Many members of the campus community have seen performances in the state-of-the-art Noorda Theatre, completed in 2009. What not everyone might know is that funding for the theater was only part of a larger program with an emphasis on helping youth. When Tye Noorda made a generous, university-matched donation to the Department of Theatrical Arts, the Noorda Center was created.
The Noorda Center focuses on helping youth through exposure to, opportunities to participate in, and education about great theater. With that goal in mind, the UVU Noorda Theater Summer Camp opens June 7. Emily Bell, executive coordinator of the camp, says the camp “provides local youth with an opportunity to attend workshops with master practitioners in theater, speech, dance and storytelling.”
The camp has the capacity for about 500 youth, but classes will be small, consisting of eight to twelve students per class, with dance classes capping off at twenty. This will maximize the personalized instruction each student is given. For this reason, the staff comprises around 70 people, many of whom are students. Professionals will also be part of the staff.
“We’re bringing in so many great instructors with real solid training,” said Christopher Clark, coordinator of the camp’s acting program. “The children will experience a lot of fun and amazing training.”
The workshops are one week long each with a total of four sessions, the last ending on July 2. In addition to the week-long sessions, there is a production course and playwriting courses that run the span of the entire camp. The youth involved in the productions will perform in one of three plays: Super Student and the Case of the Water Pistol, High School Hamlet and The Secret Life of Girls. All three plays will have three performances during the final week of the camp.
Aside from reaching out to the community’s youth and teaching them about theater, this camp will also demonstrate to the community how exceptional the theater program. Bell also hopes it will result in some new recruits for the department. There are still plenty of spots available for the workshops, and a discount is available for children of UVU students and faculty. Those interested in scholarships from the Noorda foundation based on merit or need should contact Emily Bell at firstname.lastname@example.org.