Tupelo Community Theatre campers learn music from '50s, '60s

By M. Scott Morris/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – If someone forgets the link between rock ‘n’ roll and rebellion, Tupelo Community Theatre Camp has a handy reminder.
“Put a little more attitude in it,” Allana Austin, camp director, advised young actors who were rehearsing a scene. “Put a little more anger in it.”
Nearly 70 students from first to eighth grades have been getting in touch with their inner rockers during “Rock and Roll Summer.”
“You can express your feelings and stuff,” said 10-year-old Taylor Brasel of Booneville. “You can put emotions and stuff behind the lines.”
The kids are learning music from the ’50s and ’60s – the same music that once convinced earlier generations the world was falling apart.
“I really like ‘Blue Suede Shoes,'” said 11-year-old Anna Claire Lyle of Saltillo. “I like the dance moves. They’re really cool.”
Emery Pinson, 10, of Tupelo, has picked up a few behind-the-scenes tricks during her first theater camp.
“Stage makeup has to be thick because stage lights are very hot, and you sweat on stage,” she said. “Regular makeup doesn’t have to be as thick because you don’t sweat as much.”
On Friday, the younger kids will show what they’ve learned during a noon performance at the Lyric Theatre, and the older kids will perform at 5 p.m.
Alston Tyer, 12, lives in Fayetteville, Ark. She’s in town to visit her grandparents and to attend her third theater camp.
“I’m just excited about being able to be on stage,” she said, “and add something to people’s minds.”
Contact M. Scott Morris at (662) 678-1589 or scott.morris@djournal.com.