Founded in 2000, Summer Stars’ flagship program is a 10 day camp that brings together underserved students ages 12-17 with a talented staff of performers, counselors, and guest artists. Summer Stars Camp is often the first time these young people leave behind their difficult circumstances to discover their own talents, learn to express their own voices, and be taken seriously.
Summer Stars encourages hard work, risk taking, and the joy of performing through intensive workshops. Participants experience the gamut of performing arts in daily sessions – from voice, acting, and dance instruction to writing rap and doing improvisation. Their week of rigorous learning culminates at a public performance—90 minutes of action-packed singing, dancing, acting, and movement that involves every camper.
Professional singers, dancers, actors and other performers take students’ natural enthusiasm and passion for performance to the next level. By meeting other kids with the same interests, by working with a caring staff that holds them to the highest standards, they learn that working hard gets them places they never thought possible. They take these standards, this work ethic, and a renewed sense of self-worth into all facets of their lives.
Daily experiences include:
Morning Stretch, which brings everyone together to start the day
Master classes with professional dancers, actors, and musicians
Morning Sing where they learn vocal exercises and songs that will be performed
Open Mike, where campers ‘get the stage’ for 3 minutes
Evening Performing groups have included: Shakespeare Performers Knighthorse Theatre, Stomp, Blue Man Group, Playback Theatre, African Drumming and Dancing, Salsa Demonstrations, and more.
Summer Stars also brings a network of known artists to its campers as special guests. Guest artists have included Steven Tyler, Taylor Swift, rap legend DMC, renowned mural artist Jameel Parker, Rapper/ Street artist Kaves, Blue Man Group, and many more. These opportunities help the campers realize that they, too, have the power to reach for their own dreams.
On the final Saturday of the program, campers become SUMMER STARS in their own energetic, impassioned, inspiring performance–90 minutes, 19 numbers in front of a full house, plus press and special guests. Everyone performs. And everyone loves it.
Full House Audience
Summer Stars makes its home on the beautiful Northfield Mount Hermon Campus in Gill, Massachusetts. The school provides us with first-rate facilities including theaters, dance studios, housing, and a peaceful setting. Many of our campers have shared with us that in this environment, for the first time they can really focus and learn.