The Educational Theatre Company is supported in part by a grant from the Virginia Commission of the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. The company is also supported in part by the Arlington Cultural Affairs Division of Arlington Economic Development and the Arlington Commission for the Arts.

Portrait of a Character

May 23, 2016

Change is in the air: days are getting longer and summer is right around the corner. And with summer comes...summer camps!!! I'm wrapping up my last spring class today, and I’m looking forward to those action-packed summer camp days.


I am the Art Director of ETC’s two-week musical theatre camps: Musical Debut and Musical Revue. These camps are fantastic because you get to do so much every camp day. Students sing, dance, act, and create art every day! Art is great because it gives students a breather from the high-impact activities like dancing and allows their creative juices to flow as they explore their characters in the musical.

Morgan Sendek, Art Director Musical Debut Camp


It is really important for students to have a visualization of their character and the world that character lives in. When a student has a clear picture of what they envision their character to be, it helps them to imagine how that character moves and talks. 

Character Sketch


In Musical Debut, students create a new show with original characters, using a selection of favorite tunes from musicals and movies. Last year, one group of students played a band of pirates and sang “Yo Ho (A Pirate’s Life for Me)”.

















Character Portraits



Director Kristen Pilgrim talked to the group about their characters, and encouraged each student to choose distinct features that make their pirate special. What are his or her likes and dislikes? Do they have a favorite color? These basic character questions help students create a dynamic, unique character that they can’t wait to perform! 


 Musical Debut Performance



I'm ending this post with a challenge: the next time you act out a character for a theatre club or a school play, take some time to draw a character portrait and see how much life your drawing brings to your imagination. 


Musical Debut Camp (grades 3-7) runs  July 25 – August 5th  2016, with a performance on August 5th at 5:30 pm. 


Musical Revue Camp (grades 3-12) runs August 8-19th 2016, with a performance August 19th at 5:30 pm. 




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