Studio 1′s summer camp to present ‘Fame Jr.’

By Hollyann Gardner
Times-News correspondent 

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Joshua Leiser (Schlomo Metzenbaum) and Lauren Kemig (Serena Katz) rehearse a scene from Studio 1's "Fame Jr." [Tami Kress / Special to the Times-News

   While some children may be attending a summer camp with such activities as hiking, sports or swimming, the kids at Studio 1 are experiencing a different kind of camp.
They are participating in a theatre intensive camp where they put together an entire musical in just two weeks. The production is “Fame Jr.,” a show set in the 1980s about hard-working, talented students attending performing arts high school.
Sam McDonald, 14, plays Nick Piazza, a student who is highly passionate about acting and creating magic on stage.
“I like how Nick is a theatre nerd because I’m a theatre nerd, just not as hardcore as he is,” McDonald said.
The story also features character Carmen Diaz, a fiery personality who loves attention. She is played by Olivia Knighten, 14.
“My favorite part about Carmen is how she’s just so carefree and funny because she’s very full of herself,” Knighten said. “She’s kind of the exact opposite of who I am, so it’s fun to really branch out and play a new kind of character.”
The show also features a large ensemble of actors, dancers and singers.
“My favorite thing about my role is that I get to be in a big group of people and sing a lot,” said Julian Burbridge, 10, who is a member of the music ensemble.
The campers say that “intensive” is a great word to describe the camp because it is challenging.
“I’ve been learning self-discipline,” said acting ensemble member Makaley Caudle, 16. “You really have to put in lots of hard work because parts of the choreography are difficult. You have to put in your own time and you can’t just expect that you’ll do it a couple times a day and be set.”
But one of the most beloved parts of this camp isn’t about performing on stage — it’s the friendships campers develop and strengthen throughout the process.
“I love coming to camp because I get to do what I love but I also get to spend time with people I love who are just so kind and welcoming,” Caudle said. “They really make it feel like home.”

Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. July 26-27, 2019, and 2 p.m. July 27-28 in the Sara McMillan Brown Theatre at Studio 1, Holly Hill Mall and Business Center, 309 Huffman Mill Rd., Burlington. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at www.brownpapertickets.com. For more details, call 336-534-0321.

Hollyann Gardner is a rising high school senior at Alamance Community College and a Teens & 20s writer.

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