Grosse Pointe Theatre presents summer drama workshop at Ford House

Local kids will be Acting Up as part of a summer drama program run by the Edsel & Eleanor Ford House and the Grosse Pointe Theate. The program, Acting Up: A Summer Theatre Camp for Creative Kids! will fun from June 21 to July 17 at the Grosse Pointe Theatre in Grosse Pointe at the Ford House in Grosse Pointe Shores.

Registration is now open to children 8 to 14 years old for two modules: basic acting skills for the first two weeks and performance preparation for the final two weeks. Camp culminates with an outdoor performance for family and friends on Saturday, July 17 on Ford House’s Lakeside Terrace.

The Grosse Pointe Theatre will host the camp from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 21-July 2 in its rehearsal studio at 315 Fisher Road in Grosse Pointe. The sessions will use theater games, classroom learning and video feedback to teach basic acting skills.

The second segment begins July 6 at Ford House for the performance-based module that will prepare campers for their final presentation. Campers ages 8-10 will attend from 9 a.m. to noon; ages 11-14 will attend from 1 to 4 p.m.

Hosting outdoor theater at Ford House was a concept embraced and promoted by landscape architect Jens Jensen, who designed the grounds more than 80 years ago. Jensen was a proponent of using outdoor spaces as places for drama and pageantry.  Whenever possible, he would incorporate small, natural clearings in his designs that could be used for plays, musical offerings or recitals.

“We are so pleased that our partnership with Grosse Pointe Theatre has grown to bring the performing arts to our wonderful estate,” said Ford House President Kathleen Mullins. “I think Jens Jensen would be pleased to know that this landscape – one of the few private residences he created that is still intact – is being used in a way that will inspire our new and returning guests to discover and appreciate the natural grounds he so carefully designed.”

For Grosse Pointe Theatre, this endeavor is a natural extension of its popular Youth on Stage Program.

“Grosse Pointe Theatre has been considering a summer camp for several years,” said Kathleen Conlon, GPT president. “Our discussions with Ford House provided the spark that made us believe we could offer a unique and fun learning experience for the children.  Youth on Stage has been in operation for 11 years and this summer camp is the perfect next step for expanding the program.”

“After the show, our students and their guests are invited to a picnic on the grounds to celebrate their achievements,” said Mary Lou Britton of St. Clair Shores, executive producer for the camp project.

Registration is now open; information and registration forms can be downloaded from the Grosse Pointe Theatre website or  the Ford House website. Materials are also available at the Ford House Activities Center or Grosse Pointe Theatre offices. Camp fees are $150 per week, with discounts for children of Ford House or Grosse Pointe Theatre members; as well as families with multiple children attending camp.

For more information on the camp, contact organizer Mary Lou Britton at (586) 779-8974 or by e-mail at

Courtney Lawless

Courtney is the traveling mom! She has 3 girls and is the founder of Detroit Mommies and currently lives in Florida. You can follow her on Twitter @courtneyRVL.

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