KidSpot Slates ‘Cinderella’ for Camp Production

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Rob Vanya/San Jacinto College Marketing, PR and Government Affairs Department

Campers perform ‘Beauty and the Beast, Jr.’ as the 2014 summer theater show.

Summer is almost here which means San Jacinto College is preparing to host its annual KidSpot Summer Theatre Camp for children interested in the dramatic arts. For the past six years, KidSpot has introduced children to theater and given them the opportunity to learn acting skills.

The camp’s director, Jessica McCarroll, has been involved with the program for three years.

“I started as a camp counselor and am now the director. I‘ve had the opportunity to see what it’s like to work on both sides,” McCarroll said.

Each camp session lasts a week and teaches participants the process of putting a production together.

“The children will learn everything from stage direction/ etiquette, production, blocking, and building character; as well as playing theater games and making new friends,” McCarroll said.

Currently, she is busy putting together an exciting week of activities for the campers.

“This year, I am planning on doing theme days to make it more fun and let the kids dress up,” she said.

Moreover, McCarroll noted, she enjoys seeing the campers grow during their experience at KidSpot.

“I love to see what the kids come up with. Some start off shy and then allow themselves to be an actor and make their own choices,” she said. “Some of the kids have such a great time that they end up enrolling for second session.”

In addition, Central campus theater majors have the opportunity to serve as KidSpot’s camp counselors.

“(The) majority of theater majors want to go into education so being counselors at KidSpot gives them the chance to work with children and get experience in teaching,” McCarroll added.

Meanwhile, Camp counselor Saraiah Gonzalez is entering her third year with the camp. She said she loves working with children and seeing them express themselves on stage.

“My favorite part of the camp is watching the kids audition for the show. It’s so fun teaching because they come up with their own songs and some dance. It really shows their creativity,” Gonzales said.

KidSpot, she added, offers an important learning experience for both the campers and the theater majors.

“Our counselors are wonderful and want to be teachers in the future, so this is just a kick start,” Gonzalez said.

In addition, both sessions culminate with the children putting on their own stage production.

“I’m looking forward to the show, in general,” Gonzales said. “We’re doing Cinderella this year. I enjoy working with the kiddos; that is the most exciting part every year is getting new faces and some old faces. With this being my last semester at San Jacinto, this camp is the perfect way to end my time here.”

Moreover, McCarroll noted, the team works to make the camp more creative each year and ensure it is a memorable experience for participants.

“KidSpot gives children the chance to interact with other kids that share the same interest and learn the way of being an actor,” she said.“(It) encourages them to break out of their shell… and allows them to learn while being in a warm environment.”

KidSpot Summer Theatre Camp Session 1 runs June 8 to 12; Session 2 runs June 15 to 19. The cost is $150 per session. Further information is available through Jessica McCarroll at Jessica.McCarroll@sjcd.edu.