Drama camp prepares for ‘Peter Pan’

Published 5:00 am Friday, July 21, 2006

Many area young children are participating in a two-week trip to”Neverland” during a summer drama camp at The Haven.

More than 40 children are attending Brookhaven Little Theatre’sChildren’s Summer Theatre Drama Camp this week and the next whilepreparing for a 6 p.m. July 28 presentation of “Peter Pan” at TheHaven. The children are primarily from Lincoln County, but includesome participants from Lawrence, Copiah and Pike counties, saidCamp Director Jana Fulda Russell.

Acting roles in the production were assigned Wednesday morningand the children began receiving “blocking” instructions, whichtells them where to be on stage at a given time in the performance,she said.

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“Children have a natural tendency to pretend. And that’s whatacting is,” Russell said. “We’re focusing that ability into how tomake a believable character.”

Much of this first week is spent on games designed to make thechildren comfortable with being in front of others and teachingthem how to relate to their assigned roles, she said.

“They are learning how to use their five senses to build abelievable character,” Russell said.

Later, she said, the children will also help with propproduction, set painting and decorating the lobby.

“We’re giving them a lot of hands-on during the whole process,”the director said.

The second week of the camp will focus on being ready for theJuly 28 performance, Russell said. The participants will spend alot of time on stage learning their roles and lines.

The play features 30 speaking parts of all types, includingPeter Pan and his friends, fairies, mermaids, stars, Indians,pirates and other roles.

The children’s summer camp began last summer as a fundraiser forthe Save the Haven campaign, which hopes to renovate and restorethe building and provides upgrades to equipment. The camp receivesassistance from an annual partnership with the United Way ofLincoln County.

Tickets for the July 28 public performance of the play are $5and will be available at the door.