N.S. theatre opens its doors for summer camps as COVID-19 restrictions are eased
SYDNEY, N.S. -- The stage at the Highland Arts Theatre in Sydney, N.S., has been empty since mid-March, when productions were put on hold because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, now that COVID-19 restrictions have been eased in Nova Scotia, the theatre will be offering summer camps.
“I think a lot of the planning has been very different, but I think once we all get in the same room, the only thing different will be physical distancing. We will have the same great teachers, great content, the same great classes,” says Rachel Murphy, the education co-ordinator at the Highland Arts Theatre.
Campgoers will be instructed in music, acting, dance, and theatre tech.
“We have six weeks of camp scheduled so far – beginner level, advanced level, all ages from 10 to 18,” says Wesley Colford, the artistic director at the Highland Arts Theatre.
Classes are beginning to fill up, with the first camp scheduled for July 6.
“Basically every group will be a maximum of 10 people and they will have the whole floor to themselves, so they'll have lots of space. We've actually been doing some minor renovations so there's enough space for people to spread out for dance, as an example,” says Colford.
With so many other activities and events cancelled because of COVID-19, Murphy says she’s glad the theatre is able to go ahead with the summer program.
“I think it's really important to get them out and interacting with other people their own age, because I know a lot of them might not of had that. I think it's really important they flex those muscles they've been building for so long, especially some of our older kids, and we don't want them to lose anything we've been working on,” says Murphy.
In the past, the camps have ended with a live performance for family and friends. However, this year’s performances will be done a little differently.
“What we've done, as a compromise, is each group will come up with their own play or musical and we will video them and send the video to their parents and loved ones,” says Colford.