Camping out on the Great White Way
Camping out on the Great White Way
Normally, New York City would be an unlikely destination for summer campers, but from August 5 to August 9, it will be the ideal campground for 150 theater-lovin' youngsters.

Now in its seventh year, Camp Broadway is bringing aspiring young artists together with stage veterans for a week of collaborative creation, performance, and education. The campers, who hail from 28 states and six countries, will spend a week learning about all things musical theater--from acting to costume design. The best part is that they get to learn from Broadway professionals.

During the week-long intensive, a variety of workshops and classes will be offered: Into the Woods make-up artist Kate Best will show kids how to apply stage makeup; meanwhile The Lion King's Bill Hubner instructs on creating masks. Bill Bowers will teach a workshop in mime and Rick Sordelet will offer hands-on training in stage combat. Commedia del arte and physical comedy are also on the schedule. Dance workshops, led by members of Broadway companies, will take the kids from the square dancing of Oklahoma! to Thoroughly Modern Millie's Charleston.

Campers will get a firsthand look at behind-the-scenes Broadway at a production workshop at Into the Woods' Broadhurst Theatre. They'll meet several of Woods' stars, too, at a lunch in which Laura Benanti, Chad Kimball, Kerry O'Malley, and Christopher Sieber will join them. They will also get to meet all of their contemporaries, affectionately known as the "Broadway kids", who are currently realizing their Broadway dreams by appearing in the casts of such hits as Les Miserables and The Lion King.

The week will be capped off with a performance by the Broadway campers, doing musical numbers that they have spent the week learning and rehearsing. This includes The Gypsy Showcase, in which 12-member ensembles perform 12 original musical parodies in front of a celebrity guest panel that includes Sam Harris, Judy Kaye, and those fabulous Foster siblings, Hunter 'n' Sutton.

The Camp Broadway kids range in age from 10-17 and, unusually for summer camp, most get to bring their families along for this exciting week. There are also tours in which they bring Broadway to young people outside of New York. Scholarships and assistance is made available so that kids of all economic backgrounds can have the opportunity to spend a week on Broadway. For more information, visit the Camp Broadway website.