By Greg Eichelberger
For the Journal
CHUBBUCK â€” There are summer camps for studying space travel, participating in band, gymnastics and any number of team sports, but the Mystique Performing Arts and Event Center will host a unique childrenâ€™s summer theater camp between June 8-19 for any child age 8 to 14 who is interested in theater or just wants to do something fun. No previous theater experience is necessary.
The camp was started three years ago and was designed to instruct children on how to audition and create characters. It will also offer tips on singing and dancing on stage and even how to overcome stage fright. The camp will conclude with a fully-staged play and is open to children age 8 to 14.
“A group of us who love theater thought it would be fun to put on this camp to help take away some of the intimidation some children feel,” said Mystique marketing director Ellen Loomis. “It’s really hard to audition when you have never had that experience before. Many times I have watched children just go and cry at auditions so we just wanted to help them in this process.”
There will be no shortage of expert teaching as the instructors include Brandt Hurley (BYU Theater Department), Ann Bailey (music teacher at Franklin Middle School) and Linda Larsen (owner of Sunrise Dance Academy).
“They are new to the camp this year and they will be a wonderful addition,” Loomis said.
The Mystique Performing Arts and Events Center was originally established in 1997 by Larry and Debbie Fisher and began as a themed dining venue where people could enjoy dinner and magic. Mystique then expanded and built a facility that would not only house themed dining experiences, but would also allow performers to use their talents in theatrical plays and productions.
Past children’s productions have included “Mary Poppins,” “A Christmas Story: The Musical” and “The Wizard Of Oz.” The venue’s current show is a musical based on the 1984 Kevin Bacon/John Lithgow film, “Footloose,” which will begin its run on July 10.
The camp will be held Mondays through Friday from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The two week session will culminate in a fully staged play, “Ali Baba and the Bongo Bandits” with performances on Friday, June 19 and Saturday, June 20 in the late afternoon.
Sort of a juvenile version of â€śAli Baba and the 40 Thieves,â€ť this is a fun play for children’s groups to perform. Ali Baba ventures into the forest to collect firewood and discovers the bandits’ secret cave filled with treasure. He takes a little to help pay for food for his family. Kassim, his greedy wealthy brother, wants all the remaining treasure, but forgets the password to escape from the cave. The bandits don’t believe in sharing and punish Kassim and vow revenge against Ali.
There is no deadline to register, in fact, parents can enroll as late as Monday before 10 a.m. The cost is $150 per student. Register through the website at www.mystiquetheater.com or in person at the center, located at 158 E. Chubbuck Road. For more information, call (208) 238-8001.