HCDC Partners With “APPLAUSE”!
With their flagship location on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, and a second location in Westchester, we are very excited to be partnering with Applause this summer to share their love of the performing arts with our Hampton Country Day Camp families for our Pre-Camp and Post-Camp programs.
Applause will be sending a team of their top instructors to provide musical theater and hip-hop workshops for our 1-Week Pre-Camp Program (June 22nd – 26th) and our 2-Week Post-Camp Program (August 24th – September 4th) this summer at Hampton Country Day Camp. Through acting and singing with a director and musical director, campers will develop their imagination, creativity, articulation and vocal skills. Under the guidance of an experienced teaching artist, they will also work on strength, coordination, and rhythm through hip-hop dance classes!
Interview with Jessica Trager, Director of Operations at Applause
What is your background in performing arts?
Believe it or not, I was a student of Audrey Kaplan’s (owner and founder of Applause) first class in 1995 when the company consisted of 20 students. Audrey introduced us to cutting-edge and current material while teaching a curriculum that developed not only theater skills but also life skills. I developed a passion for theater and dance although it was never my interest to become an actress. After graduating from Binghamton University and working in the cooperate world, I felt that something was missing and found my way back to Applause.
How do you select your teachers?
All of our staff members have worked as professional performers at one point, and go through an intense audition and training process with us. Many of our current teachers are working on Broadway, television and in film. We believe that having teachers who perform professionally enhances the education our students get and keep our curriculum exciting and up-to-date. Seeing their teachers in shows and television inspires our students.
What can you expect to get out of a week-long camp with Applause this summer?
You can expect to have a ton of fun! You will work hard, bond with cast members and feel the exhilaration of performing on stage.
Do the campers continue with Applause during the school year?
Most of them do! We offer a variety of performing arts after-school classes from Musical Theater, to Hip-Hop dance, to On-Camera class, and eventually fully produced musicals and straight plays.
What’s your favorite part about working at Applause?
We are the only program in New York that offers classes from 0-18 years. I love seeing our students grow up in the program. We see babies start in our Mommy & Me music classes, continue into our pre-school and after-school classes, and then return to work here as young-adults. We know all of our families by name, it really is a community.
What is Applause’s teaching philosophy?
It is our mission to foster a love and appreciation for the performing arts, whether as a performer or just a fan. We have very high standards and push our students to be hard workers, yet it is not important to us if they choose to pursue a career. We have seen many of our students excel in our classes and find success that they did not find in other programs.
What makes your program different from other programs?
I think the fact that many of our teachers started in our program and have come back to teach, make our program different from others. It really is a family here. I’m proud of the fact that Applause has nurtured such talented people who care so much about their experience here that they wanted to provide the same opportunities that they received to the next generation of performers.