Return to Headlines

SPS Theatre Camp ready to put on a show


SPS Theatre Camp ready to put on a show

(Stillwater, Oklahoma) Stillwater Public Schools is hosting its first ever Summer Theatre Camp this year. The camp is funded by Stillwater Public Education Foundation’s Onward Arts campaign, which aims to support SPS in delivering new opportunities for children to experience and participate in fine arts activities.

SPS was able to offer the camp for free to forty students this year thanks to SPEF. “We knew there would be an interest, especially for a free opportunity, but we were not expecting all spots to fill in the first day,” says Janita Cormell, one of the instructors for the summer camp. Ultimately a few cancellations allowed additional students to be added from a waitlist to fill out the camp, she says. 

Over a two-week period, these students have been learning the basics of theatre, including stage directions, prop making, costuming, and even theatrical combat. Additional instructors Anita Cawlfield, Christine Horton, Valerie Thrasher, and Amanda Ogle have been sharing their expertise in teaching, stage production and music as instructors for the camp.  “I am very proud to work with this group of instructors.  We have created a program that is sustainable and can be adapted to any of the district's venues,” says Cormell.  

Due to the size of the cast, and limited time of the camp, rather than focusing on one large cast production, students will perform shorter scenes and duets. The material comes from, a site featuring material for all ages that Cormell uses often with her 7th grade theatre Arts students. 

“It’s great to be able to offer this opportunity to SPS children,” says Cormell. “These kids have been an absolute delight to work with. I’m so excited to see where the Onward Arts campaign can help us go from here.” 

“With OSU Theatre, the McKnight Center shows, Town and Gown, and the Stillwater Children’s Theatre, it’s clear our town values theatre,” she says. “During COVID, it’s been very challenging for theatre kids. There’s only so much you can do with limited audiences, and all those safety protocols. I’m so thankful we are able to offer opportunities for in person theatre again. It’s so important to a community. Not just for the kids who need to express themselves through performing, but also for the way the arts can bring us all together and make us feel connected.”

The campers will perform on Thursday, June 9 at 6:30pm in the Highland Park Elementary school auditorium. The performance will be free and open to the public.

# # #

Barry Fuxa
[email protected]