Theater helps build bridges

Charles Warner | The Union Daily Times
The Union Housing Authority has partnered with One Hope Performing Arts Theatre to provide the children of the house authority with an eight-week summer performing arts camp. The summer camp, which got under way last week, will run through Aug. 15.

Charles Warner | The Union Daily Times
A summer performing arts camp is being offered by One Hope Performing Arts Theatre in partnership with the Union Housing Authority. The camp, which is open to housing authority children, is being held at Life Spring Church in the former Union Square Cinemas.

UNION — A performing arts group has partnered with the Union Housing Authority to provide a unique experience for local youth.

The One Hope Performing Arts Theatre is currently holding an eight-week summer camp in conjunction with the Union Housing Authority.

One Hope’s Utrena Kershaw said she is thankful for the partnership and help of the Union Housing Authority’s Carolyn Rutherford.

“We have been able to bridge both programs,” Kershaw said.

Children from the Union Housing Authority’s camp are transported to the camp, which is held Monday-Thursday in one of the theater spaces at Life Spring Church (formerly Union Square Cinemas).

The theme for the camp is “Stop the Violence: Be the bridge to lead our youth to success.”

“The goal is to build character and integrity, teaching them how to achieve success individually and with others,” Kershaw said.

The camp curriculum includes acting (including voice and diction, breathing patterns, blocking, auditions and more), music, writing and more.

Kershaw said the camp offers instruction from professionals and specialists from various disciplines, including drama teacher Schulur Jackson, who is at the camp each day.

Next week, musicians will come in and teach camp participants — some of whom already have a musical background — from the aspect of scoring a stage production.

The camp began last week and will run through Aug. 15, culminating with a performance of the stage production “A Fight Within,” which will incorporate the material covered over the previous eight weeks.

“Everything ties into the play,” Kershaw said.

Kershaw said the play will feature a variety of music genres — including spoken word such as rap and poetry — relaying positive messages to the audience and participants.

The camp is free, and Kershaw will hold a fundraiser beginning at 11 a.m. July 15 to relieve some of the financial burden. There will be hot dogs and fish plates sold at the theatre (formerly Union Square Cinemas).