June 02--Misericordia University is launching a performing arts academy this summer for children ages 7 to 17.
The summer camp will be for two weeks, July 28 to Aug. 9. Cari Tellis, an associate professor of speech-language pathology at Misericordia and voice specialist, came up with the idea.
"I have always wanted to work with younger people interested in performing arts, giving them skills to be able to avoid vocal injury later in life," Tellis said, adding participants will learn "communication life skills" in addition to aspects of a voice training used by professional singers and actors.
The camp's agenda includes group and individualized coaching in voice, dance, acting, rhythm, musicianship, theater, improvisation and public-speaking skills.
Workshops will be held Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Concluding performances will be at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 8, and 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 9.
An early bird-registration rate of $475 is available for registering by July 1. The offer allows for payment of half of the tuition, and payment of the balance by July 11.
The tuition is $499 after July 1. There also is a $40 discount for a sibling.
It's a third of the cost of many other performing arts camps because the Speech-Language Pathology Department provided some sponsorship to defray some cost, Tellis said. The Dallas Township resident added she hopes to recruit sponsors and offer scholarships to help with tuition next year and possibly this year.
All materials for the workshops are included in the registration fee, including music, scripts, theater materials, portfolio, a professional headshot, and two tickets each to the academy's concluding performances on Aug. 8-9 in Lemmond Theater on campus.
Lauren Timek is the academy's dance coach. The West Pittston resident is an instructor at three dance schools, including The Dance Theatre of Wilkes-Barre.
"We can accommodate all styles and ages," Timek said. "We are also all cross trained."
Tellis said she knew Timek would be perfect for the academy after seeing her work as a dance instructor with her children, Sydney, 11, Sophia, 8, and Luke, 4. Tellis said she wanted an instructor for her children who would "be tough on them."
Timek earned a degree in speech communication from Kutztown University in 2012 and finished a three-year stint as a cheerleader for the New York Jets at the Super Bowl last February.
Amanda Reiser, a senior at Penn State University, will be a drama intern at the academy. The Shavertown resident is studying acting and vocal performance.
"There is so much in this field," Reiser said. "I have a passion for teaching. I love teaching, and I have a passion on stage."
Reiser spent her last semester at the Theatre Academy of London. Four years ago, Tellis helped Reiser with her voice while recovering from tonsil removal.
Lonnie Barone, a presentation and performance coach at the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business, worked with Tellis on a book titled, "Your Voice is Your Business," and she asked him to participate in the summer camp. He will focus training in public speaking, personal presentation style and acting.
"She felt I would be a good addition to the two weeks," the Doylestown resident said. "I am excited about it."
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