Keep your kids out of the heat this summer with an array of musical theater camps offered by the Ahwatukee Children's Theater.

Beginning June 6 and continuing through July 29, the local children's theater will be hosting musical camps and programs for productions including "Pinocchio," "Camp Rock," "The Wedding Singer," "Disney Dazzle" and "Silly Seuss."

Along with the choice of one of the productions, depending on which age group the child falls in, they can also take a workshop to "audition like a pro," or teens can have the chance to audition for the theater's Teen Board.

The same musical productions will roll over into July, but a special effects and theatrical make-up workshop will be offered as well as a senior camp for those 55 and over.

"(The camp) gets people out in the theater and to sing, dance and act," Community Outreach Director Yvette Dickson said.

Dickson said it is a fun way for those who have been interested to do a week at a time and meet everyone.

At the end of each camp, which lasts about a week, showcases for parents, friends and the community will be performed.

"With new and added workshops, people are really excited to take new camps," Dickson said, "It's different than what they usually do."

Ahwatukee mom Kelly Fink said her 8-year-old daughter Jessica "loves the summer camp."

"She was a very shy little girl," Fink said of her daughter before she started going to the theater.

Now, Fink added, "It's her world, and she has come out of her shell."

In addition to keeping kids involved in the theater while they are out of school, Fink noted that the program is given more focus and effort.

"It's more concentrated, and you're immersed in whatever play they are doing," she said.

Dickson said that parents are always involved as well, and that they offer volunteer programs.

"It just keeps (the kids) doing what they love doing," Dickson said. "They just love being here."

The Ahwatukee Children's Theater, 5051 E. Elliot Road, is registering now for summer camp. A full list of camps and productions is available at www.azact.org.

For more information about the camps offered or how to register, call (480) 705-9319.

• Diana Martinez is interning this semester for the Ahwatukee Foothills News. She is a junior at Arizona State University.

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