Area youth will soon be gracing the stage as part of an immersive theatre camp.

Norfolk Youth Theatre is a collaborative program between the Norfolk Arts Center and the Norfolk Community Theatre. Youth ages 10-18 participate in a week-long immersive camp involving acting workshops, tech workshops and live performances.

Youth theatre has been a staple summer offering for area youths but had to be canceled last year due to COVID concerns. Norfolk Community Theatre President Libby McKay says she cannot express enough “how excited they are” that the program is back this year.

THIS YEAR’S production is “Among the Immortals: A Trio of Greek Tragedies.” The camp and performances are held at the Cox Theater on the Northeast Community College campus. McKay says there are spots for up to 48 young thespians.

What makes Norfolk Youth Theatre stand out from other traveling theatre camps is the level of involvement. The campers participate in all aspects of theatre production, from costuming, props and set design, lighting and, ultimately, acting.

This approach gives campers a well-rounded understanding of the work behind stage productions. It also gives participants interested in areas other than acting the opportunity to be involved in theatre.

If your student has stage fright but loves art, for example, they can indicate their preferences at the beginning of camp. This lets the camp directors know where to emphasize your child’s experience. A student with a higher interest in set design than acting, for instance, will be given a smaller speaking role so that they will spend less time rehearsing and more time on set production.

McKAY SAYS the production had to be modified this year to accommodate Northeast’s health requirements. This meant finding and altering material so that no more than 12 students would be on stage at one time. In addition to the limit of on-stage actors, Northeast also requires that masks be worn at all times. Students may wear their own masks during camp, but they will be using special clear shield masks during the live performances.

Norfolk Youth Theatre runs June 21-25 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Two performances will be held on Saturday, June 26.

Due to limited capacity requirements, tickets will not be sold at the door this year. Instead, attendees can buy tickets online in advance of the shows.

Tickets will be available for purchase the week of camp on the Norfolk Community Theatre website. Register your youth soon — as of writing, the camp was already half full.

Though the camp is geared toward tweens and teens, younger children will also have their chance to shine on stage. Norfolk Youth Theatre Jr. is geared towards youth ages 5-9 and will be held in early August.

Please check the Norfolk Arts Center website for more details.

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Editor’s note: Diandra Polt is a 2020 graduate of Osmond High School who worked at the Daily News as part of an internship program. After the COVID-19 pandemic, she decided to take a gap year before attending college. She details her experiences here.

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