More than a dozen theatre professionals are coming together to mentor about 100 kids in performing and stagecraft. Palm Canyon Theatre kicked off its 21st annual summer camp on Monday, June 12. The camp includes instruction in acting, singing, dancing, makeup, set design, props, costuming, stage combat, improve and more, which all culminate into final performances set for July 21 and 22. This year, the young artists, ages 6-17-years-old, will perform Neverland, a rendition of the famed Peter Pan story.

The camp is led by co-directors Stephanie Eley and Jaci Davis. Both are experienced educators with long lists of performing credits. A professional dancer, Eley was in several original Broadway shows and national touring groups. She also founded a youth arts education organization in the New York area before moving to the desert, where among other endeavors, she was a teaching artist for the McCallum Theatre’s Institute. Davis is a professional singer and pianist who has taught young students for decades. Over the years, she has also directed more than 20 plays and musicals with student performers 6-17-years-old. Together, with theatre professionals Allegra Angelo, Wendy Cohen, Ron Coronado, Steven Fisher, Paul Grant, JW Layne, Se Layne, Daniel Martinez, Steven Petersons, Marello Sabio, Lynda Sheps, Steven Smith, Tom Warrick and others, campers will learn skills that will help prepare them for an audition or improve their self-esteem for a school presentation – however far a student wants to take their development.

The Palm Canyon Theatre offers its summer kids camp for six weeks, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Each week has a special theme including Western, Halloween, Princess and Super Heroes, and more. Kids can participate in as many consecutive weeks as they would like or sporadic weeks through July 21. The last two weeks of camp are focused on preparing for the final performances on July 21 and July 22. While learning different components of theatre, participants are divided into three age groups.

Beyond daily instruction and practice in the historic Frances S. Stevens School, campers take three field trips to the McCallum Theatre to see professional live theatre performances, geared toward children.

For more information or to register for Summer Kids Camp, call the Palm Canyon Theatre Box Office at 760-323-5123 or download the registration information online at PalmCanyonTheatre.org. The Palm Canyon Theatre is located at 538 North Palm Canyon Drive, at the corner of Alejo Road and Palm Canyon Drive.

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