This week’s Upper Arlington News carries a story about a drama camp that is led by a member of the Grace Brethren Church, Upper Arlington, Ohio (Fenton McDonald, pastor). Katie Schmidt and her husband, Andy, were among those who helped plant the church in the Columbus suburb and she is using the building as the location for the drama camp she leads. A portion of the story appears below. Click here to read the complete article.
Drama camp returning after hiatus
Following a recent hiatus, an Upper Arlington woman and her twin sister will bring back a longtime summer camp in June that seeks to boost youths’ self-esteem while instilling a love for dramatic theater.
In 1988, Katie Schmidt was a bit stir crazy from the rigors of staying at home with a newborn baby.
With her husband, Andy Schmidt, spending much of his daytime hours tending to business at Columbus’ iconic Schmidt’s Restaurant and Sausage Haus, Katie sought to add diversity to her time at home by allowing a friend to babysit her infant son, Maxwell, while she taught drama to the friend’s home-schooled children.
The venture proved enjoyable for Katie, who studied theater at Ohio University and spent 10 years as an actress for Pleasure Guild of Children’s Hospital.
“I can remember my first performance as a second-grader,” she said. “I was a rabbit in the forest.
“It just gets into your blood and becomes a passion.”
The drama bug also bit parents and children, and soon Katie and a growing number of students were building sets, making costumes and performing plays for up to 50 people in the basement of the Schmidts’ Upper Arlington home.
The labor of love gained so much momentum that Katie and her twin sister, Krissi, started D.R.A.M.A. Camp in 1996, and it provided a full range of theater education to groups of 30 children for four weeks each summer.
That camp ran until 2010, when Katie became a grandmother and it was increasingly difficult for Krissi to spend a month away from her family, which lived two hours away, each summer.
This summer, however, the sisters are bringing back two, one-week sessions of D.R.A.M.A. (Dramatic Recreation and Musical Arts), which will be hosted from June 22-26 and June 29 through July 3 at Upper Arlington Grace Brethren Church.