Gavin Hildner, 9, does a headstand as other children strike a pose during a rehearsal Wednesday of “How to Eat Like a Child (And Other Lessons in Not Being a Grown-up)” at the Temple Civic Theatre.

Michael Miller/Telegram

Aspiring young actors and actresses are getting an opportunity to work on their craft during a spring break theater camp offered by Temple Civic Theatre.

The weeklong event will end with 10 children, ranging in age from 7 to 14, presenting the play “How to Eat Like a Child (and other lessons in not being a grown-up).” Performances are scheduled 2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the theater, 2413 S. 13th St.

The camp is being led by John Monteverde, the theater’s artistic director; Brenna Sage, visiting musical director from New York City; and Brittany Sharkey, the choreographer.

“This is my first time working with Temple youth — they’re great,” Sharkey said. “They’re a very talented bunch. It’s fun to watch them explore and learn.”

The play focuses on topics such as “how to beg for a dog,” “how to torture your sister,” “how to act after being sent to your room” and “how to smuggle turnips from your plate to the garbage without eating them.”

“It’s a very clever play presented from a child’s point and view and drawing on their infinite wisdom,” Sharkey said.

Sisters Lyndsi Carlson, 11, and Lauren Carlson, 13, the daughters of Vicki and Craig Carlson, are participating in the camp. Both attend Central Texas Christian School.

“I love acting and singing, and my parents encourage me to keep doing it,” Lyndsi said.

The girls already have participated in several Temple Civic Theatre performances, including “Myths and Legends” and “The House at Pooh Corner.”

What does Lyndsi like best about the play the children will present this weekend?

“It just kind of shows things children do all the time, and it’s really funny,” she said.

The camp is “really helping me with my music, how to read lyrics, get louder and memorize my lines,” Lyndsi said.

Lauren said she jumped at the opportunity to participate in the camp.

“Being in musicals is my dream job,” she said. “I want to do that when I’m older. What better way to spend my spring break than doing the thing I love?

“I enjoy singing — that’s my passion. I never had a singing part (at Temple Civic Theatre) before. It’s awesome.”

Lauren encouraged other children interested in acting to participate in theater camps offered during the summer.

“It’s a great opportunity to participate in acting, singing and dancing,” she said. “It gives kids a chance to let their talent show. They encourage everyone to perform, and it’s a lot of fun.”

She described the experience at the theater camp as a sneak peek into “what I want to do for the rest of my life.”

Lauren’s dream role is to play Christine in “The Phantom of the Opera.”

Nathan LeBlanc, 14, is the son of Laura and John LeBlanc and attends South Belton Middle School. He said he has participated in theater arts “since about sixth grade.”

“I just thought it would be a fun experience,” he said of deciding to spend much of his spring break at the theater. “It’s helped me to learn more about technique. It’s helped me to become a better actor, and a better dancer, definitely.”

LeBlanc has performed in South Belton Middle School productions of “The Wizard of Oz” and “Wait, Wait Bo Bait.”

Sage, who is working with the Temple Civic Theatre on the production “Ain’t Misbehavin’,” said she enjoying working with children this week.

“I haven’t worked with kids for almost a year,” she said. “It’s refreshing and energizing.

“The thing that impresses me most is that all of the kids can sing. That isn’t always the case with a children’s production.”

For tickets, visit or call 778-4751. Reserved seats cost $8 for adults and $5 for children.

For information on children’s summer camps, call 778-4751 or email

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