Rising Stars Camp: A Day In the Life

“What does a typical day look like at your camp?”

We get this question a lot.  And we’re here to answer!

Each Rising Stars summer program runs for just one week, Monday-Friday.  The students rehearse from 9:00 am-2:00 pm each day, and the program culminates in a performance on Friday night.  Instead of producing a single show, we do a musical revue.  This means that we draw music selections from different shows, enabling us to tailor the program to the particular group of students participating, and to highlight more students as soloists.

“Okay, so what happens between the hours of 9:00 am and 2:00 pm each day?”


Great question!  First of all, it’s important to know that, since we are putting together a show in just one week, the camp is very fast-paced, and your child will be occupied with some activity or another pretty much the whole day.  Whatever the kids are doing, they are always supervised by at least one staff member.

Each day includes a ten-minute snack break and a 20-30-minute lunch break.  Campers are responsible for their own food and drink.

At home, your child should spend some time reviewing any material covered at camp that day, whether it be music, choreography, or both.  Since we only have four days to make our show performance-ready, it’s imperative that each camper put in some outside practice time.

While the specific schedule for each camp will look a little different depending on the music selections and the production needs, the week follows a general schedule that looks something like this:


Students arrive at 8:45 for registration, where they are checked in and given their music folder and camp t-shirt.  At 9:00, we do a welcome circle with a name game, so we can all get to know one another!  This is also an important time for our staff to introduce themselves, and share what their role is for the week.

Next, we do a physical warm-up, followed by a vocal warm-up.  Just like an athlete stretches before a big game, it’s important for singers and dancers to warm up their voices and bodies before a day of heavy use.  After Monday, warm-ups begin at 9:00 am sharp each day, so don’t be late – otherwise you will miss this critical period!

After introductions and warm-ups are over, we dive right into music rehearsal!  We will usually begin by learning a full-cast number.  Once we’ve learned the music for the number, we put it up on stage to choreograph it.

By that time, it’s usually snack break.  Yum!

After snack, more music and choreography rehearsals!

Next is lunch break!  Campers get a little time to relax and socialize with each other.

After lunch, we’ll do a review of the numbers we learned earlier, and maybe start a new song if there’s time.  This usually brings us to the end of the day – already!  Just a few minutes before 2:00, we gather on the stage for a wrap-up, and then the kids are dismissed.


Tuesday is music-themed t-shirt day!  Everyone, campers and staff, wears some kind of music-related shirt, if you have one.  If you don’t have one, no worries – just wear whatever you’re comfortable in.

The day begins with warm-ups at 9:00 am sharp.  After that, we’ll usually review one or both of the numbers we learned the previous day.

If there’s a crafting project for the week, our stage manager will show our campers what they’ll be making and how.  Any downtime the kids have throughout the week will be spent crafting until the project is finished.

We’ll also start to rehearse some of the smaller group numbers, which means we’ll often have two rehearsals happening at once!


theater camp Gardner MAWednesday is camp t-shirt day!  First things first: we take a group photo of everyone in their snazzy Rising Stars shirts.  After that, we go straight to warm-ups, and then dive into rehearsing.

We’ll also start rehearsing with props and costumes!  The stage manager will give a little “backstage tour,” showing campers where they should store anything they’ll use in the show.

If there are any musical selections that haven’t been introduced yet, they are taught on Wednesday.  By the end of the day, every number in the program will have been staged.  Campers should have their music 85-90% memorized by the end of the day on Wednesday!


We will rehearse every number on the program, spending lots of time on each selection to make sure it’s polished.  We’ll rehearse in show order, with all props and costumes, if possible.  We’ll wrap up the craft project, and the staff will start to get the space performance-ready.

At the conclusion of the camp day, we’ll go over everything you need to know about the next day – Friday, which means dress rehearsals and the performance!


This is the most exciting day of all!

Campers come at 9:00 as usual, in full base costume and make-up.  After warm-ups, stage management gives a microphone protocol demonstration, and then mics the kids for the opening number.  Our first dress rehearsal run begins at about 10:00.

The dress rehearsal run is done with all props, costumes, sound, lighting, scene transitions, and/or any other details we’ve incorporated into the production.  We also bring in extra musicians on Friday for a professional pit ensemble!

After the run, campers gather on the stage for notes from the directors, and then we all break for lunch.

After lunch is dress rehearsal run #2!  This is followed by another round of notes, a wrap-up, and then dismissal.

Campers should make sure they rest up and eat a good dinner at home, because they’re back at 5:30 to get ready for the performance!  We’ll warm up, run through anything that needs touching up, and then head backstage before our 7:00 pm show!

As you can see, it’s quite the whirlwind of a week, but so much fun!  We love seeing the progress the kids make in just a short amount of time, and seeing their beaming faces after putting on a spectacular show!

Register to reserve your spot in one of our programs today!  Choose from three locations:

  • June 24-28, First Congregational Church, Gardner, MA ($250)
  • July 8-12, Dane Street Church, Beverly, MA ($300)
  • July 22-26, Union Congregational Church, North Reading, MA ($300)

Still have questions?  Contact us to learn more!