Local children take to the stage in recent River Players’ theater camp

Last week, children and young adults had the opportunity to act, sing, dance, and perform as they attended the Tallahatchie River Players “Annie Jr.” theater camp.

The performers learned the art of theater at the Magnolia Civic Center in the Cine Theatre. The camp will be held July 18-22. Students in second through ninth grade attended the camp, which equaled thirty-four campers. 

Ripley native Natalie Bullard was the director of the camp.

Bullard had her directing debut in 2006 when she began directing children theater camps with productions such as ‘Footloose’ and ‘Annie Jr.’  Bullard has also been a dance instructor, head girls counselor, and creative writing facilitator at Mississippi State University’s Summer Scholars theater camp.  

During the past five years, Bullard has had the opportunity to teach children from France, Hong Kong, and kids from all over America while at Summer Scholars. She has been in over 20 plays and musicals during her acting career and will be debuting in the upcoming film ‘The Help.’ 

There were three girls who played the role of “Annie” during the theater camp.

Callie Robbins said, “I like that I could play a character that is different than me. I got a chance to be mean on stage and I am not really mean in person.” Aniston McClellan said, “I enjoyed dancing and practicing at home and figuring out stuff.” Carly Spencer said, “I like that you can play different personalities than you have in real life.”

Bullard said, “Everything worked out really well. Over 400 people showed up at the performance on Friday, July 22, 2011.”

 “I learned a lot about kids. I had more younger kids to work with. They are very energetic. I learned that next time I need to be able to let them express themselves more and trust them more, because they did a great job,” said Bullard.