Summer Camp at the Sondheim

Written by Theresa Rose on June 16, 2017
Creativity shines through singing, dancing and fun at Evelyn Gamrath 2017 Summer Camp at the Sondheim, June 26-July 1
              New this year, professional playwright and choreographer artists-in-residence to lead 8 – 13 year olds in camp and musical performance


          Fairfield, Iowa –Singing and dancing in a fun, creative environment. That’s exactly what campers will experience at the Evelyn Gamrath Summer Camp at the Sondheim, June 26 through June 30 at the Fairfield Arts & Convention Center.
The theater camp, for boys and girls, ages 8 through 13, is held on the Sondheim Theater stage from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. The final performance on Saturday, July 1 at 2 p.m. is free, open to the public, and will feature all campers.
New to this great summer time theater camp opportunity is the addition of professional playwright and composer, Andrea Green, who will be the special artist-in-residence artistic director during the summer theater camp along with Lori Spencer-Gust, professional choreographer. Green will lead the camp, providing a rare opportunity for area youth to be stars on the Sondheim stage, performing in her musical, “The Same Sky.”

Camp registration for five days of singing, dancing, fun theater-based activities, and the chance to star in a musical is $100 per student and includes lunch, snacks and commemorative Evelyn Gamrath Summer at the Sondheim camp t-shirt. Discounts and need based scholarships are available.
Camp artistic director Andrea Green, is an award-winning composer, playwright, director, musician and educator from Philadelphia. She is internationally recognized for her Broadway-style musicals featured in theaters and schools fostering inclusion, understanding, acceptance and respect. Green’s musical, “On the Other Side of the Fence,” was the musical featured in the 2016 Summer Camp at the Sondheim, performed by more than 40 campers from across southeast Iowa.
Joining Green to provide a professional level of theater for the young performers is Lori Spencer-Gust, artist-in-residence and guest choreographer. Gust, who specializes in musical theater, jazz and contemporary dance has traveled extensively working with school productions nationwide.
“We are really excited for the Summer Camp to be led by Andrea Green and Lori Spencer-Gust,” said Torie Hollingsworth, Camp Director and Ticket Office & Development Manager at the Fairfield Arts & Convention Center. “Last year’s campers enjoyed the musical Green wrote, so the opportunity for this year’s campers to experience a week of learning directly from Green will only enhance the messages of cooperation, overcoming obstacles, bullying, and problem solving within her musical, “The Same Sky”. This opportunity is unbelievable and a chance that not many children have around the country, let alone in small town Iowa.”
The Summer Camp at the Sondheim is made possible by the support of Wayne & Nan Kocourek, along with Fairfield HyVee, Everybody’s Whole Foods, and Jefferson County Farm Bureau.
The Summer Camp at the Sondheim is named in honor of Evelyn Gamrath, wife of Bob Gamrath and mother of Bob Gamrath, Jr., Kathyrn Carpenter, Nan Kocourek and Tom Gamrath. Evelyn Gamrath was a long-time junior high choral director, collegiate and church choral director, and had a passion to teach children and instill in them the love of the arts.
“Summer Camp at the Sondheim started three years ago with goals of providing area youth with opportunities to express their creative spirit and experience the thrill of live performance, while gaining confidence, and having fun doing it,” said Rustin Lippincott, Director of the Fairfield Arts & Convention Center. “We are thankful for the support of the Kocoureks, Kay Kress and Fairfield HyVee, Paul Praither, Nathan Gamet and Everybody’s Whole Foods and John Sandbothe and Jefferson County Farm Bureau. Their support has allowed us to expand on the successes of the first two years of our camp and enhance the campers’ experience of theater, performance, teamwork and critical life skills with a professional playwright of Andrea Green’s caliber.”
Registration for the Evelyn Gamrath Summer Camp at the Sondheim is $100. To register campers for the week-long experience, visit or contact Torie Hollingsworth at the Ticket Office, 641-472-2787. All campers and parent(s)/guardian(s) are encouraged to attend camp information night, Sunday, June 25 from 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. where campers and parents will meet Green & Spencer-Gust and receive important camp information from Hollingsworth.
“It’s going to be an exciting week, from information night through performance day,” said Hollingsworth. “We are staging a full length musical together in one week and the stars are 8 – 13 years old, it will be a lot of hard work and even more fun.”
For more information and to register, visit or call 641-472-2787. The deadline for registration is Sunday, June 25.


About the Fairfield Arts & Convention Center
The Fairfield Arts & Convention Center celebrates a decade of enriching souls and entertaining lives across Southeast Iowa during the 2017-18 Sondheim Artist Series with various special events, ticket promotions and reflections of the memorable events over the first 10 years.
The Center will kick off the year long commemoration, Saturday, September 16 with the Cheers to 10 Years Celebration, featuring an evening of music, comedy and mentalism. The celebratory evening’s entertainment reflects the Sondheim Theater’s decade of performances – eclectic, unique and amazing.
Opened in 2007, the Fairfield Arts & Convention Center is a gathering place designed to showcase a world of art, culture and community pride in the heart of downtown. The beautiful facility, featuring the Sondheim Theater, promises a rich and diverse 2017-18 Artist Series: Cheers to 10 years.
Now in its eighth year, the Artist Series is about national touring Broadway shows; Grammy award-winning music icons; witnessing captivating trapeze artists and spins of acrobats leaving us all in awe; and music that provides the soundtrack of life. The Center features an exposition hall, flexible meeting space, an elegant conference room and art galleries which all provide a sophisticated backdrop for meetings, weddings and special events.
Let’s toast to the first decade of the Fairfield Arts & Convention Center and the moments that have inspired and entertained more than 500,000 friends.