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CEPA’s Summer Spotlight camp will go forward next month

The Center for Education and Performing Arts (CEPA) in Pell City

The Center for Education and Performing Arts (CEPA) in Pell City.

PELL CITY -- The Pell City Center for Education and Performing Arts will hold its annual Spotlight Summer camp despite COVID-19 functionally canceling its spring season.

Spotlight program Coordinator Shelby Maddox said the camp will be from July 20-31. She said the idea of the camp is to have a two-week program that educates children from 6-16 years old on acting and drama. The ultimate goal is to put on a show at the end of the two weeks. 

Maddox said to meet this goal, campers will take part in acting classes and group activities that work on drama skills. 

This year, Maddox said, the plan is to put on a musical, which she says will require a few extra lessons.

“There will be singing lessons as well,” she said.

On top of these activities, which will take place from 9 a.m. to noon, CEPA will also offer a master class from noon to 3 p.m.

Maddox said this class is for older campers and will be a more authentic experience.

She said campers taking part in the master class will put on their own show and will even have to go through a proper audition process.

Maddox said due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year's camp will look a bit different. 

She said some parts of the plan will not be nailed down until the governor issues her new order July 3, but social distancing will be in place and masks may at least be recommended.

Beyond that, the center will be heavily sanitized each day during camp.

Capacity for the final shows will also be reduced. Maddox said CEPA’s auditorium is currently being utilized at half of its 400-seat capacity.

“It’s been working fairly well so far,” she said, adding some rental events have been taking place at the center over the last month. 

Maddox said the idea is to make it as safe as possible. 

CEPA Director Jeff Thompson says he is just glad the facility can do the program at all. He said with COVID-19, there has been a lot of uncertainty, but he is glad CEPA is able to put on the camp

“We are excited to have this back and we feel safe about bringing it to the people,” he said.

Taylor Mitchell, Daily Home reporter covering Pell City.