TNT camp registration opens

by Cristin Parker

All the world’s a stage – and the Cherokee Civic Theatre is offering local youth and teens a whole new world during this year’s Thespians in Training (TNT) summer camp.

TNT Camp 2019 registration forms are now available on the CCT’s website, CCT Members Only and Early Bird registration will be open from Monday, April 1, through Tuesday, April 16. General registration begins May 1.

“Early registration is just one of the perks of being a CCT member,” CCT Treasurer Judy Faye Garner said. “Registration fees start at $50 for members and go up from there. We also offer sibling discounts, too.”

Camp will be held Monday-Friday, July 15-26, with the Grand Finale Showcase hitting the stage on Saturday, July 27. All TNT camps & performances are held in the historic Cherokee Civic Theater & Annex on 157 West 5th Street in downtown Rusk. Campers must be able to attend every day of camp.

“I had a lot of fun in camp last year,” TNT alum Austin Parker said. “I got to play an ant and I learned a lot of stuff I didn’t know, like how to enunciate my lines. I didn’t even know that was a word, and now I can do it!”

This year’s camp theme is “Imagine That!”

“This year’s theme was a collaboration of all of us,” longtime camp volunteer Anya Breen said. “It’s a reflection of the camp itself – we imagined what we could do, and now we’re in our 16th year, and we’ve got camp directors this year who are actually alumni of past camps. That’s pretty cool.

“That’s what we strive for, too – not only to give our local youth a chance to get bitten by the theater bug, but to instill in those same young people the desire to give back and invest their talents and time back into the community. And it’s working – imagine that!”

Campers are divided into three troupes, based on age -- grades 1-6; grades 7-8; and grades 9-12. During camp, each troupe produces a one-act play, which is then presented to family and friends during the TNT Grand Finale Showcase.

“Through a variety of activities, campers will learn about the theatre arts from all aspects-onstage, backstage and offstage --while improving the skills they may already have,” the theater’s website states. “TNT’s goals are not only to enhance stage skills but also the cooperation, creativity goal-setting that any theatrical production requires.”

Theater officials remind patrons TNT camp space is granted on a first-come, first-served basis and only fully completed registration packets, accompanied by the appropriate fee, will be processed.

“If a form is missing or incomplete, we’ll let you know and then process it when it is all in place,” camp producer Josie Fox said. “We want to make sure everyone who wants to participate gets the chance to do so.”

Original registration forms must be received by mail or delivery with the appropriate fee before any camper is considered fully registered. Download registration forms at

Campers will be contacted by phone or email to confirm enrollment.

TNT is always looking for volunteer staff and camp sponsors, too. To volunteer or to become a TNT underwriter, e-mail or call CCT (903) 683-2131.

Underwriters of $100 or more are listed on the official camp T-shirt and all contributions are tax-deductible.

“The low registration cost and availability of camp scholarships are possible because of our incredibly generous and supportive TNT underwriters and volunteer staff,” CCT’s website states.