Participants in “Villains: A Wicked Good Camp” are trying on their inner bad guys and girls this week as part of the Permian Playhouse’s annual spring break camp.
The camp caps off with a showcase for parents and the community at 6 p.m. Friday at the Permian Playhouse, 310 W. 42nd St. Admission is $5.
Camp Director Brian Serrano said the show will be a combination of scenes, sketches and dance numbers.
The camp’s theme was devised by officers in the Kaleidoscope Company that are in grades six through 12. There are 31 youngsters in grades one through five signed up this year, the largest group he’s had in about six years, he said.
“Disney put out a show called ‘Descendants’ based on the descendants of some of the more popular villains and it’s just been a hit with this age group, so when our Kaleidoscope Company officers were discussing themes for the year, we thought let’s go with villains and see. Some of us were a little more trepidatious than others going into that, but when it was said and done the kids have had an absolute blast with this theme. They love it,” said Serrano, who is a coach and teacher at Compass Academy Charter School when he’s not camp director.
Serrano said there were five classes students participate in every day including dance, art, acting, music and games. The games involve improvisational games and games to keep the youngsters active and loosened up for acting.
He added that the children like all the classes.
“I was actually going around asking what their favorite parts were, and to me a successful camp is when I can hear every class mentioned a couple of times and every class was mentioned as a favorite. Several kids said, ‘Everything. It’s too hard to pick.’ One boy said lunch and snacks …” Serrano said.
Charlyee Castillo, 11, a fifth grader at Compass Academy, and Izabella Hernandez, a fifth-grader at Hays STEAM Academy have both been pleased with the camp.
Not counting this one, Castillo said she has been to camp at the playhouse three times.
“I’ve been here many times and I just love to act and I love hanging out with the all the kids here because I’ve known them for a long time. It’s just fun. I just love to act,” Castillo said.
Her favorite part of this spring break camp has been the dance class.
“This one’s very different. This one’s very elaborate and stuff. I love villains, so and everybody has to be mean and they have to betray a character that is evil,” Castillo said.
Her favorite villain is Ursula from Little Mermaid.
“I enjoy being a villain because they’re mean. They take charge. They know what’s theirs. They’re just awesome,” Castillo said.
Hernandez said she has taken part in spring break camps at the playhouse previously.
“I like how everyone’s very friendly and everyone’s really usually really encouraging. I like the dancing and the singing the most, and especially art,” she said.
She added that she likes villains because they know “where they’re at.” Cruella de Vil is her favorite malefactor.
“They don’t have to really fit in anywhere. They kind of just have to be themselves. How they dress is their own. If you’re a superhero, you have to have a certain standard on what you have to wear, but when you’re a villain you can wear whatever,” Hernandez said.
This is Kaleidoscope member Sariyah Ramirez’s first stint as a camp counselor. The 13-year-old is a seventh grader at Bowie Middle School. She was dressed as the Joker with a green wig Wednesday.
“I teach them dance and how not to be shy when they’re onstage and to get along with other people and communication,” Ramirez said.
She wanted to be a counselor because she had gone to a summer camp at the playhouse and really liked it. She added that she thought the counselors had a fun job because they still dressed up and had fun with the students.
She’s quite taken with the participants, as well.
“They’re wonderful. Some of them are really hilarious, too,” Ramirez said.
“I like the way kids think. When they learn something it’s like, ‘lightbulb.’ It’s cute. Whenever they talk, whenever they dance, kids are just amazing. They’re wonderful children,” she added.
This year’s summer camp will be Aladdin Jr., Serrano said. The camps are for youngsters who have completed first grade through those who have finished their senior year of high school.
It will run for four weeks from May 29 through June 22 and shows will be June 15 and June 16 and June 22 through June 24, Serrano said.
The playhouse may be reached at (432) 362-2329.
>> What: Showcase for “Villains: A Wicked Good Camp.”
>> Where: Permian Playhouse, 310 W. 42nd St.; admission is $5.
>> When: 6 p.m. Friday