CARROLLWOOD — Twelve teens bow and curtsy to one another before clasping hands and prancing around to the score of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella in Carrollwood Elementary's music room.
For some it's their first performance with the Summer Broadway Series Camp, which is in its fourth year. For all, it will be the first time they perform at the Carrollwood Cultural Center.
"Our last show was in this black box theater in Lutz and it was nice but the cultural center is beautiful," said Camille Beredjick, 17, a fourth-year camper and counselor in training.
Opened in March, the county-funded cultural center has mounted nine other productions and taken in more than $28,000 in revenue from performances.
Cinderella, which opens this weekend, will be the Carrollwood theater's 10th show. Leaders in the Summer Broadway Series Camp hope it will represent the start of a long relationship.
Chad DeLoach, the camp's co-founder, is a former teacher from Adams Middle School, where he directed many of his campers in the choir.
In the spring, DeLoach and co-founder Brian Jonas, a current Adams Middle School teacher, choose the productions and recruit students to join the camp.
Most of the camp's initial students came from choirs, said Billy Vranish, 17.
"We usually get five or six new kids every year and the rest of us just keep coming back," he said.
Teens must audition by reading from the script and singing two songs — but that's only to determine skill level.
"Whoever wants to be a part of the production is included," DeLoach said. "Everyone who auditions gets a part."
Tuition at the five-week camp this year was $500 for the 25 students ages 11 to 17 and it covered the cost of costume materials, set supplies and props as well as other expenses for mounting a production.
"As we've gone along, the whole thing has gotten more and more professional," Beredjick said.
"It's meant to mirror the real Broadway experience."
And for a few, this is just the beginning of their journey to the real Broadway.
"I've been performing since I was 3," said 11-year-old first-time camper Ashton Alvarez. "I'm most likely going to college for musical theater."
Robbyn Mitchell can be reached at (813) 269-5313 or [email protected]