Children took the stage over the weekend to perform "Willy Wonka" at the 2019 Summer Spotlight Showcase.
For the 11th year, Troy University’s Summer Spotlight gave kids a chance to experience theatre through the Creative Drama Camp last week.
The camp, aimed at children ages 4-13, gave kids high-quality instruction and experience in playwriting, acting, creative drama, musical theatre and more, culminating in a Spotlight Showcase performance.
Eavie Kate Lindsey, 12, participated in her seventh Summer Spotlight, earning a role as the Candy Man in this year’s Spotlight Showcase, “Willy Wonka.”
“We always learn something new every day,” said Lindsey, who lives in Troy. “For instance, there’s always a better way to push yourself to act better, to sing better, to warm up better and to be more responsible. You also get to have a buddy at lunch who helps you be more responsible.”
In addition to fostering a love of the arts, the annual camp has created many friendships that continue year to year.
“The biggest reason I come back is probably all my friends that I have here,” Lindsey said. “We get to do a show every year, and acting is really fun. I also like singing, and all my friends go here, so why not go? This is so fun.”
Ethan Morris, 11, travels from Savannah, Georgia, each year to join his friends on stage.
“I love the acting. That’s my favorite part,” said Morris, who portrayed Charlie in the play. “I get to see all my friends from last year and the year before that. I just have a lot of fun.”
Lindsey said she has fallen in love with acting due to the summer camp.
“Acting is so fun, and when I get older, I can do more shows,” she said. “Maybe I can go on Broadway.”
Laughter is also a big part of the summer camp, as Morris can attest.
“My favorite part so far is the song ‘The Golden Ticket,’ [because] I walk into the shack and see all the grandparents, who are kids that wear grandma clothes, and it’s really funny,” he said.
TROY students are helping the children learn and progress through the camp.
“It brings kids out of their shells, and it helps them,” said Hannah Leverett, a senior communications major helping in her first Summer Spotlight. “We have kids who didn’t want to be here, but now they’re out of their shells and enjoying acting. It’s exceeded my expectations. It’s fun to see the kids grow.”
Lindsey said she hopes all kids get to experience the camp, even if they’re shy. “Anyone can come, even if you don’t like acting,” she said. “I have friends who don’t like to sing or act, but there’s something for everyone to do. There’s a tech crew where you can build stuff. You can work behind the scenes or be in the show. I just like being on stage.”
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