SOMERSET HILLS NJ - Local performing artists Spencer Knoll and Alec Steinhorn share their talent and experience with young performers at the Knoll Steinhorn Musical Theatre Intensive.  The next available session runs from August 14 through 24.

Somerset Hills residents Knoll and Steinhorn met in high school when they played John and Elizabeth Proctor in a production of The Crucible.  They have been friends and collaborators ever since.  Earlier this year, the Willow School staff approached Steinhorn, a Willow School alum, and suggested that the duo start the camp and share their passion for musical theater with aspiring, young performers.

The result was "The Knoll Steinhorn Musical Theatre Intensive", which began this summer as a summer program for 4th-10th graders of all experience levels to play, perform, and hone their craft.

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The first session was a success.  

Noelani Scotton of Peapack-Gladstone, offered a testimonial on Next Door Peapack Gladstone:  "My son LOVED it, and wishes he could do this second session, which is a week longer than the first one was. The show that they put on at the end of the week was incredible, and the kids were clearly having a great time!"

According to Knoll, the camp is structured around a final showcase, which features songs from established musicals and skits that the children write themselves.

"The students spend their days writing, rehearsing, and making props and costumes for this event. During the camp, we bring in other theater artists with experience in singing, design, and performance," said Knoll"  "Last session, we brought in a music major from Northwestern, who explained vocal technique and ways to overcome performance anxiety, a playwright, who taught the children about how to write scenes with a dramatic arc, and a costume designer, who taught them to make sketches and designs for both established plays and their own work in the camp."

Each day is spent focused on one of several activities; acting, musical performance, writing for theater, and design. At the end of each day, the children have created a performance, a skit, or a prop or costume to show to the rest of the camp.  On the last day, parents are invited to camp to see their children perform in the showcase. 

"When we asked parents what they felt their children had gained from the experience, they said 'the confidence of performing and acting onstage,'" said Knoll, and “increased experience in playwriting, costume design, and vocal knowledge, and that they had learned more about writing and improv."

Email or visit the camp's Facebook page (the Knoll-Steinhorn Musical Intensive) for more info!

At the end of the summer, Knoll will return to Sarah Lawrence College, and Steinhorn will return to Northwestern University.