exhilarating performance in Merkin Concert Hall that gives every child the chance to be a star.

The 2009 workshop begins on June 29 and runs Monday through Thursday until July 30; performances take place on July 28 and 29, 2009.

Each year the musical plays created by campers share a different theme, such as variations on folk tales from a specific country or region. This summer campers will draw inspiration from the theme “The Little Apple”—“The Big Apple” from a child’s point of view. Two of the musicals take place in the Museum of Natural History and the lost and found department at Grand Central Station. A production set in Central Park in 1901 dramatizes an actual historical event: a disastrous scheme to charge a fee for sitting on chairs in the park that led to rioting!

The SMTW, which is open to children at all levels of talent and experience with no audition required, was a hit from the first year, says workshop director Sean Hartley, who is a director, playwright, lyricist and composer as well as an educator. Most existing camps were oriented towards athletics or nature, and there was a great need for options that appealed to creative, artistic kids. “That first year, we weren’t sure how many campers there would be, so we decided to write the show ourselves,” says Hartley. “We wanted the children to see what it’s like to be part of a creative team, and it was so exciting for the kids to have new scenes and songs every day. We decided to make it a permanent part of the program.”

“Being in a play is kind of like being on a theater team,” says Hartley. “It provides a real group ensemble experience.” Children get exercise as they would at, say, soccer camp, “but as part of an artistic rather than a competitive pursuit.” Unlike more traditional summer camps, the SMTW builds up to the excitement of a performance. “Because it’s so goal-oriented and leads to a performance, the kids have a tremendous feeling of satisfaction when they achieve something,” says Hartley.

Kaufman Center’s Lucy Moses School, New York’s largest community arts school, has been giving thousands of children and adults of all ages and skill levels the opportunity to make music and the performing arts a part of their lives for more than 50 years. More than just a school, Lucy Moses School feels like a community, specializing in making music, theater fun and accessible with a wide range of classes, performance opportunities and private lessons.

Kaufman Center is the creative community for listeners, learners and performers—people who want music in their lives. Housed in a landmark modernist building recently renovated by Robert A.M. Stern, Kaufman Center is also home to Merkin Concert Hall and the Special Music School, a public school for musically gifted children.

*This is solely the opinion of Life In A House Of Blue. *

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2 Comments --- Post Comment:

  1. Seeryus Mama said...

    Wow! How I wish I lived in NYC! That would be a fun opportunity for any child!

  2. jennny said...

    what an amazing opportunity.. making such great impacts on creative lives and thinking...

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