The Scene
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The Scene

Why I Choose The Scene For My Kids
by Soozee Shireman, Parent; Spring 2013

Originally I chose The Scene because I had heard good reviews from a large group of trusted neighbors. Then, someone said the name Guggenheim and the light bulb ignited. I had worked with all three when I was working as a performing artist 20 years ago! Shannon and I were in a musical together, and before that Scott hired me as an actress for a regional theatre group that toured bay area schools and children’s homes, etc. Brother Stephen coached me on voice for those productions. So, when my neighbors told me that The Scene was run by this trio, I HAD to give my kids the experience!

My son and my daughter have participated in The Scene and plan to participate this year. My son plans to apply for one of the coveted spots in their new companion program, CONSERVATORY PLUS, for older kids who are seriously considering a career in the theatre. We return because the program is the most thorough, precise program around for theatre arts. For kids, like ours, and parents like us who want a REAL theatre experience, not just day care. The program is not watered down with crafts or other time fillers. Everything is done with the purpose of getting the kids comfortable and enjoying their time on stage.

Through The Scene, our kids learned that show business is a business; it is hard work, but it comes with rewards that other businesses can’t provide – the excitement of preparing and presenting amazing shows! The fact that the staff are all current working professionals, not just teenage camp counselors, is a big draw for us because they give the kids a realistic picture of what they might experience if they stick with performing and pursue a life in the theatre. The Guggenheims teach that there are specific skills that a performer needs to learn as a base to be able to be successful in the business. The kids learn the basics of acting, dancing and singing in an environment that ONLY professional entertainers can create. This is not your recreation leader turned play director. These guys cut to the chase and share all their theatre tips with the kids!

The kids have fun learning these skills because they are taught by using improv games and other inspiring and surprising tricks that make them easy to apply and take with them for future auditions, or simply in real life when they need to act on their feet! The techniques the trio uses to teach have been honed over the many years while they have performed and taught. Our kids also learned about other areas of theatre that support the performer; technical aspects like stage makeup and script writing.

The Guggenheims are serious about what they teach. They have high expectations of the kids’ behavior and attention span during the program. They are also real, compassionate people who care about the kids and developing them into morally thinking performing artists. Their values are clear—you must be respectful and attentive to your mentors and fellow actors. These high standards really set a perfect tone for trust and learning at camp. They are committed to giving everyone a chance, spreading out the attention, not just focusing on the talented kids. Each student grows their skills, from wherever they begin the program.