Kris Koop Ouellette spent a lot of time learning from the best-of-the-best on Broadway. She now works at Wharton Center for Performing Arts as the Associate Director of the Institute for Arts and Creativity. Her goal of bringing a slice of Broadway to local children has come alive with Take it From the Top camp.
“It’s a five day intensive as opposed to camp. We work on song, dance and acting by teaching basics, then building. Even a student with extended experience is going to grow a lot,” said Kris.
The camp emphasizes student growth within their comfort zone.
Take it From the Top is in its seventh year. Laura Bell Bundy co-created the camp to give back to the next generation of Broadway stars.
“We realized we learned so much in our careers that we wished we knew when we were young. That seed for the camp started quickly and developed. So many people are interested from around the country because it is so individual and it's affordable,” Kris continued.
This summer, Broadway guests include: Paul Canaan, Alysha Umphress, Cody Williams, Carlos Encinias, Curtis Holbrook, Cortney Holbrook, Brad Anderson and Musical Director Gary Adler.
Interested parents should contact Wharton Center for placement options.
Newcomers are encouraged to join the pre-teen and teen courses to master the basic techniques of character development and performance.
“The students will focus on learning material for a show,” explained Koop. “They work on individual songs, improv and show scenes. This is where we get to see their confidence build. All of a sudden, the student who's afraid to be singled out, becomes comfortable in the spotlight. It's kind of beautiful.”
The camp culminates with a large performance put on by the attendees which includes an abbreviated version of the Musical Thirteen.
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