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Glee fills the Averitt Center
Camp teaches students basics of musical theater
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Rachel Gay, 14, far left, Samantha Wilson, 12, center, and the rest of Glee Camp participants listen to notes and instructions from director Tony Phillips Tuesday at the Averitt Center for the Arts. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/staff

    The Averitt Center for the Arts’ Glee Camp is teaching elementary, middle and high school students the basics of musical theater using the popular Fox television show “Glee” as its inspiration.
    The camp is under the direction of Tony Phillips, who is currently in his fifth year of conducting summer camps at the Averitt Center. Phillips works as a grants coordinator for the Averitt Center, and uses his acting background to help direct musical theater.
    Glee Camp offers two sessions. The current session is for middle and high school students. The second session is next week for elementary school students. At the end of each session students perform a production that they have rehearsed throughout the camp. Each performance will take place on the Friday of the session at 3:30 p.m. in the Emma Kelly Theater and is free and open to the public.
    The idea for the 2010 theme was born out of the need for a fresh idea after the last three summer musical theater camps were based on the “High School Musical” movie series.
    “We were looking for a new theme and since Glee was so popular this year we decided to base the camp on Glee,” Phillips said.
    During the camp students learn the basics of theater production, while instruction is focused on musical routines, Phillips said. Students receive lessons in auditioning, callbacks and rehearse their performance multiple times before performing on Friday.
    “We do the nuts and bolts of how to put together a show and they learn tips and tricks of how to participate in a theater production,” Phillips said.
    Phillips said he believes that the camp is an opportunity to get “hardcore training” in musical theater when shows performed throughout the year may not offer parts for children.
    “I’m a big fan of Glee and I’ve always wanted to learn more about theater and get more of a perspective from an experienced man like Tony Phillips,” Alyssa Chester said.
    Chester, 13, has performed in two “High School Musical” productions under Phillips.
    “He’s a genius.”
    Next week’s elementary school session of Glee Camp and all of the Averitt Center's summer camps are still open for registration. Parents may call the Averitt Center for more information at (912) 212-2787.

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