Musical Theater Camp New to KISD Summer

Musical theater cast worksSong, dance and theater combined this week at Killeen ISD’s first-ever musical theater camp.


The four-day event at Killeen High School brought together 50 incoming fifth to eighth grade students to give them a taste of theater.


It culminates with the production of The Ever After, a Musical, set for a 4 p.m. showing Thursday at the KHS auditorium.


Eastern Hills choir director Janice Needham, Live Oak Ridge choir director Rashida Williams and Ellison High School theater director Hayley Hersey are leading the camp.


Piecing together a musical in three-and-a-half days is a feat. Students auditioned a week before the end of the school year to be ready.


The show is a humorous spoof on TV talk shows and some of the famous fairy princesses.


Liberty Hill Middle School eighth-grader Kathryn Turner has the lead role of Monte the TV talk show host, who will get up close and personal with Snow White, the evil queen, and Cinderella and her sisters 20 years after their famous stories.


“It gives you something to look forward to,” said Turner of summer theater. “Usually, I just mope around. This is my passion, and I got the lead.”


She just knew one other student when the camp started but has made friends from across the city. “We get to dance around to some really silly songs,” she said.

Campers work on musical


Getting to play a sarcastic, passive aggressive TV personality is a rare opportunity.


“When he introduces Snow White he says, ‘still wearing that same outfit? It’s greaaat. Keep going with it until it stops working for you.’ I love Monte’s character.”


“It’s an exciting stress,” said Turner. “We have such a little time to do it and that makes it so fun. Fifteen hours to bring this whole thing together – bring all these characters and music and acting together. That’s what makes it exciting.”


“The camp is really fun,” said Delilah Vigo, a Manor eighth-grader playing a step-sister. She is excited to dive into theater for the first time.


“I think the camp is great,” said Audre Nelson, a Nolan seventh-grader. “I’ve met a lot of new people who are now my friends. When I think about the play, I love how creative it is, how funny it is, I love everything about it.”


“I think it’s very cool. I get to sing about a man I like. I get to get roasted by them and the mirror,” said sixth-grader Angie Ramos, a sixth-grader going into the new Aycock Middle School.


Hersey said the camp is an exciting way to expose middle school students to theater. They get a quick look at a wide gamut of what makes up school theater.


The new musical theater camp for middle school students coincides this first week of Summer Learning with the first of a two-week high school theater camp that ends with a production of Treasure Island at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, June 13 at Chaparral High School.


In addition, a one-week orchestra camp for middle school students is wrapping up.


During the second week of the summer, beginning June 10, there is a high school band camp, middle school band camp and a first-ever elementary art camp.


Later in the summer, high school choir camp will prepare top singers for UIL choir competition this fall.


Elementary Summer Learning

Creative clothing at Camp InventionElementary Camp InventionFun-infused learning continues this week during Killeen ISD’s Summer Learning.


Students and teachers seem to agree the creative style of the Camp Invention program, with small classes is a refreshing way to learn.


Trina Cherry, normally a kindergarten teacher at Killeen Elementary School, said she was enjoying her third year teaching the summer enrichment class.


She is teaching at Ira Cross Elementary School, which combines students from that school with Brookhaven, Clifton Park, Killeen and Peebles in the central part of the city of Killeen.


Teaching a “Solar Bot” section of the Camp Invention program, she directed students to build a habitation from an assortment of supplies.


No rules. No instructions. Just create.


“I’m a kindergarten teacher, but here I get to see different grade levels,” she said. “Their brains work differently. You can see all the houses (they made) look different.”

Elementary Camp Invention 2024


Across the hallway, another group of students worked in a section called “Stick to It,” making articles of clothing – hats, skirts, pants, shoes and other garments.


Killeen ISD is hosting two four-day sessions of Camp Invention at seven elementary schools spaced out across the school district.


Some of the sites began filled to capacity and others added the first day to reach capacity.


Before adding, the elementary summer enrichment program began with 1,263 students registered.


Another Camp Invention session is scheduled next week (June 10-13).



For more summer learning information and to check registration, go to the following:


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