Offaly Independent

Published: Wednesday, 11th June, 2014 11:01am

Summer camps for all at Birr Theatre

Profile by Laura Ryder

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It’s come to that time of year when parents need to finalise plans for their children for the summer.

Birr Theatre and Arts Centre can help in that regard, with a host of summer camps for all ages.

Starcamp, Ireland’s leading and most renowned performing summer camp run July 7-11 at Birr Theatre, from 9.30am to 2.30pm daily. The camp is open to boys and girls aged four to 13. Starcamp’s core ethos is to instil confidence and self-esteem through praise and recognition. They create a wondrous, nurturing environment where participation and happiness are key and enhance skills and personalities through creative energies that will last a lifetime. Places can be booked by visiting or by calling 021 4377900. One place costs €90, two siblings can attend for €150 and three siblings can attend for €200.

Flynn O’Kane Academy Summer Dance Camp runs July 14-17 meanwhile, from 10am until 2.15pm every day. If your kids love to dance and perform then Flynn O’Kane Summer Dance Camp is the place to be. This four day camp is a wonderful experience where new friendships are made while building self-esteem and confidence and also creating many new diverse dance routines. The camp also offers arts and crafts and an end of camp showcase for family and friends. No experience is necessary, and children aged four to eleven are welcome. The camp is directed by ‘Lord of the Dance’ principals Bernadette Flynn and Damien O’Kane, who between them have many years of performance experience on some of the world’s biggest stages. Places cost €50, and booking is available on 087 2400861.

‘A Chance to Dance’ is a summer camp for children with special needs. Facilitated by Lisa Cahill, it runs July 14-18 from 2.30pm to 4.30pm each day. This is an opportunity for children with special needs aged six to twelve years of age to spend time with an experienced professional dance artist who will lead them in creative dance and movement. It provides an outlet and stimulus for participants to express their feelings of joy and togetherness. ‘A Chance to Dance’ is supported by Offaly County Council, Offaly Arts Office, Birr Stage Guild, Birr Lions Club and Birr Theatre. Booking is through Birr Theatre box office on 057 9122911.

Finally, ‘School of Rock 2014’ is back for the ninth year. Brendan Keeley will once more be at the helm from July 21 until August 1. The two week course will give intensive training in writing and performing, while also providing training in various aspects of the music business including copyright, publishing, the recording process, voice training and instrument tuition. Anyone interested in participating should have at least a basic knowledge of an instrument. As places are limited, it’s also essential new participants can attend a workshop on June 26 at 5pm, when places will be allocated. ‘School of Rock’ is open to teenagers aged 14 to 18. Costs are €70 for one, €65 each for two siblings and €60 each for three siblings. More information is available at

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