The fifth annual Ardmore Drama Camp took center stage at Ardmore High School this week.
Drama camp director and Ardmore speech and debate coach Brian Gunter hopes the camp will continue to spark interest in the young thespians in the southern Oklahoma area.
“During the school year, a student may get to work with me privately one to two hours a week,” Gunter said. “ At camp they can work privately four to five hours a day for a week. It benefits them because it gets them ready for the next season, and gives them a head start on the competition.”
Drama camp participants received a script on Monday and are expected to be able to perform their part by Saturday. The campers will perform from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. at Ardmore High School on Saturday, and admission is free for anyone that wants to attend.
The camp starts at 9:30 a.m. and runs until 5:30 p.m. over the course of the week. This year, the camp was open to anyone who wanted to attend from Oklahoma, as well as Texas. In total, there are 25 members at this year’s camp.
Having the camp in Ardmore helps reduce the cost for campers as they do not have to pay for room and board. Instead, their fees go to help paying for instructors, who give invaluable knowledge to the students.
“I can’t think of any other camp to send the kids to, to do this, that is better,” Gunter said. “
During the week, the campers receive group lectures from different, established actors who are serving as teachers. Each day after lunch the campers also receive individual time with the coaches, something Gunter believes is beneficial to the growth of the campers.
“They basically get coached on their acting style and how to improve their pieces,” Gunter said. “Basically, everything to get them ready for the competition.”
Gunter has been with Ardmore City Schools for the past five years, and has helped developed the school’s performing arts program into a state powerhouse.
Last school year, the Ardmore Schools fine arts program took home its fifth state championship since Gunter has been in charge. The school has won four consecutive speech and drama titles, and its first ONE ACT play title last year.
Also, the school does well nationally. They have taken home one national title, four national semifinalists, one third place finish and one fourth place finish.
Gunter believes the annual summer drama camp helps benefit his students when they enter competitions throughout the school year.
“Every single student who went to a national tournament last year went to camp last summer,” Gunter said. “I could add a week to my vacation if I didn’t see the benefit of the camp.”