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Usdan Summer Camp for the Arts to Offer New Creative Writing Minor and Ensemble Music Classes

Usdan Summer Camp for the Arts to Offer New Creative Writing Minor and Ensemble Music Classes

The Devised theater class called DIY Musical Theater will allow students to create the musical of their lives.

Usdan Summer Camp for the Arts in Wheatley Heights will offer a new minor in the creative writing department, "Performance, Poetry, and Podcasting," this summer as well as a new theater class and new, small ensemble classes through the music department. The creative writing minor will focus on slam poetry and creating a podcast. DIY Musical Theater will utilize devise theater, a method in which a script or score is collaboratively created and performed by an ensemble, to help students write, direct, and perform a musical based on their lives. 

In addition to the small ensemble classes offered the last three weeks of camps, the music department will offer chamber ensembles, silent films, and opportunities to work with current composers.

This past summer, two studios and restrooms were lost due to fire and water damage from a lightning strike. The restrooms will be rebuilt for Summer 2019 and will be more energy efficient and have new, gender neutral restrooms. The studios will be rebuilt for Summer 2020 with a plan to modernize them and add heat. Since this has always been a summer camp, heat was not needed, but heat will allow for a mini-space to offer programs and art classes out of season.

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“We are born extremely creative and artistic, and formal education and life structure inhibit our creativity,” says Executive Director, Lauren Brandt Schloss. “We plan to keep fanning the fire of creativity.”

Usdan offers morning and afternoon bus pick-up and drop-off for students in Nassau and Suffolk counties, southern Westchester, Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn. Students usually arrive at 9:30am and leave at 3:30pm. There is an after-care options where students can be picked up by their parents before 6pm.

Usdan Summer Camp for the Arts is a 50-year-old day arts camp designed for students in preschool through 12th grade. It offers courses in both arts and non-arts disciplines, where students go to take risks and lose themselves in their art form. Founding Trustee Suzanne Usdan would say, “Usdan is a place where you lose yourself for a summer and find yourself for a lifetime.”