Nicholas W. McClellan
Nicholas W. McClellan

Do you want to keep the kids in your life busy till school is back in session? Do you want to provide a safe and creative outlet for them to learn new skills? Or do you just want some time to yourself?

If you said, “yes” to any of these questions, Van Wert Civic Theatre would love to see your pint-sized bundle of joy on July 27 and 28, 7 p.m., at auditions for Camp Omigosh by Wade Bradford and directed by Amber Evans.

This haunted camp comedy with a sci-fi twist has it all: ghosts, aliens, robots, plant zombies and, of course, dodge ball. Auditions are open to any student, kindergarten through twelfth grade. Camp Omigosh is a play, not a musical. Students will be reading (not singing) from a script.

Student participation in youth theatre has a host of benefits. While very few students who do participate go on to become professional actors, there are so many skills that can be used in their everyday lives, no matter what profession they decide to pursue in the future.

Reading and reciting from a script will have a positive impact on student literacy and verbal skills. According to research the arts support literacy development by increasing students’ desire for and commitment to expressing personal meanings. Communicating by creating and performing in the arts often enhances students’ desire to read, write, and speak.

Participation in the performing arts also improves social skills. Students with sustained involvement in theatre arts, according to research, were shown to have greater self-confidence, more motivation, and higher levels of empathy for peers.

Performing arts involvement also encourages and promotes high levels of personal responsibility. Not only is there a responsibility to support your fellow actors and designers but there is also a responsibility on each and every member to maintain the integrity of the group.

Increased levels of responsibility aren’t the only factors that help young people ‘grow up’.

Finding one’s own personal identity is very important and is a monumental task that awaits all adolescents. Youth theatres gives students an opportunity to learn things about themselves. Ironically, the theatre is an environment where individuals don’t have to act, where they can be themselves. In a place where you are constantly taking on different roles and characters it is difficult not to reveal your true self.

In my opinion, the most important aspect of youth involvement in the performing arts is the friends and relationships that can be developed. Being in a cast creates seriously strong bonds in relatively short period of time. A live theatre production requires the dedication of like-minded people to create a cohesive piece of art; becoming “besties” with a cast mate is inevitable. The benefits are seemingly endless. So, what are you waiting for? Talk to the children in your life today about performing on stage at Van Wert Civic Theatre in our second youth theatre production, Camp Omigosh by Wade Bradford.

Camp Omigosh follows Conner. His summer is off to a rough start: the camp bus almost crashes, his cabin mates don’t trust him, and the girls on the other side of the camp constantly outsmart him. But when he and his friends Tasha, Parker, and Kimberly investigate the mystery surrounding the “Ghost of Dead Billy,” they begin a hilarious adventure that is worlds away from a typical campfire story.

Auditions are set for July 27 and 28, 7 p.m., at VWCT located at 118 S. Race Street. Van Wert Civic Theatre and Camp Omigosh Director, Amber Evans, are thrilled to offer this exciting and safe learning opportunity to area youth.

For more information on our second youth theatre production, please visit, “like” us on Facebook, and “follow” us on Twitter.