FAOPA’s summer camps offer children the chance to step into the role of a character from one of their favorite stories.

As summer quickly approaches and the school year ends, thoughts of summer camp registration might come to mind. Budding thespians or just a child who likes to entertain will enjoy The Florida Academy of the Performing Arts at Music Showcase’s (FAOPA) two types of summer camps for children ages 5 and older.

Located at 402 Oakfield Dr. in Brandon, FAOPA offers two-week, half-day musical theater camps, from 9 a.m.-1 p.m., that are structured by age, ability, interests and progress and feature live productions at the end.

In past years, shows have included Willy Wonka, Mamma Mia, Matilda, Seussical, Elf and Les Mis.

The second type offered are the Music and More Camps, which are full-day weeklong camps, from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., during select weeks. Campers will learn to play instruments like drums, ukuleles and guitars. They can also learn to sing, act, paint/make art, dance and more. The two camp options can be combined to create an entire day of fun and learning. Free early drop-off and late pickup is available for your convenience.

Have a child that wants to rock out this summer? ‘Rockin’ with Alex’ is a summer rock band program with camps geared for all experience levels.

Director Debbie Evans said these programs offer children an outlet for expressing themselves and learning about emotions and public speaking.

“Whether it’s for a career in the arts or just for having fun, music and musical theater are great ways for children to gain self-confidence,” she said.

Valrico resident Julie Howard’s three daughters, Lily (13), Addison (10) and Rachael (8), have all participated in the academy’s summer programs including The Lion King and Willy Wonka.

Music Showcase Owner Heather Ochalek said the benefits to an arts education can be seen in improved academic performance and increased self-esteem.

“From our private lessons, rock band, string ensembles and musical theater to workshops and master classes, our classes can spark creativity and innovation,” she said.

For further details, visit FAOPA.org or call 490-2787.

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Michelle Caceres
MIchelle Caceres has been writing for the Osprey Observer for seventeen years. She enjoys writing human interest pieces about inspiring members of the community who are working to better our community. She lives in FishHawk Ranch with her husband and recently became an empty-nester. When not writing, Michelle is serving her church community, reading and enjoying Florida's weather.