SIGN-UPS are open NOW for the SUMMER!
AVAILABLE 2022 C.A.M.M.Ps
Chicago, Illinois (partnership with Hyde Park Neighborhood Club) – July 18-Aug 5th
Racine, Wisconsin – July 30th-31st
Grand Haven, Michigan – August 13th-14th
“I want to thank you for such a fabulous week of CAMMP! [My child] thoroughly enjoyed the entire experience and it gave me such joy to watch him. I’m thrilled that he is gaining the confidence to be himself and not worry what others think.” -Michelle, West Michigan
“I just wanted to follow-up with you and tell you what an amazing time my kids had at [CAMMP]. The closing event Friday night was truly a crescendo! Thanks again… Can’t wait for the next camp.” –Don, West Michigan
“I do so hope you continue to do these little camps… You’re very good at it and the kids really love it. 🙂 Thanks for providing such a fun opportunity for our daughter.” -Molly, Norton Shores, MI
“My daughter loves coming to [C.A.M.M.P] and looks forward to it each year! She loves the creative process of coming up with material on the spot and enjoys the many laughs she has with friends over the course of the camp week. Thank you for what you do Jessica! I can always count on her to leave cammp with a smile on her face. We appreciate you!!!” -Jennifer, Norton Shores, MI
Calling all community centers, libraries, schools, neighborhoods, youth groups, and MORE!
C.A.M.M.P., or Create-A-Mini-Musical-Play, is a workshop/camp I developed in 2012, after working on 30+ musicals as a music director, obtaining an MFA in Musical Theatre Writing from NYU, and touring with Chicago’s ‘Child’s Play Touring Theatre.’
In only a few days, I will take kids through the process of writing and performing in their own original mini-musical. The final show is always fun and an incredibly positive experience, for kids and adults. Costumes / sets are minimal (think ‘black box theatre,’ with kids playing dress up and / or making their own cardboard props).
The focus is on the creative process – and kids are able to create the characters and stories of their dreams, and it’s my great joy to tie it all together into one cohesive piece (and narrate / accompany on piano, off to the side 🙂
If this sounds like fun to you, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and rates. Thanks!
A SAMPLE 5-DAY WEEK of C.A.M.M.P.!!!
NOTE: While this is called C.A.M.M.P., please remember that it is just a cute acronym 🙂 and in many ways it’s more like 2-5 half days of group music lessons & creative writing classes, with a final semi-improvised performance (and lots of coaching on how to pull that off, with a creative professional there on stage with you – a.k.a. me – to narrate and accompany and tie the show together and help during any frozen-on-stage moments). Overall, it’s lots of fun-loving instruction, with plenty of time for questions/interaction and theatrical make-believe (and a few GAMES!), with the overall goal of making each child’s creative dreams come true.
Day 1: I teach the kids about story, and we use clipboards and write a story all together (who, what, when, where, conflict/resolution- it’s both academic and silly), by the end of Day 1 they’ve brainstormed personal stories and the beginnings of a group one, plus their dream characters (and they’ve let me know if they’d like to sing a solo, duet, or only in a group, which helps me sort out leads). I spend night 1 putting it all together, and bringing a story outline (a.k.a. our ‘script’) on day 2 for everyone.
Day 2: we briefly imagine some details of scenes together, plus beginning the songwriting class/workshop- verse/chorus, AABA, current pop 4-chord songs, etc. We write songs separately and as a group. I play piano for/with them (and sometimes teach some pop piano songwriting, time allowing), and we find out everyone’s musical comfort level!
Day 3: we start practicing things – with as many group scenes and group songs as possible, so it’s fun for all. We also play some theatre games and learn vocal warmups, to mix things up. This is usually the day we also do an art project, drawing our characters and costume ideas (which they’ll try to create on their own from stuff at home, some kids make cardboard props at home too, it’s all optional 🙂
Day 4: is like a dress rehearsal day. The final shows are sometimes only 15 minutes long, with me narrating a lot while playing all the songs we wrote from the piano – whereas other times I narrate very little, except to get us from scene to scene, and the kids lead the way completely! One show was 45 minutes in the end, because the kids loved improvising so much. It varies from group to group, and I make sure it’s fun and enjoyable for them, no matter what the kids’ comfort/experience/background is, with theatre and music and improvisation and writing!
Day 5: is the final performance day…it begins similar to day 4, but just ends with our semi-improvised show! Parents and friends/family can come 30-45 minutes early for pick up on this day, if they’d like to see the semi-casual, super fun-loving final performance 🙂
A SAMPLE 2-DAY WEEKEND C.A.M.M.P.!
Day 1: We play a quick ‘get to know you’ game, and immediately begin brainstorming characters! This is a fast paced group activity, where we all know what part we’re going to play within the first hour. Next we brainstorm places that would be well-suited to an ‘adventure’ among these particular characters. Then we do some vocal warmups, and find out who likes singing solos / duets (versus who prefers singing in groups). We use this information to rally together around who is willing to improvise a ‘leading role’ (or two or three). Then we fine tune our story (I keep track on a white board, as we all tell the story together…by the end we have a story arc…sort of:). We talk a little about problems and solutions, and how that makes a good story, and also begin songwriting! By the end of the 1st day, those singing leads have their ‘song moments’ spotted, as they say. And we’ll have written at least a chorus to a group song, usually used at the opening and closing.
Day 2 (show day!): We come ready to improvise and create a show! Songs are practiced and created / developed. Characters are crafted, including any costumes brought from home – or made (cardboard props, etc). We tell a story, and I serve as narrator – keeping the story moving, and making sure all characters are involved and songs are sung. We take breaks to play theatre games, as needed, and enjoy the process. At the end (final 30 minutes), any family and friends who want to, show up to watch our final performance.
***ONE MORE THING: please note – the 5 half-days model is the most tried-and-true, with the 2-day warp-speed model being a newer invention to fit alongside my Mon-Thur private lessons schedule (which results in shorter and more ‘spontaneous feeling’ shows :). However it is possible (and has happened a few times) for the C.A.M.M.P. to be any number of days! For example, a 3-day weekend (Fri-Sun) OR a 4-day week (Mon-Thur). I’m open to many options and variations on this basic structure and format – knowing that the more time we have, the more details will be involved in the final show…and the less time we have, the more it will feel like ‘musical improv’ (which some kids enjoy most of all!).
The C.A.M.M.P.s can also be crafted to have a mostly-songwriting focus, or a shorter but fully-scripted show, or they can even be created to focus mostly on the educational aspects of drama+music (with much less of a performance focus), and much MORE! The sky is the limit, in terms of flexibility – and I’m always happy to try to meet the needs of YOUR community ❤
INTERESTED!?! QUESTIONS??? Write to Jessica at email@example.com TODAY! ❤