Theater looms large for summer camp

    When a city performing arts camp got upgraded to the state-of-the-art theater space, it got more than it bargained for.

    The Zellerbach Theater at the University of Pennsylvania is often host to exotic music and dance from around the world. But this week, it will be filled with hundreds of Philadelphia kids at summer camp. When a city performing arts camp got upgraded to the state-of-the-art theater space, it got more than it bargained for.

    Listen:
    [audio: 090803pccamp.mp3]

    For the last 13 years the Department of Recreation has rented Penn’s Prince Theater for its 6-week summer camp. It’s what theater people call “intimate” – just 200 seats. But due to last-minute construction work, the camp was instead given the 960-seat Zellerbach for the same price.

    17 year old Denzell Ivery says he has to learn to perform for 5 times more people than he was used to at the Prince.

    Ivery: If you have trouble playing to the top of the audience you still come across really well – here, if you don’t blast it to the back you will not be heard, it will not be seen, and you just have a blah show. And no one wants a blah show.

    The camp has another unforeseen problem: how to fill all those seats with a paying audience.

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