News Column

Youngsters become stars at Broadway Bound camp

August 16, 2013


Aug. 16--Clark Ausloos played on the piano along the wall at the Next Stage Studio on Thursday while a group of students sang "Do You Hear the People Sing" from Les Miserables.

Nathan Rowland Miller, 14, stood and sang while dancing with his peers.

Kids from ages 10 to 16 were rehearsing during a three-week acting and singing camp, Broadway Bound. The camp, in its fourth year, has children from the ages of 6 to 9 come for three weeks from 9 a.m. to noon, and the older group from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

When Mr. Ausloos stopped playing, the younger group of students broke into applause from their seats onstage watching the choreographed number.

The camp costs $225 for the young group and $295 for the older children. A total of 65 children were in both groups.

"We're basically learning different songs and scenes from various musicals," said Mr. Ausloos, camp instructor. "We have the audition for solos because that is a scary thing for them and they don't have experience with auditioning."

The three-week camp started on Aug. 5 and ends with a play at the Maumee Indoor Theatre Aug. 23 at 7 p.m. The play will include various different acts, and songs the children learned during the camp.

"We've been learning how to act, sing, and dance on a Broadway stage and audition for Broadway, which is good for me because it is what I want to do," said Perrysburg High School junior Kate Walsher, 15. "When you go into an audition even with people you know it is nerve-wracking."

The young Walsher auditioned last week for a solo in the West Side Story play, she was very excited when she earned the role for the Aug. 23 play.

For student Rowland Miller his favorite part of camp is meeting people with the same common interests in acting and dancing.

"I've learned to open myself up to criticism," he said. "That is not easy and you don't like hearing criticism but it teaches you to perform better."

Hayley Podschun, who will be performing in Wicked at the Stranahan Theater this month, will come into work with the children on Monday. Then Wednesday through Friday, Alan Muraoka who has worked on Sesame Street for years will be there. Those two will serve as instructors in the camp.

"It is nice to have someone currently in the business come in and show what we've been saying and doing is valid [while] getting them prepped for the show," Mr. Ausloos said.

Young Miller said he is looking forward to hearing about beyond the scenes information from Mr. Muraoka.

The younger children have been working on different lines, songs, and crafts.

"I've been doing certain dance moves and learning how to react with the stage and not to just look at the audience I have to act [for]," Seth Crawford, 8, said. "I'm interested in this but when I grow up I'm going to be a scientist."

Allie Pinkelman, who works with the younger students, said she loves their excitement and energy but sometimes it makes it difficult to get them to focus.

Contact Matt Thompson at:, 419-356-8786, or on Twitter at @mthompson25.


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