We’re just six weeks away from the start of Teen Theater Summer Camp – a camp like no other in the heart of the East Village. I couldn’t be more excited to return as the Artistic Director. As I start preparing for all the fun we’re going to have, I reached out to a returning teen to learn more about her experience last year.
Sharone: Hi Sonia! How are you?
Sonia: Good! Doing really well. How are you?
Sharone: I am great! I am really excited to get back to camp this summer! How is school?
Sonia: It’s good. A lot of work a lot of stress, but not anything unbearable.
Sharone: Are you’ doing a lot of theater at school?
Sonia: Yeah, I’ve been in three productions this year! Frankenstein, a new musical, and the third was a one-act, electronic pop musical version of Romeo and Juliet!
Sharone: Did you do a lot of theater before coming to Teen Theater Summer Camp?
Sonia: Only a couple of small parts…I did tech and a one act, but I didn’t realize how serious I was about it until I came to camp. Before, it was all fun and games, but now it’s a little more serious. It’s no longer a hobby, it’s more like a thing. Does that make sense?
Sharone: Yes! Absolutely! What was it like coming to Teen Theater Summer Camp with no theater background? Was it exciting? Scary?
Sonia: For me, I was neutral. It was another experience getting to do more theater stuff. I was very openminded.
Sharone: You walked away with two major roles last summer, right?
Sonia: I did! Mrs. Caldwell in Urinetown and Rosalind in As You Like It.
Sharone: How do you think that has changed you as a performer?
Sonia: I definitely think it changed me as an actor. Before I went into it, I was only doing small minor parts with no real substance. But getting to connect with and become a character–saying these lines and really just BE the person, to become the character and find a way to connect with them and make a backstory–it was easy to learn how to. Plus getting the opportunity to have a big enough part, it was exciting to get to attach to a character.
It was also surprising to be capable of doing that. Seeing I could learn and understand a character, because I was learning how to. But also because it started to make sense on my own, really thinking about the character, that mindset. I was creating and discovering a backstory, figuring out how to know other characters in the show, and how to interact with them. Like if you are playing a parent, friend, etc.
Sharone: Do you think this also changed you as a person outside of theater?
Sonia: It does makes you realize there are so many other perspectives in the world. Things you didn’t really acknowledge before.
Sharone: What are your thoughts on camp?
Sonia: I thought it was great. It was a really fun, supportive environment, and somehow in two weeks we were able put on a super fantastic show! It was all great!
My favorite part of camp was having that super positive environment and the people. I’ve taken away a lot from camp, from the people and the things I’ve learned. That experience and the community were really helpful, especially because I was not that experienced in theater before.
Sharone: Are you excited to comeback!
Teen Theater Summer Camp
From July 9 through August 3, The Theater at the 14th Street Y offers a four week theater camp that will engage teens interested in performance, writing, and design through unique programming that gives each student an opportunity to craft their own individual experience.
Learn more about our Teen Theater Summer Camp.