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Kids can get a taste of theater

Staff Writer | June 18, 2010 9:00 PM

Sandy Clemons has a simple goal this summer: Get camp kids involved in all aspects of theater.

"The kids need to know that there is a lot more involved than just getting up on stage," said Clemons, owner of Ain't It Good Productions.

The new season of the Coeur d'Alene Summer Theatre, and the continued strong lineup at the Lake City Playhouse - well, that and the millions of dollars commanded by Hollywood's top screen stars - is raising the interests of boys and girls in the craft of acting.

That's where people like Clemons and Jared Helm, and organizations like the Christian Youth Theater, come in.

Ain't It Good Productions

Having a smaller group enables the kids to get more involved with one-on-one coaching, private voice lessons and more activity in the painting and costuming aspects of the program, Clemons said.

"My program is still small, but I like it that way. I like being able to work so closely with each of the camp kids," Clemons said.

She wants children to have "a unique summer camp experience" that includes musical theater and the great outdoors.

She said she ran theater camps where the kids spent the whole camp in the theater and finds that "they get a bit stir crazy."

Week one of the camp will be held in the Cougar Gulch area, where the kids will work on a stage, but will also have the outdoors to explore with their Camp Interns. Week two is at the Lake City Playhouse, which has been rented for the AIPG summer camps.

Sandy's husband, David Clemons, is a local artist who will work as arts camp counselor.

He'll work with the kids on making props and designing and painting the sets.

"Those kids who would like to be a part of a theater camp experience but aren't sure they want to get on stage and sing and dance will work with David with the art and technical side of theater," Sandy Clemons said. "The technical camp kids will actually run the show doing stage management and running lights and sound."

The first camp, "The Emperor's New Clothes," started Monday and more will continue. They aren't free, but Clemons' group of volunteers have been busy working to obtain camp scholarships for those families in need.

Ain't It Good Productions has three more, two-week Performing Arts Theatre Camps throughout the summer. Each camp session ends in a full musical theater production at the Lake City Playhouse.

Information: 667-0132 or

'Bakersfield's 100th Anniversary'

Jared Helm, drama teacher at Coeur d'Alene High School, is looking for 26 students who would like to attend a Summer Children's Theatre Camp in July and perform an original play.

Helm has written and will direct the play, "Bakersfield's 100th Anniversary." He said the play is for the imagination as the audience follows a young boy discovering what it means to be able to fly. The play will be performed July 23 at 2 and 7 p.m. in the CHS auditorium.

Helm has been writing and directing children's theater for the past seven years for Lewis-Clark State College.

Information: or 769-2999.

Christian Youth Theater

Christian Youth Theater-North Idaho has a summer camp, "Survivor!," set for July 19-23 or Aug. 16-20, both at Christ the King Lutheran Church in Coeur d'Alene.

It includes theater workshops using a Broadway-style theme. Workshops cover musical theater, voice, dance and drama. Other activities include high energy games, water balloons, set painting and rehearsals for the Friday Showcase for family and friends.

Organizers say each summer CYT theater camp is designed "to create a hands-on, multi-faceted theater experience. Campers will enjoy making new friends as they build performance skills and learn self-confidence, teamwork and theater abilities. Every camper gets the opportunity to perform on stage."

A camp for teens 13-18 is Aug. 2-6 at Christ the King. Based on the Gospel according to Matthew, "Highlights of Godspell" will include songs and various theatrical traditions such as clowning, pantomime, charades, acrobatics and vaudeville.


Bill Buley is the city editor of the Coeur d'Alene Press; e-mail


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