Summer Camps Update

Last call for early bird registration. Register for Summer Camp by May 1st to receive half off a second camp of equal or lesser value. Now’s the time to plan for great summer fun at an amazing price! Here is a sampling of what we are offering this summer. Visit our website for the complete list.

In our July 12-30 The Play’s the Thing! Camp for ages 8-10, children will enjoy a three week theatrical immersion with ourTheatre’s Artistic Director Reba Short, becoming supporting cast members for Pinocchio!

In our July 26-30 Around the World camp for ages 4-5, children will have the opportunity to create a passport to the continents, experiencing cultures across the globe through cooking, crafts, stories, and visits by special guests.

In our August 9-13 Creative Kids camp for ages 4-5, children can express their imaginative side using a variety of techniques with our art educator Louisa Donelson. This crazy art camp was the first to fill last year!

Museum & Theatre campers get to explore and discover!

In our August 23-27 Amazing Animal Journeys camp for ages 4-5, led by Hannah Wilhelm our science educator, children will explore the planet through the eyes of many wild creatures who use migration to journey as a way of life. This camp is for animal lovers!

Our Museum & Theatre educators have many wonderful activities and adventures in the works and are anticipating an incredible summer here! Click here to sign up before the early bird special ends!

Introducing…Theatre Camps!

Summertime is coming up, and I am really excited that our theatre is going to stay alive and active all summer long!

A lot of theatres go black in the summertime and don’t offer any productions for audiences or opportunities for actors.  Not us!  Summertime is maybe our busiest time at the Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine and I’m hoping to get a lot of kids involved in the production and see our biggest audiences yet! Fresh air, warm weather – it’s a great time to see a play!

The cast of The Emperor's New Clothes share a hilarious moment on stage. Theatre is a great way to make new friends and memories!

We’re taking on Pinocchio!  This is a play I’ve always wanted to direct.  It’s full of really interesting and magical characters. We have to make a puppet come to life, a nose grow onstage, boys transform into donkeys, and of course, stage a dramatic scene inside the belly of a giant ocean creature!  All that will be easy—I see the real challenge for the director to be involving the audience in each of Pinocchio’s decisions.  I see this as a play about learning right from wrong, and that when we make bad choices we must face the consequences.  Pinocchio has the courage to face his mistakes, which is what makes him human in the end of the story.

If you’re between the ages of 4 and 10 and you’d like to be part of the Pinocchio, no need to audition! Just sign up for a theatre summer camp! All the theatre summer camps we offer in July will have an opportunity to be part of the show.  Four and five year olds can sign up for either the Magical Myths or Under the Deep Blue Sea and be a special guest star in the show!  Six to eight year olds can sign up for Puppets and More, and make a puppet to be part of Stromboli’s Carnival!  Eight to ten year olds in the three week intensive camp The Play’s the Thing will take on the ensemble roles in the show.

On June 5, we’ll hold auditions for Pinocchio for a few older actors to play key parts in the play (ages ten and up).  I love seeing older actors mentor and act as role models for younger actors.  The older actors who audition will be helpers with the summer camps, and will act as mentors to the younger members of the ensemble.  If you’d like to play a principal part in Pinocchio, and you think you’d enjoy being a leader for younger children, you should definitely come in and audition!

Rehearsal for The Rabbit Who Wanted Red Wings. Rehearsals are fun and exciting opportunities to be creative and explore all aspects of theatre!

Pinocchio will run for two weekends starting July 22 and running through August 1, Thursday through Sunday. All performances are at 4:00pm in the Dress Up Theatre.

But wait – summer’s not over yet! August is for Improvisation! Improvisation is the practice of acting spontaneously, in the moment.  This is a key concept for all young actors as they develop their acting toolkit!  In the That’s Comedy camp for ages eight to ten, we will be learning new games everyday to develop our skills as improvisers, and playing them in front of an audience everyday!

I have a busy summer ahead of me, full of puppets, stage lights and wacky off the cuff scenes… I can’t wait to get started!

Don’t forget! The Buy One, Get One Half Off early bird special ends May 1! This is the last week to take advantage of this great offer. Click here for more information and to register for any of our theatre, science or cultural camps!

Introducing…Science Camps!

Campers in "Slimy, Squishy, Slick, and Slippery" will spend lots of time visiting creatures in our Tidepool Touch Tank.

This August we will be offering two science camps for kids ages 4 to 5.  I’m having so much fun planning “Slimy, Squishy, Slick, and Slippery,” which is a week of experiencing textures.  Every day, we’ll make a new type of clay or slime from scratch using simple ingredients, making and then testing predictions about the textures we’ll create.  Throughout the week, we’ll also meet, touch, and study some real, live animals with wet, slippery skins.  This includes studying earthworms, and visiting the residents of the Tidepool Touch Tank.

Two weeks later is “Amazing Animal Journeys,” also for ages 4 to 5, where we’ll learn about a different migratory animal each day, acting out its yearly travels.  Three of these animals will be the hummingbird, the humpback whale, and the fascinating American eel!  Each child will also have a chance to do a week-long project creating his or her own animal puppet, adding pieces to it each day as we learn about different adaptations that help creatures migrate.

Both camps are designed to encourage campers to use their imaginations and to engage in the process of science in a fun, playful way.  I think these week-long half day camps could provide a great way to transition back into the school year!  Also, don’t forget that if you sign up for two camps by May 1st, you’ll get one for half price. Click here for more information and to register for any of our 11 amazing summer camps.

Introducing… New Camps!

Garden campers
Jamie's campers show off their freshly planted seeds at last year's Garden Camp. (We'd show you a picture of Magical Myths or Ready, Set, Play camp... but they haven't happened yet!)

Spring in Maine can be tough. As my umbrella turned inside-out on my walk to work the other day, I wistfully remembered the flip-flop weather bestowed upon us just a week ago. But April showers bring May flowers, and here at the Museum & Theatre, May flowers bring… Summer Camps!

Our Education team is so excited about all the programs we do that we can’t help but plan things months and months in advance. In fact, that’s what gets us through the icy winter months: thoughts of camp — exploring new ideas, projects and activities during the most energetic time of year. Every one of us has some pretty thrilling projects up our sleeves, but I’m just going to talk about mine.

Magical Myths: Fairies, Gnomes and Creatures is a morning camp just for 4 and 5 year olds. Knowing that this is a group with limitless imagination, I decided to create a week-long camp catering to storytelling, costume creation, and lots of time to pretend. I remember spending countless hours as a six-year-old living in a “fox den” with my best buddy, Alex – or maybe building fairy houses in the woods, knowing that when I left, there would be a veritable fairy fiesta in my absence. We’re going to learn about mythological creatures from all over the world – from imagining the perspective of the world from the Zulu abatwa (tiny people who ride on the backs of ants) to watching an ancient Chinese star show featuring the Azure Dragon of the East. We’ll explore our imaginations with masks, wings, wands and just about anything in-between – and even have a chance to try dancing with the Blue Fairy from our summer Theatre production, Pinocchio! I’m so excited, I can hardly stand it.

For preschoolers who can’t keep from wiggling, I’ve created Ready, Set, Play: Rock and Romp! In my time working at the Museum & Theatre, I’ve noticed something about preschoolers: they like to move around. (Have you noticed this?) We’ll learn all kinds of games kids play in other countries – from Japanese Tag to Hide-and-Seek from Saudi Arabia. We’ll also experiment with music making in relation to play – and play in relation to music making! Anyone who has taken up an instrument knows that the fun lies in seeing where the music takes you – and in playing with others. We’ll do all of this and more as we hear from guest musicians, learn songs, and play games all week long.

So, um, is it summer yet?

One more thing! Did you know that we have a special “BOGO” special on camps through May 1st? You can buy one camp at regular price, and get a second (for the same child or a sibling) for half price. You can click here to get all the details, or get in touch with Shana (828-1234 x232 or shana@kitetails.org), who can help you find the best camps for your kids:  www.kitetails.org/camps