If you’re looking for some cultural entertainment this summer, Stephens College will be hosting its Summer Theater Institute performances throughout the months of May and June this year. The program is part of the Stephens College School of Performing Arts BFA program for students who have completed at least one year in the program.
This six-week “bootcamp” showcases students’ talent in five different theatrical performances including a children’s theatre piece, a musical, a stage combat performance, an original work and, new for this summer’s camp, a monologue.
The program has brought in both beloved longtime faculty members as well as distinguished guest directors for this summer’s shows.
“This year our first guest artist is John Wilson, a professional director, actor, fight choreographer and teacher based out of Kansas City,” program PR coordinator Emma Carter says. “He’ll be instructing the ladies in stage combat and directing a combat show that incorporates physical humor and technical demonstration.”
This year, the Summer Theater Institute will also bring in two founding members of the Blessed Unrest, a New York-based theatre company, to guide the students in devising a completely original work.
Combining the talents of both Stephens’ faculty and guest directors helps develop a wide range of stage pieces while providing the students with all of the basic tools necessary to work in the real world.
“I think the Summer Theatre Institute is a great part of the Stephens College BFA program because it prepares students for what lies ahead,” Carter says. “It’s a great place to learn the basic tools they need — the ability to dance, sing, build a set, hang a light design, perform — and improve their existing skills.”
The program opens the performances to the public and encourages students staying in Columbia for the summer to come out and support the program. The one-hour showings are free and begin at 7:30 p.m. on various nights during the summer. More information on the shows and showtimes can be found on Stephens’ website.