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It's finally spring! I got an e-mail the other day (as frequently happens) with an idea for summer vacation. No, not for me or you, but for those aspiring actors who otherwise will drive you nuts all summer.

If you're thinking of summer camp (sleep away) for your aspiring actors, Harand Camp of the Theatre Arts in Kenosha, Wis., offers full and partial camp scholarships for the First Session (June 24 to July 15) for ages 8 to 17, from diverse backgrounds, with an interest in music, drama, dance, or theater's technical aspects.

Campers work, play and perform in theatrical productions, while experiencing fun sports, recreational activities and the camaraderie of camp life. Just for you, the application deadline has been extended to May 11.

FYI: Contact Judy or Janice at (847) 864-1500 or harandcamp@aol.com

If you want your kids to stay home this summer, there are plenty of drama opportunities a lot closer.

* Children's Theatre Works at Community Theatre Guild in Valparaiso has year-round drama classes for kids.

FYI: (219) 464-1636

* Dunes Summer Theatre in Michiana feels a lot like going to camp with classes for young people 6 to 18 in Fine Arts Camp, Children's Theatre "Create a Play" Camp, and Youth Theatre "Create a Play" Camp.

FYI: (219) 879-7509

* Towle Community Theatre has auditions on July 6 for its Summer Musical Theatre Camp, doors open at 8:30 a.m., auditions start at 9 a.m. Rehearsals for "Schoolhouse Rock Live Jr." run July 9 to 27 from 9 to noon.

FYI: (219) 937-8780

* Illinois Theatre Center of Park Forest has classes in drama/acting for children and adults. The play selected for its Summerfest 2007 is "Urinetown, the Musical."

FYI: (708) 481-3510

* South Shore Arts is holding registration for summer classes, including drama, right now.

FYI: (219) 836-1839 or www.southshoreartsonline.org

* Chicago Auditions for The Next Shining Stars Showcase presented by Ignition Entertainment Group will be held 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 5, and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 6 at West Loop Studios, 17 N. Elizabeth St. Performers must be at least 18 and should come prepared with a 45-second a cappella or instrumental R&B, soul or pop cover tune (no original music). Musicians must bring all necessary equipment. Those who make the cut will advance to the preliminary regional competitions, Wednesdays from June 6 to July 4 at the Congress Theatre. The winner of this regional competition will receive $10,000 in cash and prizes, including recording studio time, a photo-shoot makeover, Electronic Press Kit video and an all-expense-paid trip to the national finals held in November in Miami. He/she will compete against regional winners from California, Houston and Atlanta to land a starring role in the reality show "15 Minutes of Fame," a contract with a major record company and $50,000 in cash and prizes.

FYI: (800) 928-0374

The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer. She can be reached at laughingcat_98@yahoo.com.

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