Acting classes for young people, camps offered by Holland Recreation

HOLLAND — This spring or summer, aspiring young actors and actresses have the chance to learn the basics of acting through a new series of classes and a camp offered by the City of Holland Recreation Program.

Holland Recreation is offering six-week after-school classes for elementary-aged children this spring, designed to introduce students to the art of acting. Classes will include interactive games, exercises and activities to lay the groundwork for young performers to learn the basics of theatre.

“Dreamers!” – Introduction to Acting (Level I & II) will meet once a week for six weeks starting April 12.

Tier I is for 2nd and 3rd graders and will meet from 5:15-6:15 p.m. on Mondays. This course will focus on classic children’s dream stories like “Alice in Wonderland” and “Where are the Wild Things”.

Level II is accessible to 4th and 5th year students. This class will meet from 6:30-7:30 p.m. on Mondays and explore how to bring well-known bedtime characters like Mr. Sandman, Tooth Fairy, Counting Sheep, Monsters Under the Bed, and In the Closet to life coming together to tell the story. a hilarious story featuring the Night Crew.

Both classes will conclude with a final presentation for family and friends, in accordance with National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state health guidelines for gatherings.

The course location is still being determined.

Fees for “Dreamers!” class is $50 for residents and $65. After April 5, fees increase to $60 for residents and $75 for non-residents.

Holland Recreation is also offering a five-day Introductory Theater Summer Camp for children in grades 2-5 from June 21-25. The camps will conclude with a matinee performance of “The Pig Who Cried Wolf”, an original piece written by the program instructor. , Jo Gray, on Saturday, June 26.

Grade 2 and 3 camp will meet from 9 a.m. to noon daily and Grade 4 and 5 camp will meet from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Holland Recreation program and event coordinator Kemri Hilton said the camp will most likely be held outdoors in one of the city’s parks.

Summer camp fees are $115 for residents and $130 for non-residents if registered before May 24. After May 24, fees increase to $125 for residents and $140 for non-residents. After June 7, summer camp fees are $135 for residents and $150 for non-residents.

Gray, who moved to Holland in 2019 with her husband Bill, said she approached the city of Holland to offer to add acting classes for young people.

“Making a major life transition on the eve of a pandemic has not been the perfect time to get to know and contribute to our new community,” Gray said. “But, even before COVID, I felt a theatrical void in Holland, especially in the young theater programming. Now more than ever, I believe that children are eager to engage and explore new activities. L Learning the art of theater offers young people the opportunity to interact, discover and develop crucial life skills of confidence, creativity and cooperation through the performing arts.

Gray has taught drama and acting for the TRIO/Upward Bound program at Hope College, CultureWorks and Holland Public Schools. Jo also helped launch an online theater academy for Exit Left Theater Co., which successfully trained over 30 advanced theater students through a digital platform during the pandemic.

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Hilton said most of the city’s recreation classes and youth and adult sports leagues have been able to make adjustments to follow COVID-19 prevention protocols, and they plan to offer a nearly full slate of activities. for young people and adults this summer despite the pandemic.

Other art classes offered as part of the city’s recreation program this spring and summer include Tulip Toons, Draw Club and Graphic Novel Gurus, as well as guitar and percussion lessons.

Sign up for one of these programs on the Holland Recreation website,

— Contact journalist Carolyn Muyskens at and follow her on Twitter at @cjmuyskens.

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