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Geeky Street Theatre Camp teaching children about the arts

Geeky Street Theatre Camp is returning for two five-day sessions. | Supplied photo

Ali Howat, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter | reporter@fitzhugh.ca

Are you a theatre buff? Love to act? 

Geeky Street Theatre Camp is all about helping kids explore theatre and storytelling through games, lessons, character creation and various exercises. 

Teddy Ngkaion and Elena Kellis run the geeky street theatre camps through Habitat for the Arts.

“We hope to use the skills we learned in our own theatre studies to give kids the tools we wish we had when we were their age,” they wrote in an email.

Both Ngkaion and Kellis graduated from the University of Victoria’s theatre program in 2019 with a focus on acting.

Kellis is an actor, visual artist, writer, mover and musician. Creative collaboration is where she shines, and she loves any opportunity to work with kids and teens. She believes in the importance of giving back to your community, the passing of knowledge and building lasting relationships. Kellis is honoured to have the chance to work with the next generation of artists in her hometown. 

Ngkaion is a writer, actor and educator who comes from many places across Southeast Asia and now calls Canada home. As an artist who grew up in multiple countries, his work revolves around bridging cultures and intercultural identities. Outside of theatre, he’s also worked as a summer camp counsellor, zip-line tour guide and cheesecake baker.

Kellis started the theatre camps by herself in 2017 and 2018 and ran them with help from local friends in 2019 and she brought in recent theatre graduates to help, which lead to the creation of Geeky Street Theatre.

Kellis wanted to find a way to bring camps to Jasper, because growing up here, she always had to go out of town to be a part of a lot of theatre activities.

She ended up getting put in contact with Marianne Garrah from Habitat for the Arts.

Their ongoing relationship has led to four years of successful camps.

“At the heart of the camp, we want to teach kids how to create a safe space to collaborate with each other and work together as an ensemble,” Ngkaion and Kellis wrote.

There are currently two five-day sessions: July 26-30 for ages 7-11 and Aug. 16-20 for ages 12-15.

The cost of the session is $250. Each session includes snacks, supplies, costume and even a pizza party on the last day.

The camps also end with a showcase so friends and family are able to see the work they have accomplished throughout the camp.

During the camps, the kids will do activities such as improv, games, dress-up and scene work all depending on what the group of kids are interested in.

“If there is interest from older teens or even adults, we would love to run weekend workshops or even put on a fun play,” Ngkaion and Kellis added.

Last year, the theatre camp went on but with many restrictions.

Everyone had to keep up with social distancing and wore masks whenever close contact was needed. The space was sanitized constantly, and everyone washed their hands every time they entered the space and before and after eating.

The group size also had to be restricted to eight kids per session and some activities had to be modified to allow for distancing and minimize close contact.

This summer, campers will still be requested to bring their masks in case they are needed.

If parents are more comfortable with their kids distancing and wearing masks, that decision will be respected and encouraged.

The space will continue to be sanitized regularly and hygienic practices will be encouraged, such as washing your hands before entering the space and before and after eating.

Both Ngkaion and Kellis are fully vaccinated and will continue to wear masks when necessary.

The sessions will continue to be limited to eight kids.

If you are interested in signing your kid up or have any questions, please get in touch with them at geekystreettheatre@gmail.com

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