For many children, being theatrical comes as second nature. Translating those theatrical gifts into acting, how­ever, takes some practice.

This summer, military children will get the chance to hone and develop those gifts during an in-depth, two­week acting academy.

Raqi Barnett, instructor from Fay­etteville’s Gilbert Theater, is bringing the second annual Shining Stars Acting Academy to Fort Bragg. The academy is aimed at children aged 7 to 14 who are looking to express themselves through acting.

For aspiring young actors who want to build self-confidence, the camp pro­vides a well-rounded theater experience to those with big dreams. Campers will get a crash course on production tech­niques and learn about theater tradi­tions and etiquette. Additionally, chil­dren will learn backstage management, costumes, music and dance routines.

“We have a lot of military Families that cannot get involved in theater,” said Barnett. “I wanted to make a the­ater camp available . . . to our troops’ Families.”

Last year, the camp was a huge suc­cess. The academy was able to put on two musical productions. The first was “Belinda and the Beast,” a western comedy take on “Beauty and the Beast.” The second production was “Circus 4 US Kids,” which included circus acts such as dancing, tumbling, magic, pan­tomiming and animal acts.

“The kids had a blast with it,” said Barnett. “I’ll definitely be doing that act again in the future.”

The camp also gave teenage actors the chance to explore their theatrical po­tential and work as Barnett’s assistants.

“I wanted to give teenagers a chance to have a job for the summer,” she said. “They also get to participate in the camp productions as characters to gain more theater experience for them­selves.”

Barnett hopes to build on last year’s success with this year’s camp. “This year, I want to give insight to campers so they will have some experience in theater. That way they can act wherever they are,” she said.

The upcoming camp session will feature a play called “Hairum Scarum,” a comedy about Disney princesses who are having a bad hair day. There will be parts for both girls and boys and multiple dance numbers. Campers will play theater games/exercises, do crafts to take home or be showcased in the production and rehearse.

The grand finale is a musical produc­tion at the end of the two-week session that the children will perform for Fam­ily members and friends.

The camp will be at the M

aholic Child Development Center, Monday to Aug. 2, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Open to CYSS card­holders grades 1-8, the cost is $150 per child. For more information, call 643-6039 or 908-0048, or visit http:/

fortbraggmwr.com/CYS/summer­cam

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SS cardholders can also sign up at Tolsen Youth Center on the corner of Normandy and Riley roads.