"This is our time to dance. It is our way of celebrating life."
So says Ren McCormack during a passionate speech in the popular 1980's dance flick Footloose. McCormack is the hero of the film, fighting a strict law that bans teens from dancing in a small American town.
Footloose is a great show for youth and a great show about youth, says Claude Giroux, managing artistic director at the Kay Meek Centre. He adds it's about reaching for your potential and passions.
That's why this summer the centre's new camp, Theatre K Summer Youth Conservatory (the "K" comes from Kay Meek), will culminate in a production of Footloose.
"I think it's fairly unique in terms of what we've done in the past," says Giroux of the Theatre K program, which features two weeks of intense boot-camp style classes of singing, dancing and/ or acting, followed by two weeks of rehearsing and mounting the show.
Area professionals and teachers will be on hand to help campers apply the skills they learn in the first half of the camp to the production.
"Kids will be surrounded by a whole bunch of people who are passionate about what they're doing," says Giroux, adding students will be experiencing musical theatre in a very hands-on and tactile way.
It is suited to both beginners and those with theatre experience, he notes.
Kids can attend two or four weeks of the program, and although the camp is non-auditioning, there will be auditions for the Footloose production.
Auditions will also be held in June for those who are not attending the full four weeks of the program.
In the last few years, Kay Meek has played host to a number of camps from other organizations, but this is the first year the centre has offered this type of camp, explains Giroux.
Theatre K is also a co-production with the West Vancouver school district.
It's not surprising since West Vancouver secondary is a close neighbour; the school shares a wall with the Kay Meek Centre.
"In my mind it was a natural fit," says Giroux of the relationship, noting the school often uses space at the centre for high school productions, recitals and assemblies.
The camp will enroll up to 50 kids between the ages of 10 and 18. Registrataion is now open.
For those who prefer to experience the backstage world of theatre rather than performing, there is also a Tech Wizard camp. Students involved in the Tech Wizard program will work on design, props, lighting, sound, stage management and video design.
For both the performers and the tech wizards, Theatre K camp will focus on applying skills.
"I really believe in more doing and less talking, and this is very much about doing," says Giroux.
To register, or for more information including camp costs, visit the website at www.kaymeekcentre.com/theatrek.