Graceland Announces Performing Arts Camp Expansion and Faculty Leads
The two Four-Day Theater Arts Experience for Kids and Teens (Ages 6 -17) and Their Families will be held at The Guest House at Graceland and Elvis Presley’s Graceland in Memphis
Mid-South Native and “The Voice” Star Reagan Strange will be a Special Guest Counselor and Perform During Both Camps This Year
Elvis Presley’s Graceland® is pleased to announce that actor, voiceover artist, and acting coach Katelyn Nichols will once again lead its Performing Arts Camp in July. Nichols graduated magna cum laude from the University of Memphis, where she earned a BFA in Theater Performance. Now based in New York City, she coaches kids and teens through K. Nichols Studio and regularly records for TV and radio. She was recently the voice of Kohl’s and has been seen and heard on ABC, NBC, Lifetime, and in several Off-Broadway festival productions.
Nichols has always been passionate about bringing arts education to kids and teens. She worked for several years with young clients such as the Jonas Brothers, Demi Lovato, and Jordin Sparks, as well as with talent agencies and casting offices in New York and Los Angeles. Her wealth of knowledge will provide students with a look behind the show business scenes and offer a grounded approach to auditions and the performing arts.
“The Graceland Performing Arts Camp is so much more than any other performing arts camp,” stated Nichols. “The kids really get to experience not only a regular performing arts camp but also the Elvis side, so they get to experience exhibitions, museums and tour Graceland Mansion. The other part that I think is really, really special is that it’s kids literally from all over the world. They immediately connect, have fun and make new friends from all over the country and world.”
Joining the faculty this year as a Special Guest Counselor is Reagan Strange who was a finalist on Adam Levine’s team during last year’s season of the hit NBC show “The Voice.” Born in Germantown, Tenn. and raised in the Mid-South, Strange comes by her love for entertaining naturally, as she comes from a family of talented musicians and singers. She began singing on her own at the young age of two and became involved in vocal lessons at the age of eight. She has also been involved in local family theater, as well as singing and skits at church. Strange is a staple each season for the Memphis Redbirds, Desoto RiverKings and Memphis Grizzlies as a National Anthem singer. In addition to appearing as a Special Guest Counselor, Strange will also perform with the campers as part of their finale showcase.
“I am so excited to be participating in this year’s camp,” stated Strange. “It will be a joy for me to work with all of the kids and share my experience and knowledge about performing.”
Last year’s camp was a huge success. Families from all over the world attended and gave rave reviews. For a look at last year’s camp including testimonials from some of the kids and parents visit here. The Graceland Performing Arts Camp offers two different date options this year: the July 10-14 session is exclusively for kids ages 13-17, and the second, July 17-21, for kids ages 6-16 (with instruction segmented by age).
Camp participants will explore their talents in workshops on stage at The Guest House at Graceland™ Theater and on actual production sets featured in the acclaimed “Sun Records” TV series. They will participate in daily workshop sessions that include acting, singing and dancing. Over the four days of camp, campers will develop their own showcase, culminating in an evening performance on stage at The Guest House Theater for family and friends on the last night of camp.
Additional Graceland Performing Arts Camp Faculty include:
Hayley Bell will serve as Acting Director this year. She has participated in a wide range of the performing arts including theater (performance and tech), choir, and has ten years of dance experience, having studied ballet, tap, jazz, and lyrical.
Memphis native Joel Valdez will return as Music Director. Valdez, a veteran instrumental and vocal music teacher at Memphis’ Overton High School, has performed with several popular Memphis bands for the last 20 years.
McKenzie Day will also return as Choreography Director. Day is a dancer, teacher and choreographer. She earned her BA in Dance and English Literature. She has taught various dance styles in studios, recreation centers, and schools including the New Ballet.
During the camp experience, each participant will follow in the footsteps of Elvis Presley, as they explore the Graceland campus, including the new Elvis Presley’s Memphis™ entertainment and exhibit complex and The Guest House at Graceland resort. They’ll tour Elvis’ legendary home and learn how he became the greatest entertainer of all time – in the studio, on stage, and on the big screen. A welcome party, movie screenings and other camp activities will take place over the four days, in addition to the performing arts workshops and creative sessions.
While participants are having fun during the day, parents and other family members can enjoy Graceland activities, Memphis attraction tours, and poolside relaxation at The Guest House, reuniting with their children in the evening for family dinners and activities.
Memphis has been voted the top destination to visit in 2019 by Frommers, Trip Savvy and Lonely Planet among other publications. Graceland is the only attraction in the world to receive six 10Best USA Today Reader awards. TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Awards named Graceland one of the top 25 landmarks in the world and Rolling Stone named it one of 10 Great American Music Landmarks. With Memphis celebrating its Bicentennial in 2019, this is perfect time to visit for whole family.
Last year, campers and their families were invited to be extras in the Hallmark Channel’s hit movie “Christmas at Graceland,” which will be filming a sequel at Graceland this summer.
Graceland Performing Arts Camp experience includes four nights at The Guest House at Graceland resort hotel, meals, and camp activities for an all-inclusive price. To get more details and register for camp, visit Graceland.com/Camp or call 901.332.3322.
Interviews and photos for media are available upon request.