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TCU 360

TCU 360

All TCU. All the time.

TCU 360

Delaney Vega, a TCU journalism junior, is painting a school in Belize. (Courtesy of Teja Sieber)
“The week of joy”: Christ Chapel College’s annual trip to Belize
By Ella Schamberger, Staff Writer
Published Apr 23, 2024
174 students, a record number, went on this year's trip.

    Summer Shakes: A theatrical adventure in Fort Worth

    Blake Lentz
    Summer Shakes campers standing around Frog Hedge on the last day of the lesson. (Photo courtesy of Blake Lentz)

    Parents looking for summer activities for their kids may want to check out Summer Shakes.

    The two-week day camp is meant to cultivate a love for Shakespeare, theatre and TCU, said Blake Lentz, the camp’s director.

    The camp runs weekdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. from June 17-28, excluding Juneteenth.

    Summer Shakes is open to rising fourth graders through rising high school seniors. Campers learn from Theatre TCU students as well as celebrity actors from the Fort Worth area.

    From acting and stage combat to stage makeup, students take various performing arts classes in the morning. In the afternoon, students prepare for a 30-minute version of a Shakespeare play, which they perform on the last day of camp.

    Lentz encourages anyone who enjoys learning while having fun to sign up for the camp.

    “Our first priority is for the campers to have a safe space to have a good time for two weeks in the summer,” Lentz said. “And then hopefully also get to learn and perform as well.”

    The goal is to have every camper leave the summer program thinking the two weeks were so fun, whether they continue with theatre or not, said Lentz.

    Summer Shakes started in 2011 in conjunction with the Trinity Shakespeare Festival, and while the festival is no longer running, Summer Shakes has continued since.

    Summer Shakes campers rehearsing one of the Shakespeare plays inside TCU’s performing theater. (Photo courtesy of Blake Lentz)

    Like most programs during COVID-19, Summer Shakes had to pause its annual summer program. Since they returned in 2022, its numbers are still returning to what they once were. The camp capacity is 60 campers.

    Since Summer Shakes is a recurring program, some campers start from eight years old and continue until they are 18.

    Lentz said she enjoys “watching kids grow, mature and become better artists and see how they’re seeing the world. There’s nothing quite like it and it’s very, very, fulfilling and meaningful.”

    The campers share the same fulfillment as Summer Shakes holds a special place in their hearts.

    “I loved being a part of all the traditions and being able to see so many people who love theatre and Shakespeare all grow and spend time together,” a camper said in 2023’s end-of-program survey.

    No theatre or performance experience is required to attend Summer Shakes, Lentz said.

    “We are very process based, not product based so if this feels intimidating, don’t let it be,” Lentz said. “We want you and we already love you.”

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