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Chanhassen Dinner Theatres offer acting experience to young performers

Chanhassen Dinner Theatres’ summer theatre camp program, Chan DT Musical Theatre Camp (CDT Camp), returns this summer with new themes for youths and teens. Since 1994, nearly 11,500 kids and teens have participated in musical theatre in the Chanhassen tradition.

“CDT Camp is an educational program that’s also terrific summertime fun,” explained Kris Howland, public relations director for the Chanhassen Dinner Theatres. “Kids and teens, ages eight to eighteen, are given opportunities to explore a wide spectrum of musical theatre components including voice, movement, costumes, scenery, stage combat, improv and more — all taught by professional members of the Chanhassen acting company, designers, and choreographers making the CDT student theatre experience stand out from other offered theatre camp programs. “

Chan DT Musical Theatre Camp participants learn theater skills and perform musical numbers during the camp’s closing activities. Photo provided by CDT Camp

“We want kids and grandkids to walk away with a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

In general, week-long, half-day sessions are offered for youth and teen groupings. The Youth Camp theme in 2013 is “George Gershwin.” Musicals included are Crazy for You; Girl Crazy; Strike Up the Band; Oh, Kay!; Porgy and Bess; Funny Face; and more.

The Teen Camp theme is “Bock/Harnick.” Musicals included in Teen Camps are Fiddler on the Roof, She Loves Me, Fiorello!, A Wonderful Life, and more.

Morning youth sessions (ages 8 – 12) are available the weeks of July 8, July 15, July 22, and July 29. Afternoon youth sessions are available the weeks of July 9 and July 16. Afternoon teen sessions (ages 13 – 18) are offered afternoons the weeks of July 15, July 22, and July 29. (There are no morning teen sessions.)

For the first time, CDT Camps will offer Little Kids Camp — mini-camp sessions with an emphasis on performance and musical theatre geared specifically toward kids aged 5-7. Sessions are offered mornings or afternoons the week of August 5-9.

Shows, shows, and more shows

Each day, students work with a professional instructor, learn basics, and practice skills in a variety of fun and entertaining exercises and projects. “Students discover and polish their talents, and learn to love and appreciate theatre and enjoy it from an insider’s perspective,” explained Michelle Barber, CDT Camp’s executive director. “The week culminates in a presentation by the students for their family members. This isn’t a production, but, instead, an exhibition of what we’ve worked on during the week.

“We’ve been doing this long enough to know what kids like, what engages them, and what works best so we can squeeze as much content into the camp experience as possible. And, we welcome kids with all levels of experience. We want kids and grandkids to walk away with a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

The cost for half-day, week-long camps is $225. The special full-day “Build-a-Musical” camp week, and all-day TEEN INTENSIVE sessions are $450. The brand-new LITTLE KIDS CAMP sessions for kids aged 5-7 are $125. No aftercare programs provided. Enrollment is limited.

All campers who register by April 1 receive an early bird registration bonus of two show-only Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat tickets. Any camp registrations after April 1 include one complimentary show-only ticket to that show.

Online registration began February 8. For more information or to register, visit www.ChanhassenDT.com or call 952/934-1525.

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