Tahlequah Public Schools combines choir and drama into its two-week-long day camp for elementary and middle schoolers.

This summer's production is "Schoolhouse Rock Live Junior."

Campers are guided by instructors Amy Wright, Tahlequah Middle School choir teacher, and Michael Peters, Tahlequah High School theater teacher. The kids are learning music, how to audition, and how to prepare to perform in a live show.

"The kids get to learn dances, stagecrafts and tour the Performing Arts Center," said Wright. "They get to see how heavy the stage curtains are by pulling them, and we take them upstairs to the lighting rail and catwalk."

The summer theater camp was conceived years ago by former TPS Superintendent Lisa Presley.

"She approached David Fuller, who is the middle school drama teacher, and me," said Wright.

"After David couldn't do it anymore, Mr. Peters stepped in. The camp has been going for five or six years."

The camp has two two-week sessions with around 40 students each.

Camp 1 began Monday, June 3, and concludes Friday and Saturday, June 14-15, with a live performance each day.

"I play Interplanet Janet, who sings about space," said Kara Foreman, 13, TMS student. "I like singing and being on stage. Getting the parts, learning the songs and putting it all together is fun."

Many students join the camp because of their friends. TMS student Ava Jones, 13, is among that number.

"I play Susie, who talks about the Preamble," said Jones. "I have always liked singing, and exploring the PAC is cool."

Other students playing major roles are Beckett Taylor, 9, Heritage Elementary student, playing lead character Tom Miser; and Jonah Geiger, 10, TMS student, who plays Joe, singing "Conjunction Junction."

"Jonah has had an absolute blast this week at camp," said Nancy Combs Geiger, Jonah's mother. "It's brought out a creative side of him that is so fun to see."

While Camp 1 is already halfway done, spots are still open for Camp 2, which begins Monday, June 17, and concludes June 28-29 with the performances.

Wright and Peters want as many students to sign up as possible.

"There is no better way of getting students' self confidence up, raise their ability to try new things and define who they are than through the arts," said Peters. "Everything that you see painted, every sound that you hear, is the arts. And theater is kind of the all-encompassing art."

The "Schoolhouse Rock" camps last from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday-Friday, at TMS . The cost is $80 per camper and includes lunches and a T-shirt.

Performances are at 7 p.m., June 14-15 for Camp 1, and June 28-29 for Camp 2, in the Tahlequah High School PAC. Admission is free to the public.

To sign up, parents must fill out an enrollment form at the TPS Board of Education, 225 N. Walter St.

Early registration is preferred, but students can sign up by June 17, the day Camp Two begins.