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Theater, magic and art camps set for this summer at Holmes

Professional Twin Cities magician Jeff Seifert will be teaching a two-day Magic Camp at the Historic Holmes Theatre this summer, July 22-23. Registration is open now. (Submitted photo)

Though the 2018-19 season at the Historic Holmes Theatre officially draws to a close this Friday, May 17 with "I Am, He Said," a tribute to the music of Neil Diamond, that doesn't mean the theater will be closing its doors until the new season launches in the fall.

Quite the contrary, in fact — the theater will be hosting several theater camps — and even a magic camp! — for kids this summer, along with a few art classes for adults and a couple of music shows as well.

"Our big event is 'James and the Giant Peach,'" said Amy Stearns, the theater's executive director.

This theater camp for kids entering grades 6-12 will be nearly a month long, starting on Tuesday, May 28 (the day after Memorial Day) and continuing every week day from 1-5 p.m. through Friday, June 21.

But parents who haven't yet registered their kids for the camp should think about doing so soon — open auditions start this Saturday, May 18, and everyone who wants a role in the production must audition first, according to Rachel Hofstrand, the theater's marketing director.

"Only kids who have signed up to audition can be in it," she said.

The auditions will run from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, and continue on Monday and Tuesday, May 20-21, from 5-7 p.m. each day.

This year's camp will be run by two Detroit Lakes High School alumni, Kendra Gilsdorf and Nick Larson, who will serve as show director and musical director, respectively, along with stage manager Lauren Oseien and choreographer Hope Hansen.

Gilsdorf, who will enter her senior year as a theater major at Minnesota State University Mankato this fall, is a veteran of past summer productions at the Holmes, and also participated in another production of "James & the Giant Peach" that was staged at the Children's Theater in Minneapolis last summer. Larson, meanwhile, is a music education major at Concordia College in Moorhead.

The month of rehearsals will culminate in two public performances at the Holmes, set for Friday, June 21 at 7 p.m., and Saturday, June 22 at 11 a.m.

This theater camp, along with the others set to take place at the Holmes this summer, is being co-sponsored by Detroit Lakes Community Education.

"We applied for a grant for 'James and the Giant Peach' through the Lake Region Arts Council," said Community Education Director Annmarie Lacher. "We received $2,025 to help offset the costs of the production."

The Missoula Children's Theater (MCT) and Prairie Fire Children's Theater (PFCT) camps, set for July 22-27 and Aug. 19-24, respectively, will feature productions of "Peter and Wendy" and "Pinocchio," respectively.

The MCT camp will run Monday through Friday from 12:30 to 5 p.m. each day, while the PFCT camp will run from 1 to 5:15 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Public performances are set for Friday, July 26 at 7 p.m., SAturday, July 27 at 10:30 a.m., Friday, Aug. 23 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, Aug. 24 at 11 a.m.

The actors from MCT will also be hosting three hour-long workshops during the week of July 22-27: An acting workshop on July 23, an improvisation workshop on July 24 and a stage makeup workshop on July 25. Each session is set to start at 11 a.m.

"You don't have to be participating in the camp to take these workshops," said Hofstrand.

During that same week, the theater will also be hosting a new event: Magic Camp.

"We're offering a two-day magic camp on July 22-23, taught by professional magician Jeff Siefert of Minneapolis," Stearns said.

"This camp will run from 10 to 11:30 a.m. each day, so kids can sign up for both (theater and magic camp)," Hofstrand added.

The theater will also be hosting two art camps this summer, for pet portraiture and anime/cartoon drawing, but both of these camps are now full and sign-up is closed, said Stearns.

Those who are still looking to sign up for an art class this summer, however, might consider two offerings that are set for Saturday, June 22: a "Moose Painting" class at 10 a.m., and a "Patriotic Barn Quilt Class" at 2 p.m.

"Both of these are being taught by Ayrn Lill (of The Blue Fox), and are open to all skill levels," Stearns said.

Aspiring adult artists looking to brush up on their skills this summer can also sign up for a class in "Floral Watercolor Painting" offered by American Watercolor Society member Grace Haverty. Two offerings of this class are on the schedule: Tuesday, July 30 or Tuesday, Aug. 13, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.

And last but not least, two summer music shows will be offered on the theater's main stage: "Memphis & the Meantimes" on Wednesday, July 17, and a Woodstock tribute show titled "Pat Surface & American Pie" on Thursday, Aug. 8. Both of these shows will start at 7:30 p.m. An announcement is also anticipated sometime next week about the rescheduled Big Bad Voodoo Daddy show, which was postponed from the original May 3 date due to the illness of the lead singer.

For summer camp and class registration fees, ticket prices and more information about these and other upcoming events at the Historic Holmes Theatre this summer, please visit the website at www.dlccc.org/holmes-theatre.html, call 218-844-7469 or stop by the Holmes Box Office at 806 Summit Ave., Detroit Lakes.

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 18-plus years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Detroit Lakes School Board. 

(218) 844-1454
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