The Perfect Summer Outlet for Your Dramatic (or Shy) Child!
Did you know that a drama class can benefit an outgoing child as much as it can a shy child? Many outgoing children have a lot of energy and a structured drama class can help that child channel that energy into a productive project. A shy child can learn to find their voice in a drama class through fun games and practices. In a typical Mel O’ Drama class, students get to explore the depths of their imaginations in a creative, safe and fun environment. Whether born for the stage or fearful of new situations, children want to play together and this program has proved time and time again that children connect beautifully when creating together!
Mel Gillespie is the founder and owner of the Mel O’ Drama School of Acting for Kids based in Milton and Quincy. Besides teaching at her beloved drama school, Mel also has her own kids tv show on Milton access tv called ‘Acting up with Mel and Gigi Giraffe’ AND is the author of a successful children’s book called, ‘Darlene the drama Queen,’ which she based on her students at Mel O’ Drama. Taking a class with Mel and The Mel O’ Drama Team is fun, productive and very rewarding. ‘Every child can benefit from a drama class! Our stage awaits you!’
Summer camp registration is underway and although we’re based in Milton MA, we visit Mashpee MA every Summer and bring with us a taste of what we do in the form of a 1-week (half day) camp for little ones! This year we’ve chosen the theme of FAIRYTALES and in our camp we’ll use theatre games, voice work (projection & articulation), choreography, costumes, arts n crafts and more to prepare a little show for family on the last day of camp! Ideal for ages 4-10. Space is limited so, ‘don’t delay if you wanna play!’
For more information visit melodramakids.com, click on CAMPS and you’ll find our Cape Camp on our Summer Camps 2018 page. You can also contact Mel on 617 276 2772 for any questions you may need answered! We’d love to see you this July!
Cape Cod Child Development hits close to home with "Rock of Ages"
By: Corinne Cameron
Life has been absolutely non-stop crazy for me, where I have not been able to write a blog post in ages. Things are no different right now, but there is a show, “Rock of Ages” coming up this weekend at the Tilden Arts Center that made me wake up an hour early so I could tell you about it. It’s that important!
Now you are sitting here thinking, Ok, theatre is entertaining and all, but important? Yes, important. The production has one goal, to serve as a fundraiser for a non-profit agency called Cape Cod Child Development. From May 12-13th the actors will perform 3 shows to raise money for CCCDP as well as the Cape Conservatory, who is receiving 10% of the proceeds to go towards student scholarships. I’ll tell you more about it further down but let me start by saying that I am not affiliated with the organization in any way other than being a former client on behalf of my 5 year old son, Remy.
Remy was born prematurely at 36 weeks and had a rough start to life, spending a total of 25 days in the NICU and Special care nursery off cape, before he was well enough to come home. Because of this he automatically qualified for services through CCCDP but little did we know, just how much we would need them and the impact the organization would have on us. Remy started off with some fairly minor stiffness on the right side of his body, a side effect of all the medications pumped into his delicate little body, and we utilized home based physical therapy services through their Early Intervention (EI) program. As he developed, he not only met his milestones, most were way ahead of the typical schedule. Then at about a year old, my husband and I, with our case manager, noticed that he wasn’t as vocal as we would have liked, so we monitored it for a bit. By the time he was 16 months, we decided to have a speech evaluation completed and the rest is history.
To make a long story, short, we had the pleasure of having CCCDP in our home multiple times a week to help Remy with his significant speech delays until he “aged out” at 3 years old and transitioned over to the public school system. In addition to having our case manager, we had a speech therapist, as well as a child development specialist working with not only Remy, but my husband and myself. What impressed me most was not only the service that they were providing, but their willingness to work within our personal ideals and boundaries. It was the definition of “child centered” and ‘individualized”.It was a sad day when we had our last EI appointment but also exciting to think of the future. Remy falls on the autism spectrum, with his receptive and expressive language being his largest stumbling block, but he is doing outstanding! The fact that it took what seemed like forever to hear my sweet boys voice say “mama’, it is even sweeter to now have him say, without prompting “Mama, I love you so much”. I can honestly say that it if wasn’t for CCCDP, I would still be waiting for “Mama”, as Early Intervention is key!
Early Intervention is actually the tip of the ‘iceberg” for Cape Cod Child Development as they have several programs to serve the Capes most vulnerable residents of all socioeconomic levels.They have the FUN (Family United Network) Program which has groups such as Music & Movement, Wildlife Playgroups, Children’s playgroups where they can explore fairytales, folk tales and original stories, Little Scientists and much more! They have Family Child Care, Preschool & Headstart Programs, and a Teen Parent Program. Since a good portion of clients fall at or below the poverty line, this non-profit organization relies on donations and grants to ensure they can serve any family that needs their service.
So what is so special about this production of “Rock of Ages” when we have an incredible amount of community theatre on Cape Cod? Well not only have some of the best talent on Cape been assembled, they have billed it as “Broadway meets Cape Cod” as they not only have 4 professional actors/vocalists joining the cast in lead roles, they have various production members that work in the business, working to make sure this show shines. I will mention that they have labeled the production PG-14, so this is an “Adult Night out to support our little ones”
So call your babysitter, grab your significant other or group of friends, go to www.CCCDP.org/children/events and reserve your tickets for one of the 3 shows and get transported back in time to re-live (Yikes! I am showing my age…..or live for the first time), your 1980’s rockstar dreams!
If you go:
Cape Cod Child Development Presents:
“Rock of Ages” by Chris D’Arienzo and arrangements by Ethan Popp
Featuring National Tour & Broadway Musical Artists
May 12th-13th, 2017
Tilden Arts Center, Cape Cod Community College
Corinne Cameron, an only child originally hailing from Long Island, New York but spent vacations and holidays at her families second home in Brewster since she was 3 weeks old. She was fortunate enough to be able to settle on the Cape full time in the Summer of 2000. A couple of years after marrying her husband Robert, her father suffered a life changing brain bleed leading to combining households with her parents, so she could care for him during the day. This led to purchasing a home in East Falmouth where they have been since May of 2014.
Professionally, Corinne was a social worker before becoming disabled from full time employment after a April 2007 car accident, however her most cherished “job” came to fruition on 11/11/11 when she gave birth to her rainbow baby, Remy. Remy was her personal miracle after suffering 10 miscarriages beforehand, a topic she is passionate about exposing as countless couples (1 in 4 pregnancies) every year suffer the same fate in silence. Along with raising Remy, who falls on the autistic spectrum, Corinne is a Director within the community theatre scene here on the Cape, as well as at Mashpee Middle High School since 2010. She also sits as Vice President on the Board of Directors at the Woods Hole Theater Company and runs an online support group of over 4000 patients, like her, who suffer from Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. In her spare time she enjoys various crafts, cake & cookie decorating, watching movies and playing board games with her family and most importantly attending bible studies and events at her church.
The Mel O'Drama School of Acting Presents: Summer Drama Camp for Cape Cod Kids.
Sign up for this very popular summer camp for one week where students will learn songs, choreography and more! Camp will take place for a week in July and the kids are sure to love it!
**CALLING ALL DRAMA QUEENS AND KINGS**
They have 2 spots left in Me's CIRCUS DRAMA CAMP in Mashpee July 11-15!
Ideal for ages 5-10. A wonderful, productive way to spend the mornings from
9am-Noon, with a fun show on the last day!
JOIN US for a week of dramatic fun!
CALLING ALL DRAMA QUEENS AND KINGS ON THE CAPE THIS SUMMER!
The Mel O' Drama School of Acting is hosting their 3rd annual week of camp in Mashpee this
July for ages 5-10 years!
Check out more info at melodramakids.com
July 11-15 - Camp on the CAPE! Ages 4.5 to 10 years / 9-12pm
Back by popular demand, my Cape Camp takes place in Mashpee this week in the beautiful New Seabury! Spots go very FAST in this camp so reserve ahead of time!
Cost: $250 (*higher tuition due to high rental rate on the Cape)
February School Vacation in Falmouth
Art and Theatre Workshop
with Jacek Zuzanski
for Children ages 8-12
Join Dream Tale Puppets and the creative fun and immerse yourself in a theatrical adventure leading to a final performance based on an original adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s Alice stories. The workshop is for those who like to move and express themselves using their bodies and voices, and will include painting, drawing and sculpting. Students will play acting games, and will exercise physical and vocal expression, as well as articulation. We will explore ways actors use imagination and give life to characters, as well as learn how to enjoy supporting each other. Everybody will take home his own puppets, and puppet theater to continue creative adventures with family and friends. No experience necessary. Materials provided.
Dates: Monday-Friday, February 15-19, 2016
Time: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. (Children should plan to bring lunch)
Class and Performance Location: The Fellowship Hall at John Wesley United Methodist Church,
270 Gifford Street, Falmouth, MA
Performance: Friday, February 19th at noon.
Fee: $ 150.00
More information: http://www.dreamtalepuppets.org/workshops.html
Questions? Contact Jacek Zuzanski at: email@example.com, or call
To register, please download the registration form from: http://www.dreamtalepuppets.org/workshops.html#Upcoming_Soon
PLEASE BE SURE TO SCHEDULE A TIME TO CHECK OUT THE UPCOMING THEATER PRODUCTION THAT IS SURE TO DELIGHT CHILDREN AND ADULTS!
The True Adventures of Snow White & Prince Charming
Written & Directed by Lisa Jo Rudy
Feb 15, 20, 21, & 27 at 1:00pm
Fed 17, 19, & 26 at 7pm
Tickets $15; Children under 12: $10
The Woods Hole Community Hall, 68 Water St, Woods Hole, MA
Mention Cape Cod Moms referred you!
Exciting news! Steve Songs is returning this year to the Cape Playhouse for another musically rocking good time! You may remember last time Steve came to the Cape 2 years ago and his shows were a hit! This year he was gracious enough to let us interview him as well as give away 2 pairs of tickets to his 11:30am show! Read more below on how to enter!
PBS Kids co-host & renowned children's musician SteveSongs will bring his signature brand of seriously good (and seriously fun) music to the Cape Cod Center for the Arts: Theater for Children at the Cape Playhouse in Dennis for 2 shows on Thursday Aug. 13 at 9:30a and 11:30a.
SteveSongs will debut his latest song, "Taking Care of My Body" about eating right, taking care of your body and reading.
SteveSongs blends smart lyrics, catchy melodies & thoughtful messages into fun participatory songs that kids & adults love. Anyone who’s attended a SteveSongs concert appreciates and raves Steve’s ability to connect with his audience – from the exuberant children flocking towards the stage, to the moms bouncing babies with the beat, to the parents and grandparents singing and grooving along.
WHAT: SteveSongs Concert @ the Cape Cod Center for the Arts:
Theater for Children at the Cape Playhouse
WHERE: 820 Rt 6A, Dennis Village, MA
WHEN: Thursday August 13 at 9:30a and 11:30a
ADMISSION: Tickets are $12
9:30a show: https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pe.c/10004350/
11:30a show: https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pe.c/10004351
For more information about SteveSongs or to request a review copy of Orangutan Van, please contact Michele Fox at 781.248.9455 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out Steve’s website at www.stevesongs.com
Cape Cod Moms Interview Steve from Steve Songs!
What do you do for fun when you aren't traveling around singing songs
Spending time with my family. Other hobbies: I love playing sports, and helping my kids with their hobbies.
What has been your favorite song you have written?
I can’t have a favorite song – otherwise all of my other songs would get jealous and it wouldn’t be good for their self confidence. I do get excited about playing some new songs. We have a new song called “Taking Care of My Body” that we’ll be singing at Cape Cod Playhouse and I really enjoy singing that one.
What inspires you?
I loved Schoolhouse Rock” songs when I was a kid. And I really enjoyed watching a band called The Monkeys on TV. When I got a little older, James Taylor became my favorite.
When did you start singing? Did you take musical instrument classes when you were a kid?
When I was in 3rd grade I started singing in a school chorus, (though I have some tape recordings of my mother and I singing nursery rhymes together when I was 2) but when I was in 7th grade I got my first solo. I was so nervous that I almost threw up, but as uncomfortable as that was, something about the experience of singing a song by myself for people who wanted to listen was exciting enough to keep me doing it.
I wish I had taken musical instrument classes when I was a kid. When I was in 5th grade I had to choose between learning to play saxophone or playing travel soccer and I chose soccer. I still hope to one day take saxophone lessons. Maybe when our kids go to college :) My son started taking drum lessons this year at the age of 6 and he really likes it and has great rhythm. I go into some of his classes and play around on the drums too.
How do you incorporate music into your own family life?/What do your kids think of their father?
For our most recent album, both my son (who was 4) and my daughter (who was 2) have cameo appearances. Joshua raps on the song “Flat Stanley” and Nadia says "Bubbles" At the end of the bubbles song. One time when my son was 4, we were playing checkers and he started to sing one of my songs that I didn’t think he had ever heard before. I said “where did you hear that?” He answered, “you sang it on tv this morning.” That was funny.
If you could change one thing in today's education system, what would it be and why?
I believe it is important to use music in the classroom. It is fun --not just for the kids but for the teachers as well – it is unique way to gather the energy and enthusiasm of a group of children and focus it toward a common purpose with endless possibilities for interaction, learning, movement, expression and laughter. Personally, I think sharing and teaching concepts through music is one of the most effective ways to engage, connect and help kids learn and remember. There is a wealth of beautiful, funny, imaginative songs with myriad topics to easily accompany any curriculum. Some are hundreds of years old and some were just written yesterday.
Music helps kids learn. We humans have a very interesting connection with music; rhythm and melody. Different individuals have different musical tastes and sensibilities, but music in general invites us in and opens up our minds to new patterns, new ways of looking at things. Some songs have an almost magical ability to change or enhance the way we are feeling – happy, excited, etc. Beyond that, there is something about combining words with melody that is a pleasing thing to our ears. And in my experience greatly helps kids and adults remember what they have heard.
Since you have now toured on Cape Cod more than once, what has been your experience? Any places you really liked?
I love coming to Cape Cod. These Cape shows are among my favorite of the year and I love the Cape Playhouse - its a great venue. For me, the best part is seeing friends old and new. We’re so fortunate that there are families who have been at our shows year after year. Some families tell me that our show is a tradition they look forward to - which is so flattering.
Cape Cod Moms & SteveSongs are giving away two pairs of tickets for the 11:30a show. We will select 2 winners! All you have to do to enter is comment on this blog post with the name of your favorite Steve Song!
As a bonus, ShopLocal members who enter this giveaway will earn an extra entry giving you double the chance to win!!
RULES: Giveaway terms and conditions:
This giveaway is sponsored by SteveSongs and hosted by Mommies LLC. This giveaway is open to residents of the US who are of legal age at time of entry. This giveaway is accepting entries 8/6/15 through 8/9/15 at 11:59pm EST. ALL entries will be verified. Entrants will be disqualified if an entry is found to be invalid. If one of your entries are invalidated then all will be invalidated. If you claim an entry you MUST complete it or ALL entries will be removed. Winner will be chosen via Random.org. Winner will have 24 hours to respond or prize will be forfeited to the next winner. A maximum of 3 alternate winners will be selected. SteveSongs is responsible for delivery of prize tickets to winners.
By: Corinne Cameron
“We do on stage things that are supposed to happen off. Which is a kind of integrity, if you look on every exit as being an entrance somewhere else” ~ Tom Stoppard
What do you do you do when life is so jam packed and your plate is over flowing everywhere? Well you sit down and write a blog entry of course! This one will be shorter then the norm, as you if you follow me you know how long winded I am, and it’s a bit self serving. Before I get to my main point, I’ll fill you in on what I have been doing as of late.
In between producing and choreographing a show at Mashpee High School that opens in less than 2 weeks, getting ready for my own auditions, taking care of my dad and Remy, packing to move and trying to find a new house to buy, I have been meeting with various people from local community theater programs in order to do some profiles on them. Soon I plan to give some great places and activities for your children to do for the up coming summer. There are so many summer programs and productions that will be an awesome experience for them and very different then the normal day camp.
Children’s activities and sports are great teaching moments, not only build up physical or practical skills, but also building independence, self esteem and confidence. Children that participate in theater from a young age get a huge advantage with these skills. School Theater productions are historically known as a catch all, at times, for welcoming kids that may not feel they fit in any where else. Ok, that is not to say that these same programs can’t be filled with drama both on and off stage but they are welcoming nonetheless. However, getting them involved when they are young can build those self confidence skills early so theater is an activity they enjoy and excel at and not only used so they have a place to feel wanted. It makes it so they can feel comfortable trying other activities too and be right in the mix with all the other kids.
Here on the Cape we are so lucky to have such a booming community theater life! “Community Theater” has different meanings depending on where you live and also different levels of professionalism. Here on the Cape (and surrounding areas) its top notch. The various venues work very hard to bring great talent to the stage so you don’t have to leave the area to see incredible productions. Ok, I am trying to segue to my main point!
We have a newer community theater in East Wareham (technically), called Buzzards Bay Productions, a mere 10 minutes from the Bourne Bridge. They have been building up there program over the past couple of years and finally have a production where kids would be appropriate. As a side note, which I will have more details in a future blog, they will be having a summer program just for children this summer!
Tomorrow, March 2, 2014 starts auditions for “The Pajama Game” and children 5 and up are welcome to audition. Only a small handful of kids will be offered ensemble roles as part of two large musical and dance scenes. Teens that audition have the opportunity to be offered a child role or potentially with the adults as a factory worker. Dancers and tumblers are highly sought after for this production for those scenes. So….. If you have a dancer or a gymnast in your house that’s looking for another outlet in order to show their talents, have them come on down!
Also, for the more experienced dancers there are a few featured dance roles available. Ok, I know I focused on the kiddos but….. Have you ever thought of getting on stage yourself? Were you in your high school play but life got in the way and you miss the awesome community and freedom that comes with being under the lights showing off your talent? I am a firm believer that parents need to have creative outlets for many reasons but most importantly as to have some time away for some fun but also it’s great role modeling for the kids to see Mom and Dad pursuing a passion.
So with that I will leave you with this: If you want more information you can go to www.buzzardsplayproductions.com or the Facebook event page for auditions at https://www.facebook.com/events/224839211030346/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming .
By: Corinne Cameron & Rob Minshall
I am very happy to now be writing “Show Reviews” for local, family-friendly, community theater productions as part of my blog. It is only fitting that my first review for Cape Cod Mommies would be for the Woods Hole Theater Company’s production of “Alice in Wonderland”, written by Lewis Carroll and adapted by local playwright Holly Erin McCarthy. Why is it fitting you ask? Well my debut blog entry was a piece on the Show’s director, Lisa Jo Rudy, and her vision of the show and what she wanted to accomplish.
The energy in the Woods Hole Community Hall was palpable on the Show’s opening night with last minute costumes flying by and eager parents waiting to see all the hard work of their little ones about to come to fruition. I sat there in the full house with my co-reviewing partner my husband Rob (We used to be the theatre reviewers for the Barnstable and Falmouth Patch), my 15 year old-step children Samantha and William and my 2 year-old Remy! My goal was to get their opinion in order to encompass the wide range of ages of my family, including how Remy reacted to his first play as an audience member. So, needless to say, this experience could have been delightful or a disaster, having nothing to do with the production itself, as you never know how a 2 year-old is going to react to, well..anything!
As the house light lowered, the show started out on a humorous note with the sweet sounding voices of children singing the first verse of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star before it turned into an “Alice” rendition (I’ll leave it at that as not to ruin it). McCarthy’s clever writing and humor was a treat in that all ages were able to understand and enjoy not just the song but the entire story as a whole.
Director Lisa Jo Rudy stuck to her vision that she spoke about in my original blog post (can be found here) in casting many children, some of which are kids that might not have gotten a chance to be in principle roles elsewhere. In a side conversation with Ms. Rudy, she explained that some cast members and instrumentalists were on the autistic spectrum or had other challenges, but to be honest, I couldn’t tell who they were. The whole cast of 30-plus kids and only 3 adults, stayed very focused while on stage, something that is a rare treat when working with little ones.
The action opened with the “medium” Alice played by Angelina Dvorak going through her tutor lessons before embarking on her trip down the rabbit hole. The clever use of set pieces, designed by Peter D. Cook and Bryan Wilde and the use of 3 actresses playing “Alice” let the audience see the different size proportions right before their eyes. The classic part of the story was honored by having Alice Drink the “Drink Me” vial or Eat the “Eat Me” sweet, she appeared to shrink into the “small” Alice , played by Nora Denietolis or grow to the “giant” Alice played by Hope Blanchard.
I will mention that opening night jitters may have gotten the best of Dvorak and Blanchard as they both rushed through their lines making it a bit hard to understand, however, both their facial expressions and stage presence let them shine in their small roles. The majority of the show was performed by the “Small” Alice and 11 year-old Nora Denietolis shined on stage and carried the show with the professionalism of a seasoned actor. Her energy was infectious and stage presence commanding not allowing the audience to be able to take their eyes off of her.. In a good way!
The one exception to the last statement was when sisters (in real life) Lily and Chloe Rapoza, playing Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum, took over the stage. Their comic timing and facial expressions were superb, all while having to manipulate their cumbersome costume. It was almost disappointing when they left the stage knowing they wouldn’t be returning as Alice made her way to see the Queen of Hearts.
Other actors of note were Ursula Junker who played the door-mouse. She always remained in her character and was a hoot to look at with her sleepy demeanor. One thing I would highly suggest, especially if you are bringing little ones to see it, is to get there early for good seating. The space is small with only floor seating, and general admission to boot, so little ones and even adults will miss some of the action because of sight lines. I mention this here because my Samantha commented that Junker had some great moments with her physical acting when at the tea party and that she was able to see from her advantage point, while I, who was sitting next to her, couldn’t see Junker at all due to the low placement of the table. On the flip side, I was able to see Isabella Youmans, another standout as the March Hare, who was sitting at a different part of the tea party table where the rest of my family could not.
If you are familiar with Alice in Wonderland, you know that there are always unique items sprinkled through Alice’s journey. Prop Designer, Bryan Wilde, did a fabulous job with those touches utilizing large tea cups and flamingos used as croquet mallets. In addition to outstanding the props, the costuming of this show is a huge undertaking and Costumer Aimee Rozum definitely succeeded in her task. The costumes and props take you into “another world” and each character that comes on stage raises the bar from the last, culminating in the expertly dressed “Queen of Hearts” played by Kit Palmer and “King of Hearts” played by Abe Lineaweaver.
Overall, this was quite an enjoyable show that is a great activity for the whole family to relish in the entertainment. It’s also a great opportunity for your budding young thespian to witness that child actors can carry a show, sometimes better then their fellow adult cast members. The running time is just over an hour and was perfect even for my little Remy to behave for the entire performance cuddled in his Dad’s arms.
If you want to go there, are only 4 performances left on February 18th & 20th at 7:00pm, February 22nd at 4:00pm and February 23rd at 2:00pm. Get your tickets asap by calling the box office at (508) 540-6525. The Woods Hole Theater Company is located at the Woods Hole Community Hall, 68 Water Street, Woods Hole, MA 02543.
Cape Cod Moms