Gleeks–There’s a camp for that!

I’ve been promoted. Once a simple stage mom, I’ve joined the swelling ranks of gleek moms whose children perform in glee-style show choirs — many inspired by the Fox television series “Glee.”

So what exactly does a gleek mom do? So far my official duties include driving the talented actors, singers and dancers of ASA’s glee club/show choir to and from gigs. But I’m guessing that’ll grow to include other solemn responsibilities like ordering pizza and baking cupcakes.

At least one Valley venue is making the most of youth interest in all things “Glee” by offering a glee-style camp during fall break. That way the little darlings can actually do the glee rather than merely watching it on tv. I like it.

Chandler Center for the Performing Arts presents a fall break “Glee” intensive Oct 12-15 which offers kids ages 8 and up the opportunity to “learn songs and dance moves from the Broadway musicals under the direction of Kristen Drathman.”

Campers can select a morning (9am to noon) or afternoon (1pm-4pm) session at a cost of $125 per camper (both sessions have the same content).

Greasepaint Youtheatre, which is affiliated with Phoenix Theatre but performs at the former Stagebrush Theatre in Old Town Scottsdale, offers a fall break camp based on their upcoming production of “The Wiz.”

“The Wiz” features 32 young actors under the direction of D. Scott Withers, one of two Valley directors recently honored with a 2009-2010 AriZoni Award for best direction of a youth theater musical.

Withers was recognized for directing Greasepaint Youtheatre’s “Oliver!” and Athena Hunting was recognized for directing Theater Works Youth Works’ “Beauty and the Beast.”

“The Wiz” will be performed at Greasepaint Youtheatre Oct 22-31 — which has me conjuring images of costume-clad theater goers celebrating Halloween in style.

Youth ages 6-12 can enjoy a sneak peek of sorts when they take part in Greasepaint’s “Fall Break Camp,” which runs from 9am-3pm Oct 11-15. It’s a week of “singing, dancing and theatre” for $175 per camper.

Campers will create a “mash-up” of Frank L. Baum’s famous classic The Wizard of Oz and Greasepaint’s production of “The Wiz” (a “mysterious, opulent and fanciful” musical full of “rock, gospel and soul”).

Mesa Arts Center offers “School Break Camps” which include a “Fall Break Camp” for students in grades 1-7. Students can enroll for the entire week or particular days — with a rate of $35/day (or $150/week).

The fall break camp runs Mon-Fri, Oct 11-15 from 7am-6pm, features a 1:10 staff to student ratio and all classes are taught by trained artists and educators.

Camp activities include “drama, dance, music, puppetry, and art classes.” Campers are responsible for bringin their own food and beverages for lunches and snacks.

Remember too that several Valley theater companies — including Valley Youth Theater and Childsplay — offer ongoing theater education opportunities for youth.

There’s really only one downside to theater camps and workshops for kids.

I’m way too old to participate.

–Lynn

Note: If your arts organization offers a fall break camp with a dance, music, theater and/or visual arts focus, please comment below to let fellow readers know.

Coming up: All the world’s a — circus?, Theater as homage, Pumpkins & performing arts

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