Summer learning

By M. Scott Morris/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – Life in the theater isn’t all acting, singing and dancing. Sometimes, you’ve got to get your hands dirty and build something.
Kids are getting that lesson this week during Tupelo High School Thespians/Pied Piper Playhouse Theatre Camp at the THS Fine Arts Auditorium. The theme is “No Strings Attached” in honor of Pinocchio.
“Pinocchio’s not really a boy, and he’s not really a puppet,” said Debby Gibbs, camp director. “He’s a marionette, but still …”
Kids from kindergarten to ninth grade split their time among four activities: acting, singing, dancing and building puppets.
Drew Lesley, 8, of Tupelo, made a cauliflower for his group’s play, “Vegetable Salad.”
“I’m going to be a cauliflower and Jimmy,” he said.
Other groups have made fish puppets for “Singing Shark” and leaves for “Jack Frost.” Everyone’s invited to free performances of all three shows at 11 a.m. Saturday at the auditorium.
But the students still have work to do before the big day, or maybe it’s not really work.
“We have a choreographer. That’s my favorite part,” Sarah Kate Broadaway, 8, said. “I’ve just loved to dance ever since I could dance.”
THS Thespians serve as camp instructors. This is the first year for Lacey Carroll, 15, to volunteer, and she’s learned at least one important lesson.
“If you don’t do it, other people won’t do it, either,” she said. “The kids won’t dance if you’re standing behind them, watching. You have to dance, too.”

Contact M.Scott Morris at (662) 678-1589 or

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