The Magic Begins Backstage

by Press Release | Apr 16, 2006
The Magic Begins Backstage The magic begins backstage “where painted trees and flowers grow…” as the technical staff, designers and technical theatre campers work feverishly to prepare for the Mainstage Center for the Arts eighteenth season of Summer Stage performances.

Laughter rings fortissimo in every rehearsal and classroom space as program participants entering second grade through age 25 are assigned scripts, taught music, take classes and prepare for a performance all their own. Hallways and grassy green lawns are a haven for Film Program location shots, and then participants return to the computer room to learn the fine art of editing their shorts for the film premiere.

Sewing machines buzz as a staff of costumers put together costumes for as many as seven different musical theatre and dance performances. The walls of the dance studio enjoy the soft giggles of the Kids Stuff program designed to introduce those entering second and third grade to the magic both in front and behind the footlights.

Production numbers from Wonderland, Dear Edwina, Jr., Annie Jr., and School House Rock echo through the halls as youth in the Children’s Theatre Program prepare for their shows. Energy erupts in the Little Theatre as Dance Explosion participants work out their choreography for an evening of dance. They cross the paths of other high school and college age Mainstage participants preparing to rehearse for their two-weekend run of Aida originally produced on Broadway by Disney with music by Elton John.

Apprentice Program 4th and 5th graders move from dance, to acting, to music as they prepare to perform to a full house in their musical review. The box office staff and interns respond to busy phones and ticket orders as publicity teams take publicity shots and write press releases.

Summer Stage, created eighteen years ago has grown from one program with sixty-five youth to seven programs involving as many as five hundred young people all located on the Blackwood Campus of Camden County College. The reason why is clear is clear to founder and managing director Ed Fiscella, “When you see the excitement on the faces of kids and you put that together with the remembrances of eighteen years of happy smiling faces, there is no doubt that there is magic here at Summer Stage. The magic continues as young adults return to share their experiences as performers, designers, directors, technicians and community leaders as a result of their beginnings at Summer Stage.”

According to MCA Executive Director, Lawrence Schmidt, Summer Stage, one of South Jersey’s most affordable programs, opens its doors for most of its programs the week of June 19th. It’s seven week Children’s Theatre and Film Programs run from 9am–3pm Monday through Friday for only $420 with the Tech Theatre program running the same time frame for $275. The half day Kids Stuff and Apprentice Programs begin on June 26th for five weeks costing only $320 with other additional afternoon opportunities available. Dance Explosion begins on June 27th for three afternoons a week for only $215 for the entire six - week program. The evening Mainstage Program is open to those entering high school through age 25 and is free to all participants.

Summer Stage also offers a before and after care program called Stage Key for a nominal fee.

Yes it’s true! Happiness goes hand in hand for the youth and staff involved in Summer Stage and the families who enjoy sending them. For more information, call visit or call (856)227-3091.

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Author: Press Release


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