"You Won’t Regret Signing up for the SDP camps!"- By Jill Klosky

Our family has had wonderful experiences with Stage Door Productions Summer Camps, and I highly recommend them to anyone. In one short week, your child will audition for a kid’s version of a musical, rehearse, and put on a show the last day of the camp week (Friday evening at 5:30). The performances are open to the community and pay-what-you-can. There are also internship opportunities for rising 9th graders and up. Camps do fill up quickly, so I would recommend “liking” Stage Door Productions on Facebook, so that you can keep up with the enrollment dates and times. Here’s why you won’t regret signing your child up:

You will never be involved in another activity for your child that is so organized. The directors, Lindsay and Brandon Kelly have the camps planned far in advance. The interns and staff are excellent about communicating in a timely fashion. They are enthusiastic, prepared and punctual. Safety is a priority, and designated pickup people must show ID’s at each pickup (no matter how well they know you!).

Good hours for camps.  Over the summer, many of us are in search of an enriching, safe, and fun environment for our kids. For working parents, those 9AM – 2 PM camps are really tough. These camps run 9-5 (with extended hours available).

Great shows! It is absolutely amazing what your child can learn in one short week. At the end of the shows, audience members are often looking at each other laughing in amazement because they cannot believe what these kids have accomplished in just one week. Furthermore, hearing the children’s screams of glee at the end of the productions are guaranteed to warm your heart every time.

They achieve that elusive balance. What I’m talking about here is that balance that is so hard to find with extracurricular activities: of working hard + proper training + making it fun. Somehow, they do it! Both directors have extensive theater backgrounds, as well as experience working with kids. The campers really have a blast, even those who are not necessarily “theater kids.” SDP camps allow young people to grow and benefit from positive exposure to the arts. Perhaps your child will pursue a career in the performing arts, and if so, they will definitely gain some valuable lessons. Of course, most of our kids won’t grow up to be performers; however, perhaps with their camp experience, they might feel more confident with public speaking at school. Maybe they will learn about working as a team. Perhaps they will meet a new friend from a different walk of life. The beauty of it lies in that the kids don’t even realize they are learning and growing because they are too busy having fun.

Meeting your child where they’re at.  While the aim of the camp is to put on a show at the end of the week, the directors and interns are realistic and prioritize a positive experience over perfectionism. Although the kids do carry the responsibility for learning their part, the staff might make little adjustments, as needed, to make the experience a positive one. It’s camp, after all, not Carnegie Hall! Several years ago, when our son was 9 years old, he was having difficulty keeping up with his many props during the rehearsals. The SDP team members appropriately offered to remove a few of them, so that he could relax, feel confident, and enjoy the performance. Interns perform in the shows beside some of the younger kids to help them feel comfortable, and gently provide a little direction if needed.

SDP is a fabulous organization and Lindsay and Brandon Kelly are true gems for our city and our youth. For our son, camps have been an entry into the regular season shows during the year. Not only does he absolutely love the camps, but he simply feels at home at Stage Door. I believe the reason kids love Stage Door so much, is that they know that when they are there, they are accepted just as they are, and welcomed to simply be themselves. All that in a summer camp! What more can you ask for?