By: Jen Russon
With so many summer camps to choose from, the hottest ticket in town and one that keeps kids cool in the South Florida heat is Next Stop Broadway, a theatre camp affectionately known as NSB, performing shows for Coral Springs, Parkland and surrounding communities since 2002.
This year, four great productions are on the playbill.
The summer 2020 theme, “The Happiest Camp on Earth,” inspired by Disney, is already in full effect as NSB prepares to put on Tarzan, Frozen Jr., The Little Mermaid, and a Frozen teen project that will enjoy an entire and Broadway-esqe run on the NSB stage.
Ideal for any aspiring actor or actress, NSB teaches a range of theatrical skills, including art and costuming during each of its four, 3 to 4-week sessions – one for every month of the summer.
Campers are assembled in color groups according to age, from the first through eighth grades. The teen project, for grades nine and up, is produced and performed in the scope of a real Broadway show.
Whatever play a camper is cast into, fun is all but guaranteed. NSB offers many classes throughout the day, including art, dance, and singing, offering Monday through Friday entertainment and learning.
Audiences and performers alike have nothing but rave reviews.
“I love it because there are so many side projects and games – just something to keep you and your team happy, every day, for an entire month,” said three-time camper Anna.
Anna said that throughout her session, she and all of her friends, both individually and together, learned their parts for the upcoming production, and were given a chance to show off whatever skill they seem to excel at.
Elaborating on the fact each production is a melting pot of many different skills and talents, Cynthia O’Brien, NSB Artistic Director said, “Kids will have a chance to score a starring role in the production of the camp session, but not to fear- even if your child doesn’t get a major role, everyone who attends the camp gets cast in the show.”
O’Brien added participants also get to make their own props and costumes in art class.
Her colleague and long-time Activities Director, Randy Koral, seconded that.
“Not only does NSB have plenty of great classes that teach your child acting, singing, and dancing skills, but they also hold many special events during the duration of the camp. Kids will get to partake in fun activities like themed dress-up days, exciting spirit rallies, talent shows, movie days, and more.”
Koral, a graduate of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, joked he’d make a pretty decent Olaf and said it’s a good thing he’s not up for any of the parts.
He also said that, during the final week of each camp session, NSB puts on an impressive full-scale show as a result of the kids’ hard work and talent; and tickets are sold to not just the parents, but to anyone who wishes to attend.
Over the past 18 years, NSB has brought in enormous audiences and the veteran theatre camp is also proud to offer its younger performers, before and aftercare, beginning at 7:30 a.m. and lasting until 6 p.m.
Koral and O’Brien both are incredibly eager to meet this year’s campers and see who gets cast as Ariel the mermaid, Tarzan King of the Jungle, or ahem Olaf and his crew of Norwegian buddies.
They said that Next Stop Broadway is a great way to spend the summer as your child learns, makes new friends, and plenty of good memories over the summer, urging future 2020 campers to mark their calendars for a grand jamboree event on June 3.
Those who register online or at the theater box office will receive a ten percent discount through the extended deadline of March 27.
Session 1: Tarzan
June 8 – June 26 — 3 Weeks
Session 2: Frozen Jr.
June 29 – July 24 —4 Weeks
Session 3: The Little Mermaid
July 27 – August 14 —3 Weeks
Teen Theatre Project: Frozen: June 18 – July 17
Next Stop Broadway is located at Coral Springs Center for the Arts at 2855 Coral Springs Drive and is open to Parkland and Coconut Creek students.
- Jen Russon is a freelance writer and English Language Arts teacher. She has published two novels to Amazon Kindle and lives in Coral Springs with her family.