EPAC's 2017 Center Stage Theater Camp offers opportunity for creative growth


This year EPAC returns with its newly designed format in which the students are the driving force behind the development of all programming. Our primary focus is to cultivate the artistic mind and awaken the vast intellectual potential within all campers by providing them both ownership and creative license as they explore their individual interests.

Registration is closed

To be placed on the waiting list please call the office manager Allison Weaver at 717-733-7966 ext 3.

Center Stage Summer Theater Camp is a 4-week program from July 10 through August 4. For more information, you may call 717-733- 7966 or email camp director Irving Gonzalez at camp@ephrataperformingartscenter.com.


Each camper will have the unique opportunity to participate in both the construction and design of his or her own collaborative production. This will involve developing proper costumes, props, lighting design, script development, and plot analysis–culminating in a final performance. With an emphasis on remaining artistically organic and working through a process that emphasizes leadership and individuality, campers will gain a much deeper appreciation of the behind-the-scenes work that goes into producing a theatrical performance.

Our campers will work alongside Center Stage Theater Camp educators as they take on various roles as directors, choreographers, playwrights, scenic designers, and stage managers, as well as actors and performers. These challenging tasks are designed to be well within their capacity for learning and will allow them to grow at their own pace.

At the end of each week, the campers will give an informal presentation for their parents or guardians showing their accomplishments and growth. At the end of all four weeks, a final show will be presented for a public performance. Please note that it is not required for campers to perform in the final show to attend camp and participate fully in each week’s activities.

2017 Summer Camp Theme

"A Symphony of Composers"

EPAC's Center Stage Summer Theater Camp returns for its thirteenth year with its theme of A Symphony of Composers. Campers will explore various musical composers and lyricists from Broadway to the screen each week. Our campers will enter a world of imagination, creativity, and exploration as they dive into some of the most powerful lyrics, songs, and musicals written by some of the greatest composers of our generation.
  1. Phantom of the Camp – Campers will take a journey into the musical genius of Andrew Lloyd Webber with some of his most memorable musicals such Cats, Phantom of the Opera, and of course Weber's most recent Broadway hit, School of Rock.
  2. Wickedly Good – Campers will look at the works of Stephen Schwartz, the composer behind the most popular musical on Broadway, Wicked. Not only is Schwartz known for his Broadway musicals, but he has also written songs for films such as Enchanted and Pocahontas.
  3. Take Me to Disney Land – Campers will once again take a trip to Disney Land, but this time it will be filled with new adventures and explorations. Campers will look at Disney’s films with musical influences and songs we found ourselves singing leaving the movie theater.
  4. Showstoppers - Campers will look at those big 11 o’ clock musical numbers that brought down the house having the audience standing in ovation. Campers will definitely build character, brush up their dancing feet, and belt those tunes.

Download camp brochure

July 10 - August 4

Monday - Friday from 9 am -3 pm

Showcase: August 7th at 7 PM

Register by April 3 for a 10% discount
  • 1 week$160
  • 2 weeks$285
  • 3 weeks$410
  • 4 weeks$535


Center Stage Theater Camp Director/Acting Counselor
Irving Gonzalez

Irving is a performer, director, and choreographer. His work has been recognized by BroadwayWorld.com of Central PA, Theatre Sensation, Lancaster, Ephrata Review, and the Reading Eagle as well as the featured cover story for the Lancaster Latino newspaper La Voz Hispana. He is an alumnus of The American Musical and Dramatic Academy in NYC and studied under professors from Julliard, the New School and the New York Opera Company. Irving has also toured with The American Family Theatre Company based out of Philadelphia, PA. He is soon to be an Associate Member of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society. Irving serves as Ephrata High School's Theatre Program Director for its fall and spring productions in addition to Ephrata Performing Arts Center's EPAC’s Kids4Kids Family Series. His regional works and credits expands throughout the Berks, Lancaster, and Lehigh Regional counties. Irv is the creator and responsible for EPAC’s Young Artist Cabaret Series where upcoming young artist have a creative outlet for vocal and artistic expressions. During the school year he serves as a Behavioral Support Specialist for Newstory, working with students with developmental behavioral and emotion support.
Dance Counselor
Kristin Pontz

Kristin Pontz is a Lancaster County native and received her BFA in dance from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. She has performed and choreographed all over the East Coast in such venues as the NY Fringe Festival, Merce Cunningham Studio, and the North Carolina Dance Festival. Ms. Pontz currently teaches at Elizabethtown College, where she serves as faculty advisor to the university dance group E-motion, and at Dickenson College. She is the Director of Rev9 Dance Company, a modern dance company that performs regionally and is Assistant Director of COBALT Contemporary Ballet of PA. Ms. Pontz has choreographed and served as assistant director for the award winning Hempfield High School Dance Theatre for over 14 years and has choreographed many musicals including EPAC's production of American Idiot and for productions such as Opera Lancaster's "Hansel and Gretel." She is also part of the successful EPAC’s Kids4Kids Family Series Junior Productions as co-choreographer and artistic collaborator alongside Irving. She is responsible for the amazing dance musical numbers known as “Act III” at the end of the show seen in Aladdin Jr and The Lion King Jr.
Music Counselor
Zachary Smith

Zachary Smith is an accomplished pianist, music director and piano teacher in the Lancaster area. He received his MS and BA in Clinical Psychology from Millersville University with a Minor in Music. He has recently music directed Hello Dolly!, Heathers: The Musical and American Idiot at EPAC including Assistant Directing King Lear. He is current music director for the much-anticipated Hairspray musical starring Edward R Fernandez as Mrs. Edna Turnblad this summer.
Acting Counselor
Christine D. Cieplinski, M.Ed

Christine is an actor, singer, director, producer, improv comedian, and costume designer. She is a show director and United Way award-winning teaching theater artist with the Yocum Institute for Arts Education certified in the Children’s Theater Company of Minneapolis Neighborhood Bridges Curriculum. Ms. Cieplinski is a visiting or resident teaching artist and show director at many arts schools throughout the Tri-State region. She has studied Improv with Second City and Leela Improv Training Center San Francisco and performed Improv with Kevin Bull of American Ninja Warrior and Anthony Carrigan of Gotham. She is on the Principal Creative Team of Reading Theater Project, originating theater works relevant to Berks County, she directed their Improv troupe and produced their Penn Street LIVE! Bridging the Arts series. Having worked as the Clinical Director of a forensic therapy practice for 15 years, specializing in criminology and trauma, she produces a semi-annual theater presentation series for V-Day Greater Reading to assist child survivors of crime. Her costume designs have been seen on the Gretna Theatre, Montgomery Regional Theater, Reading Theater Project/Berks Opera Company, Ceres Gallery NYC, and June Havoc Theater NYC stages among many others. Her company, Cherry Herring Entertainment Company, has designed sound Off-Broadway at the Theatre Outlet, Dog Run Rep and June Havoc Theaters. CHEC also produces Interactive Theater for Young Audiences that focuses on critical thinking skills and self-protection. Ms. Cieplinski is proud to be the Chairman of the Board of the Children’s Alopecia Project, an international non-profit organization that helps kids who have lost their hair regain their self-esteem.

Reflecting on the Success of EPAC's Kids4Kids Series production of "The Lion King Jr" from Director Irving I. Gonzalez

Camp Director
Irving Gonzalez
The Lion King Jr has been described as the "Hamilton of Lancaster County". This was evident by how difficult it was to get tickets for the number of sold out performances. Those who were fortunate enough to witness first-hand the amazing cast of 70 will agree this was no ordinary Kids4Kids production on the EPAC stage. From the moment you entered the theater, your "Lion King Jr experience" began. Patrons were transported to a jungle environment with background music, lobby décor, and red carpet step and repeat where masks and props were available as you took photos.

The Lion King Jr gave our audiences the insight of how musical theater can have a dramatic effect on the lives of our young performers. Each cast member took on the challenge to tell this story in a way that was genuine and authentic, allowing them to carry over the narrative component of The Lion King Jr. We believe this ownership by the cast was one of many ingredients to the success of the show. Another contributor were parents who volunteered their time and energy behind the scenes. To have both parent and child experience the process together is a gift.

Over the past six years, the Kids4Kids productions have certainly changed in their quality and standard of expectations. This would not have been possible without the continual support of our patrons and season sponsors, whose generosity has built our program to what it is now. Of course, I would be remiss if I did not recognize the amazing production team who share the same passion, dedication, and investment in the Kids4Kids Series. We applaud you.

From the beginning, we knew our journey was going to be filled with complexity and unchartered territory. The Lion King Jr transformed the lives of individuals on the stage and off the stage. The show awakened the endless possibilities and potential of our young performers. It also enriched relationships among the cast that will no doubt last a lifetime. Based on the talented cast, we were confident that this production had the potential to be among our greatest achievements on stage and would transcend the hearts of our audiences. And it did just that.

Many have asked me about next year’s production, "How are you going to top this?" My response: "You will just have to wait and see!"

Please contact Irving Gonzalez at camp@ephrataperformingartscenter.com for more information.

For a full list of all of our youth education activities, please visit our youth programming page.

Address (Physical)
320 Cocalico Street, Ephrata Community Park
Ephrata, PA 17522

Address (Mailing)
PO Box 173
Ephrata, PA 17522
2017 Season Sponsor
12:34 MicroTechnologies
2017 Season Sponsor
Commonwealth Charter Academy -- CCA
2017 Season Media Sponsor
Blue Ridge Communications

© 2017, Ephrata Performing Arts Center