Encore Michigan

Monster Box offers special needs theater camps July 18–23

NewsYouth/Family June 30, 2016 Encore Staff

Monster Box Theatre Camps have been enriching area youth and families for three years. The goal this year is to make the camps inclusive and invite special needs youth to participate.  July 18th – 23rd Monster Box will host a youth camp for campers 8 to 26 with a variety of special needs and disabilities, providing compassionate and experienced staff as well as nursing services.

Stacy Grutza, counselor and camp director,  is an actor, director and designer, as well as a licensed elementary and special education teacher.  She received a B.F.A in Theater from Central Michigan University, Masters in Theater from University of Iowa, and holds masters degrees in elementary, special, math, and reading education.

Jim Dunsmore, lead counselor, is  an actor and a stand-up comic who has worked with special needs youth as an instructional assistant and Special Olympics coach for nearly 30 years.

Cindy Howard, counselor/resident artist, has worked for 18 years as a para-educator with special education students.  She is ABP with a B.F.A.  in Fine Art and Art Education from Oakland University.

Taylor  Stark, counselor/resident actress, is an actress, and eirector currently working toward a B.F.A in Theater at the prestigious Northwestern School of Drama; she is also presently working with the theater group the Purple  Crayon. This summer, she will star in Title of Show, a musical comedy, at Monster Box Theater.

This unique program offers a primer to a dynamic and innovative curriculum, experienced and caring instructional staff, and educational support team that creates a safe place for participants to create and experience theatre in ways that may not have been accessible before.

In addition to the regularly scheduled general theater camp sessions in June and upcoming  August 20 thru 25 (still taking registrations), “The Special Needs Theater Camp is hopefully just the beginning of special needs inclusive programs at Monster Box Theater, “says Camp Director Stacy Grutza. “As someone with a background in theater and education I was naturally drawn to how I could merge my two passions in a way that would benefit the community we serve and those underserved by the community”.

The camp will feature hands on opportunities to build and create sets, act and direct, improvisation, mask building, prop construction, scene study all culminating in a performance on Saturday, July 23. Campers will also receive lunch each day, a t-shirt, and admission for an exclusive performance of the Youth Company’s production of  Crazy Town by Johnathan Rand. Most of the Youth Company this year are previous participants in Monster Box Theatre Camps.

For information on tickets, tuition and registration please call Stacy Grutza 248-875-6943 or the Monster Box Ticket line at 248-787-1400.  You can also communicate via email stacy@monsterboxtheatre.com.

Week of 10/18/2021

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