Camp trains Lexington’s young rising stars

Middle and high school-aged students from the Lexington area sing, dance, act and clown around for three weeks during the Kentucky Classical Theater Conservatory and SummerFest.

Trish Clark, executive director of the conservatory, started the program six years ago as a training ground for upcoming actors.

“The mission of the (conservatory) is to offer a platform for artists of all ages and highlight the talent of all the ages,” Clark said.

The 2008 summer intensive, entitled “Will Power,” asked students to perform monologues, to improvise and to get to know other aspiring actors.

SummerFest, part of KCTC, has three shows throughout the summer. Starting the season yesterday with Anthony and Cleopatra, SummerFest will continue with Lord of the Flies and close with the musical Hair.

During the weeks in the conservatory, students work with 12 professionals from New York, Chicago and circus professionals from Cirque Du Jour and Ringling Brothers.

“We do a lot to bring in professionals and guest artists so the kids can get exposed to everything that’s out there,” Clark said.

KCTC students are able to use the theaters and practice rooms in the Fine Arts building for classes such as Clowning Around.

Joel Jeske from Cirque Du Jour taught students different clowning techniques that he has acquired from his 15 years of experience as a clown.

Jeske led and encouraged his students while they brought laughs to their class. From utilizing broomsticks to their red noses, students worked together for laughs.

Working from morning until early evening, students will leave the three-week session with experience that will prepare them for college, Clark said.

“There’s a reason we call it an intensive.”