Oz cast

Young thespians – many who took part in summer theatre camps – presented “The Wizard of Oz” at the Monticello Theatre Association’s Phoenix Theatre in Monticello last August.

Think your child might be too shy to take part in a theatre camp? Well, Monticello Theatre Association Kids Summer Workshop Director Chelsea Ehrhardt has news for you.

That reminds me of myself. I was shy early on,” said the Monticello native and current Spanish teacher at her alma mater.

But early experiences in theatre gave her the courage to take part in plays in high school, and even to direct productions in college. She has also overcome a reserved nature to become the high school Spanish teacher at Monticello High School, and is active in the MTA.

Learning in a low-threat environment gave me the confidence to try out later on,” said Ehrhardt, a Monticello High School graduate.

The Monticello Theatre Association has offered summer youth camps for nearly a decade, and this year’s offerings will be from June 10-14 for children entering grades one through three, and June 17-28 (Monday through Friday) for fourth through eighth grade youth.

For younger kids, they learn the basics of theatre, they learn acting techniques, a little bit about stage work, and what it takes to put on a production,” said Ehrhardt, who is the secretary of the MTA board.

The two-week session will allow the older participants to work on one-act plays. Both camps will feature performances on the last day, and also steer the more serious, budding thespians to the full summer youth production. Last year MTA put on “The Wizard of Oz” with an entire cast made up of area children.

The camps help get the kids ready for that,” added Ehrhardt, who feels it also gives youth a chance to test out whether theatre is for them.

This is something they may not have a chance to do before junior high. It gives them a chance to try it out,” she added.



Session 1 (those entering first through third grades) – 9:30 to 11:30 a.m., June 10-14 at MTA’s Phoenix Theatre, 1406 N. Market St., Monticello. The leader will be Marisa Winegar.

Session 2 (fourth through sixth grades) – 9 a.m. to noon June 17-28, Mondays through Fridays at the Phoenix Theatre. The leader will be Sherrie Hildreth.

Registration is available online at www.monticellotheatre.org. Additional information can be obtained from Ehrhardt at 217-390-3398.