• New Summer Theatre Conservatory at MHCC

    The curtain is rising on a new youth theater summer conservatory at Mt. Hood Community College, and students in grades 3-12 are invited to apply and take part.

    During the summer conservatory, students will rotate daily through six different classes, each focused on a different performance skillset, such as improv, musical theatre, clowning and acting. Classes are kept small – just 15 students each with a master professor and assistant professor – to ensure attendees receive individualized attention. At the end of the two weeks, the entire group will put on a showcase, featuring skits, monologues and vignettes, similar to a vaudevillian production.

    Many aspiring actors and actresses are expected to enroll, but MHCC's theater director Mace Archer says that the daily, two-week long program can also help those simply looking to hone public speaking skills, or build their confidence.

    "We focus on the three core C's: Confidence, Creativity and Communication," said Archer. "Even if performing is not a field that you will be reaching for professionally, the ability to speak clearly to an audience, voice your thoughts confidently, or present to a group is invaluable for the business world."

    A number of recent articles on job and career websites bear out Archer's point. In a recent article titled "The Skills You Have and The Skills They Want" on Monster.com, beyond the degree and work experience, employers are searching for candidates with a number of basic life skills such as communication, self-motivation and teamwork.

    "I've seen students who were terrified of speaking just stun their parents with their new enthusiasm for being on stage," said Archer.

    The two-week camp begins on July 18 and runs from 9am to 4pm daily, M-F through July 30. The cost is $325 per person for the two-week camp, and each participant will receive a t-shirt. An early-bird discount is available for sign-ups though June 1.

    For more information visit mhcc.edu/theatrecamp or email mace.archer@mhcc.edu