Stay active through Civic Theatre

Mary Kate Temple and Natalie Hammond at a Civic summer camp. (Submitted photo)
Mary Kate Temple and Natalie Hammond at a Civic summer camp. (Submitted photo)

Commentary by Julia Bonnett, Development Officer for the Booth Tarkington Civic Theatre


Jr. Civic Musical Theatre Summer Camps occur every July and keep 120, 7- to 14-year-olds engaged in active, healthy lifestyles. The two camp sessions take place over the course of one week and immerse students in high-energy, intensive learning experiences from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Each day of camp consists of a warm up; workshops in acting, music, and dance; “Intermission,” in which college interns direct campers in short scenes; writing original plays; and rehearsal time. A culminating performance of the classroom repertoire is presented on the Tarkington stage for family and friends on the Friday evening at the close of each week of camp.

Jr. Civic takes care of the whole performer by not only teaching technique and repertoire, but also nutrition and health. To communicate the importance of a healthy lifestyle, instruction in nutrition ensures that each student is aware of appropriate caloric intake and hydration to support strong performances onstage. Last summer, IU Health North provided an interactive workshop to discuss healthy drink choices for active performers, focusing on proper preparation and recovery for intensive athletic activities. As a result, campers improved their choices throughout the week with health becoming part of the regular dialogue between friends and instructors.

Jr. Civic Musical Theatre Camp provides physical education and lessons in team work as an alternative to athletics. As a member of a cast working toward a common goal, each student’s role is vital to the group’s success. The ability to think quickly and creatively solve problems is developed in each child as they commit to their roles, providing lessons in personal responsibility and dedication. By focusing on process and technique-based coaching by local professionals, students experience the collaborative nature of theatre at its most thrilling.

Registration for Jr. Civic Summer Camp begins on March 1. For more, visit


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