The Riverside Foundation for the Performing Arts is making a big splash again this summer! The 30-plus children attending the RFPA’s annual performing arts camp are in rehearsals for their production of Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Jr., directed by Fay Cunningham, which will premiere at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, June 23rd, at the Riverside Center. While admission to the performance is free, donations to support RFPA’s ongoing presence in our community are always welcomed.
“The undying popularity of the original movie and the release of the new live-action version of The Little Mermaid made our show selection an easy choice,” says Camp Coordinator Andrea Kahane. “Campers have just flocked to attend, and we expect our potential audience will as well.”
Foundation President Dorothy Mondak is thrilled with the turn-out for this year’s camp. “The Covid era definitely saw a drop in our camp enrollments. With the Foundation’s commitment to providing quality live performance opportunities for children in our area, regardless of their ability to pay, we are just tickled to see the camp numbers back to pre-pandemic figures.”
The two-week camp immerses its budding thespians in a professional-level experience that culminates in their finale – a performance on the Riverside Stage. In just two weeks, the children, some of whom have never been in a live theatre environment before, will be singing, dancing, and acting like professionals. “It’s pretty amazing to watch them sign in to camp the first morning and then blossom over the next two weeks,” notes Mondak.
“Their transformations never cease to amaze me. They absolutely fall in love with performing or supporting in a backstage capacity.” With its staff of theatre professionals, the camp’s focus is performance, but there is also plenty of room for fun and of course, confidence building and overall appreciation of the fine arts. “The campers’ energy is infectious, whether they are goofing around between choreography sessions or going all out in an improv game,” says Kahane. “Our staff feeds off that energy. In the end, we want the kids to discover the same joy that made each of us fall in love with being on and around the stage.
For more information, please call the theatre at 540-370-4300 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.