Stage Right Productions is looking to provide the “right start” for kids, ages 9 to 17, interested in acting this summer, through its first ever musical theater summer camp July 16.
, which still has one need-based scholarship available, will culminate in a concert version of the musical Hairspray that will be performed at the North Hollywood Pack Theater the evenings of July 25th and 26th.
, a Veteran Broadway and TV actress, singer and dancer and the founder of Stage Right, said she has wanted to create a summer camp for several years now.
“I love working with kids and I love to create,” Reames said. “I’ve been trying to get this up for three to four years now and things just kept getting in the way. This year I just thought it’s now or never, so I did it.”
To get the camp off the ground, Reames relied on a unique funding method, Kickstarter.
“I talked to some friends and they suggested, ‘Why not do a Kickstarter campaign?’”
With 38 backers, including some celebrities, Reames was able to reach her funding goal and create the camp.
“Kickstarter helped a great, great deal,” Reames said. “Using it was wonderful. It allowed me to secure a location for the camp, knowing I had funding for it.”
To put the camp together, Reames then recruited long-time friend and musical director Scott Harlan to serve as the musical director for the camp. She also planned for guests with experience in show business to stop by the camp, like a teacher from Millikan Performing Arts Academy, who will do a choreography spot.
“It’s a simple, classy, small-scale production of the musical,” Reames said. “We will work on a lot of the songs, with a condensed script.”
Reames, who attended the Circle in the Square Theater School in New York said she first was inspired to become an actress after she saw Pipin on Broadway.
“That was it for me,” Reames said. “I knew this is my calling, this is what I’m doing.”
After seeing A Chorus Line with her mother, she completely caught the Broadway bug.
“I fell in love with the role of Diana Morales. It was me,” Reames said. “I turned to my mother and said I’m going to play her.”
Reames went on to score the principle role Diana Morales. Her other Broadway and National Tours include principal roles in Cats, Evita and Gotta Getaway at Radio City Music Hall with Loretta Divine and the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes, in addition to other off broadway and television and screen credits.
Reames said she hopes the camp will help kids to see what being a member of a production is like.
“I really want to open their eyes to musical theater and the magic that goes into putting on the show and all that it requires from auditioning to the final product” Reames said. “The reward and the fun is in the performance. But you need a fire in your heart about it and you need to put in the time and hours to make it work.”
Reames wanted to make the camp because she said she felt there was something missing from some of the student productions she had seen in the past.
“I thought I could offer something from my own experience and knowledge and passion.”
One thing that Reames thinks makes her camp unique, is its emphasis on character study.
“It’s not just about play acting,” Reames said. “I want to have the kids figure out what their character would be like, how they would dress, where they came from, how they got on the Corney Collins Show.”
She added that campers will also research one important thing that happened during the time period of the sixties, like segregation.
Reames said she has seen first-hand through her workshops how much confidence children gain from acting and she said she hopes her camp will continue to encourage that.
“For some reason performing arts, getting up and being creative really allows a child to break through. I would love for this to be a program that people look forward to every summer and keeps kids in the arts and helps them discover their voice and passion.”
Applications for the camp will be accepted as late as July 16. For more information contact Arminae Reames here.