High school students explore theater at MSU
Aspiring thespians have the opportunity to show off their talents to the Greater Lansing community this week during MSU Community Music School’s, or CMS, Music Theatre Camp.
The camp began Monday with workshops and practices for the participants and ends Friday with a musical revue at the CMS Auditorium, 841 Timberlane St.
Campers were divided into age groups to learn music and choreography for popular musical numbers from the past several decades so the participants could be exposed to a wide variety of musical styles, said camp Choreographer and Stage Director Natalie Emptage Downs.
“It’s a good way to expand voice direction,” she said. “It’s great to recruit more kids and get more experience to younger kids, (to) give them a taste of what musical theater is like.”
Camp assistant director Andy Huber said the idea for the camp came from low
enrollments in previous programs. Huber said the CMS previously offered a children’s choir and a high school chorus group, but combined them last year when not enough people registered.
Emptage Downs said this year’s camp features group ensemble performances in addition to choreographed routines and duets, and some high school students will perform short solos and acting routines.
“After they feel the music, being on stage, doing their thing, they get more confident and know they’re getting good,” Huber said.
Sarah Pierce and Anna Raymo, high school students from Lansing, said they loved musical theater and wanted to come to the camp to try something new.
Raymo, 15, said she had no experience in musical theater until Pierce, 16, suggested she come to the camp. Raymo said she enjoyed hearing the harmonies come together.
Nicholas Kilpatrick, 15, said he enjoyed improving his acting skills and learning to portray different levels of emotion.
“It’s a good opportunity to explore the uncomfortable levels of theater,” Kilpatrick said. “It teaches you how to audition.”
All camp participants are working on separate songs and routines this week but will come together to exhibit their talents in Friday’s revue, which will be held at 7 p.m. at the CMS Auditorium.