Dandylyon Drama summer camps; all ages special needs camp

Friday, July 10, 2020

At this difficult time when theatre organizations are closing down (permanently or temporarily) due to COVID-19 and social distancing restrictions, Dandylyon Drama has found creative ways to keep its robust summer theatre program going strong. 

Founded in 2009, Dandylyon Drama brings theatre programs into multiple schools in North King County, and has run successful summer camps for several seasons. 

The organization has grown exponentially over ten years and it is ready to take on the challenge of bringing arts education and programming to kids during a time when so many outlets are closed.

This summer Dandylyon Drama is offering online, in-person, and even a hybrid of both, for kids ages four to 18, including a camp for those with special needs.

“Our mission is to grow more creative, compassionate, and courageous people through quality and accessible arts education,” says Dandylyon Drama founder and Artistic Director Melani Lyons. 
“We feel fortunate that we’re able to really turn this mission into action by finding ways to keep kids actively involved in theatre-making during these complicated times. It is definitely taking creativity, compassion, and courage from teaching artists, staff, campers, and families to make this happen. I’m proud that we are being trusted to offer safe and meaningful summer options to the community.”

The camps being offered this summer include fully online camps (via Zoom) for ages 4-6 which include circus, Star Wars, and Superhero themes, and two full productions for ages 8-14. 

All online camps end with virtual performances for family and friends. Modified physically-distanced outdoor camps are available for ages 6-10 throughout the summer in Shoreline’s Cromwell Park. 

Dandylyon Drama’s staff has worked closely with Shoreline officials to create a safe and healthy environment for all campers. Older campers (ages 12-18) can enjoy a hybrid camp going both online and in-person.

In addition to these camps, Dandylyon Drama is offering a Special Needs Online Film Club (currently underway) which brings an online arts program to people of all ages with special needs. 

This camp is an extension of Parachute Players which, under the fiscal sponsorship and mentorship of Dandylyon Drama, produces immersive, multi-sensory theatrical experiences for young people with disabilities under the belief that ALL people need and deserve equitable access to quality arts experiences. Future special-needs online programming will be announced soon by Dandylyon Drama and Parachute Players.

Of bringing the online camp to those with special needs, Parachute Players director Maddie Napel says “It’s been unbelievably life-affirming to connect with this ensemble of young adults online. 
"I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how well this group does connecting over Zoom— some students have really opened up and participated more than they had in person. I think it takes away some performance anxiety to be in our own homes with family nearby to support.”

Dandylyon Drama’s success with the online camps comes from multiple hours of practice to get it right, working through trial and error to find the best technology and the strongest virtual activities that will keep the campers interested, engaged, and fulfilled. 

Along with focusing on the solid online camps, Dandylyon Drama’s teaching artists have worked tirelessly to create a safe outdoor camp experience that will bring the joy and fun of traditional summer camp while following strict social distancing and safety guidelines. An outline of the outdoor camp’s safety plan can be found online.

Information and registration for Dandylyon Drama’s 2020 Summer Camps can be found on their website. Dandylyon Drama can be followed on Facebook and Instagram (@dandylyondrama).

Dandylyon Drama’s mission is to grow more creative, compassionate, and courageous people through quality and accessible performing arts education.


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