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THEATER CAMP SET FOR YOUTHS

An innovative summer camp will offer local children a taste of real show business this summer.

Those from 10 to 17 years of age will have the chance to sing, dance and work the lights for two productions -- "Cinderella" and "Chicago" -- at Summer Stock Theater Camp, July 7 to 18, to be held at the University at Buffalo North Campus in Amherst.

Matthew Clark, an award-winning tap and jazz choreographer and owner of Clark Academy of Performing Arts, will direct the program along with Marianne Whiting, a drama and music teacher.

Instructors will include a Broadway producer, a music director, a bass player and an opera singer from Canada. A dancer from New York City will talk about theater life. "He lets kids know how difficult this lifestyle is," Whiting said.

Aspiring dancers, singers, actors and stagehands who want to go to camp should have training, theater experience, or interest in backstage work.

The program covers more than just the performing arts, Whiting explained. Every camper will get a professional portfolio picture taken. The photos will be part of the resume that children will work on during camp.

Two snacks and lunch will be provided during the daily sessions, which begin at 8 a.m. and end at 5:30 p.m. For an application, call 603-0468.

Some scholarships, sponsored by Rotary Clubs and other groups, are available for the two-week session, which costs $800.

Whiting is hoping to raise more money for scholarships. "You have a whole segment of the public that is completely segregated and left out," she said. "We absolutely will not turn away a child if they deserve to be there."

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