Performing Arts Intensive

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Build Confidence on the Stage

Participants will spend one or two weeks enhancing their performance skills in dancing, acting, and singing. Students across all performing arts camps will share trips off campus, open mic nights, and a variety of summer fun. Each week culminates with a participant performance featuring campers from all performing arts tracks.
Intensive Tracks: Participants interested in deep study of a single discipline can choose from among a dance-, theatre-, or musical theatre-focused intensive track. Intensive participants will also receive interdisciplinary workshops in other aspects of the performing arts.

Dance Intensive participants will explore a variety of styles and forms, such as yoga, ballet, improvisation, hip hop, and contemporary. Expert instruction combined with creative and innovative workshops will ensure that dancers will leave Mercersburg’s Burgin Center for the Arts with a new or renewed passion for dance. (Students can continue in the Dance Intensive track for a second week or transition to the Musical Theatre Intensive.)

The Theatre Intensive (available Week 1 only) will be devoted to increasing skills in character development, ensemble work, stage presence, body movement, vocal techniques, and performance styles. Participants will work on developing original texts and will get a chance to explore the Burgin Center’s state-of-the-art technical systems through experimenting with lighting design and staging techniques.

The Musical Theatre Intensive (available Week 2 only) offers a chance for the blending of dance and theatre with additional vocal/musical training. A series of guest artists and instructors will challenge participants’ creativity while also concentrating on safe technique and building healthy personal rehearsal practices.

Intro to Performing Arts: If a student isn’t sure about focusing on a single track, they can choose our new Introduction to Performing Arts camp (available Week 1 and 2). Each week will feature a variety of arts experiences, so students can come for one week or both and never repeat a session! Jazz dance, improv acting, stage combat, garage band, and cell phone filmmaking are just a few of the topics that may be explored in this group.

August 1-6, 2021
August 8-13, 2021

​​​​​​​Open To:
Ages 11-16, coed

1-Week Tuition:
Commuter After 3/15/21: $800

Residential After 3/15/21: $975​​​​​​​

2-Week Tuition:
Commuter After 3/15/21: $1,400
Residential After 3/15/21: $1,800

Meet the Directors

Kelly Dowling joined the Mercersburg Academy faculty in 2015. She is the assistant director of the Burgin Center for the Arts and the lead designer and production manager for all performance events in the building. She previously served as managing director and a company member of the Baltimore Shakespeare Factory; taught drama and technical theatre at Winters Mill High School in Westminster, Maryland, and the Madeira School in Langley, Virginia; and worked as technical director of the Smithsonian’s Discovery Theater in Washington, D.C.

Kelly has served on the Board of Directors for the Charm City Fringe Fest, as an editor for the Shakespeare Standard website, and as a member of the Shakespeare Theatre Association. She earned a bachelor’s degree in theater arts from Catawba College and also studied at the Marymount London School of Drama in England.

Albert Quesada

Albert Quesada is a Spanish dancer and choreographer. He trained in Barcelona, Amsterdam, and Brussels after he studied philosophy and multimedia engineering. The exploration and translation of musical structures and compositions into choreography and the invitation of an audience to perceive and listen to the proposed works stands at the heart of Albert’s choreographic work. Over the past 10 years, he has been in more than 15 stage performances in Europe, at one point performing three different dance pieces in the same week in three different countries! He is now working with Katie Vickers on the project “The Sun Is Always the Sun” and is pursuing his MFA in interdisciplinary arts at Goddard College.

Katie Vickers

Katie Vickers (Mercersburg Class of 2006)  is an American artist and a graduate of PARTS (2014) and of the Ohio State University (2010). She has danced for and with Daniel Linehan (USA), Albert Quesada (SP), Martin Nachbar (GE), Benjamin Vandewalle (BE), Vera Tussing (GE), Rósa Omarsdóttir (IS), Kendell Geers (ZA), Thierry de May (BE), and as a guest artist for the Cullberg Ballet’s ‘Figure a Sea,’ choreographed by Deborah Hay.

What to Expect

Mercersburg's Performing Arts Intensive is designed to create a fun but rigorous experience. Outside of the theatre, students will participate in a variety of activities which may include campfires, trips to the pool and water parks, and talent shows. Participants will also have the opportunity to see a professional performance at a nearby theatre. 

Living at Camp

This is overnight camping?

Attendees live in a modern, air-conditioned dormitory with two to four participants per room. Carpeted hallways lead to tiled bathrooms, with showers that have privacy curtains.

Bring your trunk and personal necessities, and you are set for dorm life, Mercersburg style.

Counselors live in adjacent rooms and our open-door policy ensures comfort and safety for every attendee. An emphasis on respect, courtesy, cooperation, and consideration enables campers to live and thrive with others to make dorm life enjoyable for all.

Weekend Stayover 

A weekend stayover option is available for the weekends in between sessions for campers who enroll in multiple sessions of camp. The cost of this weekend is $250. The weekend stayover is not an opportunity for participants to arrive early for the program. We prefer that participants arrive on the advertised start date of the program.

Financial Assistance

Our financial assistance provides students displaying strong desire, high merit, and financial need the opportunity to attend our programs. Download the Financial Assistance Application along with your registration. Contact our office via email or phone if you have any questions.