5 questions: Bravo Performing Arts Academy in Oak Park
BY KIMBERLY ELSHAM VAVRICK For Sun-Times Media
Bravo Performing Arts Camp in Oak Park is celebrating its 12th year this June. Here’s a Q&A with Tina Reynolds, Bravo’s artistic director and program manager, to describe this successful and popular summer option for kids. The summer program is scheduled for June 9 through July 13.
1. What is the camp’s mission?
The Bravo Performing Arts Academy is an intense musical theater experience designed to hone the vocal, acting and dance skills of students who have the desire, discipline and passion for musical theater. Full-book musicals are taught and performed in only 20 days. BPAA is open to students in grades 4-9.
The Junior Bravo Academy is designed for students that may be new to the stage and have the desire to learn more about musical theater. This level offers intimate training in music, dance and acting. Junior shows are taught and performed in only 15 days. JBA is open to students in grades 4-7.
2. How is it set up?
We have auditions March 6-8 at Brooks Middle School, 325 S. Kenilworth, in Oak Park. BPAA is not looking just for the most talented kids, we encourage kids that have the desire, passion and discipline to be in camp Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. that would like to explore musical theater, dance, music, stage crew, and film to come be a part of the Bravo family.
For the audition, students should prepare a short song and monologue that they will present on either March 6 or 7. Everyone attends an awesome dance call on Saturday, March 8 with all kids auditioning. It’s an exciting, unforgettable day filled with fun, encouragement and beads of sweat
3. What’s new
We are thrilled to be piloting the first-ever junior adaptation of the “James and the Giant Peach” musical. Along with dance, acting, singing, improvisation and stage crew, we also offer incredible classes in prop and costume building, theatrical makeup design, film and a directing class for our budding directors.
4. What will kids learn and get out of the camp?
The camp environment and variety of shows encourages kids to take risks, have fun, build self-esteem, gain confidence no matter how shy, introverted or insecure they may be. This is a place where they can become a character and be applauded for their choices rather than judged.
5. Why is theater camp important for kids?
Each summer, we receive dozens of emails and notes from parents astounded that we were able to get such enthusiasm and passion out of their kids.
We have a team of passionate, dedicated, creative, inspiring directors and teachers that all feel strongly that the stage is a place for kids to think, question and change. In fact, we use the productions and content we perform as a way for kids to explore social issues and themes. It’s really one of the most effective ways to communicate about the human experience and choices.
Contact information and more details about BRAVO can be found at www.op97.org/bravo/.