The Ford House

Edsel & Eleanor Ford House tells the story of the home life of a prominent American family.

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A Casting Call for Campers!
Posted: May 11, 2010


New Summer Theatre Camp Offered by Grosse Pointe Theatre and Edsel & Eleanor Ford House

Sponsored by Children's Hospital of Michgan

Two long-standing local cultural organizations are combining forces this summer to offer ACTING UP: A Summer Theatre Camp for Creative Kids, which will be offered  June 21 through July 17.  Grosse Pointe Theatre (GPT) and Edsel & Eleanor Ford House (Ford House) are now accepting registrations for theatre campers, ages eight to 14.

The Camp offers two modules:  Basic Acting Skills for the first two weeks and Performance Preparation for the final two weeks.  Camp culminates with an outdoor performance on the Lakeside Terrace at Ford House for family and friends of the campers on Saturday, July 17.

GPT will host the first two-week segment, June 21 through July 2, in its rehearsal studio at 315 Fisher Road in the City of Grosse Pointe.  Focusing on basic acting skills for the youngsters, these day-long sessions (9 a.m. - 4 p.m.) wil use theatre games, classroom learning and video feedback to teach basic acting skills.

The second two-week segment begins July 6 on the grounds and in the Activities Center at Ford house in Grosse Pointe Shores.  This performance-based module will prepare campers for their final presentation.  Campers aged 8 through 10 will attend from 9 a.m. - noon, while students 11 through 14 years will attend from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

For Ford House, hosting outdoor theatre at the estate is a concept embraced and promoted by landscape architect Jens Jensen who designed the grounds more than 80 years ago.  Jensen was a proponent of using outdoor spaces as places for drama and pageantry.  Whenever possible, he would incorporate small, natural clearings in his designs that could be used for plays, musical offerings or recitals.

According to Ford House President Kathleen Mullisn, the partnership provides another opportunity for engaging new visitors.  "We are so pleased that our partnership with Grosse Pointe Theatre has grown to bring the performing arts to our wonderful estate," she said.  "I think Jens Jensen would be pleased to know that this landscape - one of the few private residences he created that is still intact - is being used in a way that he very much supported.  We are anxious to have families involved in the camp see it in a new and exciting way."

For GPT, this endeavor is a natural extension of its popular Youth on Stage program.  "Grosse Pointe Theatre has been considering a summer camp for several years," according to Kathleen Conlon, president of GPT. "Our discussions with Ford House provided the spark that made us believe we could offer a unique and fun learning experience for the children.  Youth on Stage has been in operation for 11 years and this summer camp is the perfect next step for expanding the program."

The outdoor performance will be held on the Lakeside Terrace at Ford House; audience members are encouraged to bring blankets and beach chairs to enjoy the show.  "We've made alternate arrangements in case of inclement weather," commented Mary Lou Britton of St. Clair Shores, executive producer for the camp project.  "After our show, our students and their guests are invited to a picnic on the grounds to celebrate their achievements.  We're planning a grand time and hope that all the aunts, uncles and cousins will come to watch the students perform," she added.

Registration is now open; information can be downloaded here

Parents with questions about the program may contact organizer Mary Lou Britton at 586.779.8974 or

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 ACTING UP is made possible, in part, by Children's Hospital of Michigan.  Founded 120 years ago, the Children's Hospital of Michigan is the first and only hospital in the state dedicated exclusively to the treatment of children. A leader internationally in neurology and neurosurgery, cardiology, oncology and diagnostic services, it is ranked one of America's best hospitals for children.  More Michigan pediatricians are trained at the Childrens' Hospital of Michigan than in any other facility.  Children's Hospital of Michigan is one of nine hospitals operated by the Detroit Medical Center (DMC).  The DMC is proud to be the official Healthcare Services Provider of the Detroit Tigers, Detroit Red Wings and Detroit Pistons.

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