FWD Fridays: This Is Summer Camp!

Meet Harrison and Leanna,  American Stage’s Under 20 Ambassadors. In order to help shape the future of live theatre in Tampa Bay – American Stage offers free tickets to all of our mainstage shows to young people under the age of 20 through our UNDER 20 PASSPORT. Harrison and Leanna help us spread the word about all of the exciting programs at American Stage! 

Our week at American Stage Education’s musical intensive camp has come and gone; and how great it was. From the first day to the Final Sharing, we both had a wonderful time learning new things, challenging ourselves, and meeting fellow theatre kids. Each day consisted of rehearsal and lessons relating to “The Greatest Showman” and acting as a skill, along with relationship-building with other students in the session.

This year, the summer camp program was even better than last year’s, especially because of the new location. At Admiral Farragut Academy, we had a brand new stage to perform on, as well as a classroom and lobby rehearsal space. A usual camp day consisted of rehearsal time on the stage, where we would learn the choreography, staging, and sometimes music. After lunch, we would transition to either the classroom, where we would learn about P.T. Barnum, or the lobby to work on our music. Throughout the week, we also did various activities that helped expand our acting skills, as well as ensemble building exercises with our fellow students. 

 As we progressed throughout the week, we both faced challenges that allowed us to expand our abilities and knowledge. For example, at the start of the week, Harrison felt very nervous about the choreographed aspects of our performance. As time went on and practice increased, he began to feel more comfortable with the movements, and even nailed the pirouette. It may look easy, but it’s definitely not! Leanna learned to expand and embrace her voice, utilizing the upper parts of her range more confidently than usual.

We also got some first-hand experience in flexibility and learned first hand that “the show must go on!” Right before our Final Sharing, a typical Florida afternoon downpour began, delaying the start of the Sharing, and soaking some of the performers. We made a few adjustments due to complications resulting from the storm. About halfway through our Sharing, the power flickered out for a second or two. We kept going on with the show. Even through all of this, the Final Sharing was a success and everyone had a wonderful time. Our grand finale included Leanna rocking a solo in “This Is Me”, with a surprise performance by the middle school classes culminating into a total of 40+ students on stage singing this powerful anthem together.                                                                                                                                                                               

Hey! That’s us!             


Of course, all of these things wouldn’t have been possible without our top-notch teaching artists. From the very beginning, they helped us better our theatrical skills, and better  ourselves. Coming away from the camp, both of us feel that we have grown as performers and can’t wait to take part in future American Stage Education programs!

More information can be found at americanstage.org/SUMMER. Make sure to follow American Stage Education on Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date on our summer camp adventures!