Camps offer kids array of arts opportunities

Posted: Thursday, June 06, 2002

Janice Holst's students have 20 days to put on a show. And that means everything from writing the play to hiring actors to play the parts.

"I'm amazed at what kids can come up with," said Holst, whose summer dance academy culminates in the performance of a play inspired by a popular favorite.

"All of the stories have a moral, and they help each other with parts, taking turns with responsibility and learning teamwork," Holst said.

The Janice D. Holst 18th Annual Summer Dance Academy is one of five arts camps offered this summer in Juneau. The camps teach arts ranging from dance and drama to painting and sculpture. Various sessions are geared toward kids from 4 to 18.

Holst's academy instructs students 7 to 17 in dance, video, costumes, musicals, comedy, scenery, choreography, makeup and crafts. The academy runs from June 10 through July 5 at the Elks Hall downtown.

"We decide on the first day what we're going to do, and everything is geared to that," said Holst.

In the past, the academy has written and prepared plays based on "Cinderella," "The Wizard of Oz," "Winnie the Pooh," "Fern Gully" and "Aladdin," among others.

A Small Fry Creative Workshop is offered for students ages 4 through 7, and they have the option to be in the main show with the older students.

To register, call 586-1462 or e-mail

J. Althea will direct two drama camps this summer. The first is a one-week camp sponsored by the Juneau Arts and Humanities Council, and the second is the two-week Northern Light Junior Theatre Drama Camp.

The free JAHC drama camp runs June 10 to 14 and is limited to 15 students who will enter grades five through eight in the fall.

Participants will study various aspects of acting, including voice projection, diction and physical acting. On the final day, families and friends are invited to attend a short, informal showing of students' skills.

To register or for more information, call JAHC at 586-ARTS or J. Althea at 586-4933.

The Northern Light camp begins June 17 and runs for two weeks. During that time, students will work on a play called "Jack and the Giant," a satire of the original beanstalk story.

"One week is only enough time for a two- to three-minute play," Althea said. "With two weeks, we thought we could do a longer play."

The camp is a continuation of the Douglas Youth Drama Association for students in grades five through eight. Scholarships are available. Those interested can call Althea for more information.

Juneau Dance Unlimited will hold a fine arts camp June 10 through July 5. Guest artists will teach classes in musical theater, voice, dance, painting and sculpture. The camp is held at Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School for students in kindergarten through 12th grade.

"We only have 20 kids so far out of 80," said Betsy Kunibe, camp director. "All the teachers have experience working with children and they offer something for everyone."

Five guest artists will teach at the camp. Gwynenn Taylor from the Alvin Ailey II Dance Co. will lead dance classes at all levels; Christian Fletcher and Jim Elliott from the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City will teach at all levels; Jun Maeda, a set designer from La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club in New York City, will teach young children; and Mike Degenyi, an illustrator and artist, will teach kindergartners.

"These artists always bring in fresh ideas," Kunibe said. "Local artists can't wait until they come here."

In addition to the camp, an intensive ballet workshop with Ballet Master Eckhard Heidrich from Berlin, Germany, will be held at the JDU studio. The workshop is five days a week, three hours a day.

For preschool children, JDU is offering two creative movement classes with Akemi Kunibe and a music class with Teri Tibbett. Daily evening workshops at the JDU studio will feature ballet-based modern dance, musical theater and dance-voice instruction for teens and adults.

For more information or to register, call JDU at 463-5327. Financial aid opportunities are available.

Perseverance Theatre's Summer Arts Rendezvous program will run July 8 through Aug. 2, with some performances through Aug. 10.

Students ages 9 through 17 can choose to attend one of four sections: Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice," "Entropic Dis-combobulation," Junior Shakespeare and Junior Improvisation.

An interview or audition may be required. To register, call Julia at 364-2421, extension 26.

Students from the five camps will participate in many events in Juneau this summer, from the Flag Day celebration to Concerts in the Park.

"I love it because I love being with the kids," Holst said. "Everybody has a good time, and we always have room for another star."

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