First thing in circus performing? The traditional clown car rear exit! Photos by Joanne Burgueno

West End Theatre hosts Summer Drama Camp

One way to get bored with summer kids off the couch is to tell them to go join the circus. For 33 Plumas County kids, that’s exactly what they did from July 10-14.

Students from grades first through eighth participated in Summer Drama Camp at The West End Theatre — with a “Circus Extravaganza” theme.

Both veteran and first-time drama students participated and were exposed to the arts. A circus variety of forms were “squeezed into an intense and very fun week,” according to dramaworks instructorDanielle Wagner Plocki.

Plocki, along with dramaworks instructor Saraha Michelle Black, led the camp and engaged the students in drama and voice instruction.

The duo collaborated with other artistic groups in and around Plumas County to give students a unique opportunity to dabble in what the artistic community has to offer.

Wendy Yates from Rhythm & Grace Dance Studio instructed the students in dance.

Kristina Hardin from Kristina’s Gymnastics taught the students some simple gymnastics moves and acrobatics.

Chelsea Weekly and Jes Ahmadia from Quircus taught circus tricks like juggling and gave students an opportunity to try aerial work — hanging on the silks.Tina Thorman led the students in visual art projects such as carnival face cut-out boards and photo booth props.

Even the older, more reluctant students admitted that they had a fun week, meeting new people from across the county and learning new skills.

Motorists driving by Dame Shirley Plaza on Friday, July 14, were treated to an afternoon at the circus. The students culminated the week’s activities and put on their own Circus Extravaganza — with many of them coming up with their own skits and acts to perform.

There were clowns, mimes, animal trainers with lions and cheetahs, acrobats, magicians, a ventriloquist, sword swallower, strongman, fortuneteller and snake charmer.

Creative costuming and face painting was provided by dramaworks.

West End Theatre’s Summer Drama Camp typically takes place the second week in July and is open to students going into first through eighth grade through out the county. This year’s campers came from Portola, Indian Valley, Meadow Valley, and Quincy communities.

The camp is an extension of the Magic Beanstalk Players, dramaworks’ youth drama program.

During the school year students can enroll in either or both fall and spring semesters.The Fall semester is dedicated to teaching theatre skills. Students engage in drama games, character development, improvisation, mime, voice and dance after school.

Throughout the spring semester students prepare and rehearse for a full musical production.

For more information, visit dramaworks.us.