BWW Interview: Shortstack Theatre's Emily Suarez And MacKenzy Clyne talk SUMMER CAMP at The 5 & Dime

Summer is right around the corner for Jacksonville students, and that means sun, fun, and...summer camp! If you're looking for a week-long adventure for your children this summer, you'll want to consider Shortstack Theatre Company's Acting and Musical Theatre Camp offerings, hosted by The 5 & Dime in Jacksonville's urban core. Tucked in a corner of one of Jacksonville's most beloved breakfast spots, I met with two of Shortstack's founding members, rising college sophomores Emily Suarez and MacKenzy Clyne, to discuss plans for their program, and what makes it different from other theatrical offerings. "Getting theatre to kids at such a young age is a gift. I found theatre when I was very young," Suarez confesses. Emily is a BFA Acting Major at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, while MacKenzy is studying Stage Management on a BFA track at Point Park University, also in Pittsburgh. MacKenzy aims to one day teach stage management at the college level, and spending the summer imparting her wisdom and infectious energy with Jacksonville's youth is a perfect match. These ladies, along with four other BFA performance students (all graduates of Douglas Anderson School of the Arts), decided this spring to bring theatre to the urban core kids in Jacksonville by pooling their talent and education.

Partnering with The 5 & Dime Theatre, these knowledgeable and skilled students are offering three different camps this summer: an Acting Camp for 5-10 year-olds, an Acting Camp for rising 6th-10th graders, and a Musical Theatre Camp for 6th-10th graders. Breakdowns of these camps, their offerings, and cost of attendance can be found here. Interested in more info on this star-studded staff? Check out their bios here

After spending the morning with some of the energetic staff of this camp, I can tell you that the excitement and life these ladies are pouring into this camp will produce some of the most fun camp experiences your child has had. This team desires to cultivate imagination in Jacksonville's youth, and their passion for this camp season shines through in conversation. The team at The 5 & Dime is also planning to offer scholarships to students in need. If you're interested in donating to this cause, check out their fundraising page here. Additionally, you can send a donation to 112 Adams Street, Jacksonville, FL 32202, with checks made out to The 5 & Dime, Inc. Educational Programs.

Would you like to see these students' talent before committing to a camp? You can find Emily on stage this weekend at LIVE! At Bab's Lab. The 5 & Dime will be presenting a Miscast Cabaret, and Emily will be performing songs by characters and from shows she wouldn't typically have the opportunity to play. Tickets are available for tonight here. Shortstack Theatre members can also be found on stage in two weeks at Theatre Jax's THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLE. Tickets are available on their website. Spaces for camp are filling fast and slots are limited, so sign up today! Happy (almost) summer!

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From This Author Heather Vollman