Future Stars of Stage and Screen Heading to UH For Summer Workshops

Annual Wonderworks Program offering fine arts learning experiences for Houston high school students

Since 2004, aspiring artists, actors and auteurs have spent spring and summer afternoons at the University of Houston learning the craft of filmmaking and analyzing classic dramatic works.

Houston non-profit organization Wonderworks offers a host of educational fine arts camps aimed at the city’s high school students and conducted in collaboration with UH. This summer, the annual tradition continues with camps focused on stage and screen works.

Modeled after similar programs in other cities, Wonderworks was founded by educators and parents who recognized a need for programs that bolstered high school students’ creativity and cultural interests. “Wonderworks connects high school students with fine arts, media and literature. It also exposes them to a college environment,” said Drexel Turner, director of Wonderworks and UH architecture professor. “At these camps, they’re able to learn from university faculty and graduate students and begin to understand the college experience.”

Wonderworks programs are open to all Houston area high school students. Admission to Wonderworks classes and workshops is based on teacher/counselor recommendations and supplemented by school grades. Scholarships are available for those who can’t afford camp fees.

Wonderworks’ Summer 2008 camps at UH run June 16 – July 18. For additional information on how to apply for future camps or programs, visit www.wonderworkshouston.org.

This year’s camps are as follows:

  • Exploraciones Dramaticas Spanish language stage and screen productions are the focus of this daylong camp. Students will read through three plays and choose scenes from each to be presented in a final showcase production. Each day will conclude with a screening and discussion of a Spanish or Latin American film, including two selections from the Museum of Fine Arts Houston’s Open Lens series. All instruction is in Spanish and conducted by Bernardo Cubria, UH alumnus and professional actor-director and Michelle Rocio Nasser, assistant professor of Spanish and Portuguese. Exploraciones Dramaticas is presented in collaboration with UH’s School of Theatre & Dance.
  • Moving Pictures Future directors can learn how to put together short films, then watch and discuss critically acclaimed works. Keith Houk, clinical assistant professor of communication, is overseeing this camp, which will conclude with a mini-festival of student-produced films. Other instructors include film curators from Rice University and the Museum of Fine Arts Houston. Moving Pictures is presented in collaboration with UH’s Jack J. Valenti School of Communication.
  • Shakespeare and Company Playwrights past and present are the focus of this camp. Under the guidance of UH theatre instructor and professional actor-director Ruddy Cravens, students will discuss and perform dramatic scenes from Shakespeare to Broadway and view films based on stage works including “Henry V,” “A Streetcar Named Desire” and others, selected by Cravens and Amy Wernig, director of education and community engagement for the Alley Theatre. Films will be presented by professional actress Dorcas Sowunmi. The camp will conclude with student performances in Dudley Recital Hall. This program is presented in collaboration with UH’s School of Theatre & Dance.


About the University of Houston
The University of Houston, Texas’ premier metropolitan research and teaching institution, is home to more than 40 research centers and institutes and sponsors more than 300 partnerships with corporate, civic and governmental entities. UH, the most diverse research university in the country, stands at the forefront of education, research and service with more than 35,000 students.