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Kids settle in to summer roles

Round Lake Auditorium again hosts camp for young actors

The cast of “Honk!” practice their group pose on Monday, July30, during rehearsal. The Summer Stars and Carpe Diem Productions group will perform at the Round Lake Auditorium on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 3 and 4.

The cast of “Honk!” practice their group pose on Monday, July30, during rehearsal. The Summer Stars and Carpe Diem Productions group will perform at the Round Lake Auditorium on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 3 and 4. Photo by Julie Cushine-Rigg.

— The Village of Round Lake may not be as big as some of its neighboring communities, but for two days the sleepy streetscape little place will be host to dozens of young theater talents.

On Friday and Saturday, Aug. 3 and 4, productions of “Honk! Jr.” (a musical version of "The Ugly Duckling") and “The AristoCats Kids” are set to be performed by the youth drama group Summer Stars and Carpe Diem Productions at the Round Lake Auditorium.

Summer Stars Director Heather Ferlo said the auditorium doesn’t see a lot of use and that the influx of campers and audiences last year was a surprising success for everyone.

“I think it’s a really great thing for the village and they took to it very well last year,” said Ferlo.

Summer Stars was brought together by Joe Shaver, an English Arts teacher and drama club director at Ballston Spa Middle School. He has also been a day summer camp counselor for more than a decade. He was looking to bring the arts and a summer camp experience together when the Round Lake Auditorium was looking for proposals to use its space.

The camp program returned this summer by popular demand and has seen some growth. In its first year the group was made up of children from grades 7 through 10. This year, they’ve added opportunities for kids from grades 2 through 6. The younger set of kids will be performing “The AristoCatsKids” and the older kids will be putting on “Honk! Jr.”

“The program was designed for two main reasons. One, to give children the opportunity to perform over the summer and two, to give students an opportunity to grow with the program and perhaps one day be the director or choreographer,” said Shaver.

Shaver’s philosophy employs having older kids be counselors to the younger ones, a concept that has been popular among campers and parents. The camp has six counselors (from grades 10 and up) along with many parent volunteers.

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