Former PV resident heads Camellot Academy, culminating in performance Friday

Students at the Camellot Academy rehearse Alice in Wonderland, Jr., at Rockhurst High School. The performance is Friday.
Students at the Camellot Academy rehearse Alice in Wonderland, Jr., at Rockhurst High School. The performance is Friday.

Each summer for 47 years, kids from across the metro area have gathered for five weeks of fine arts classes at the Camellot Academy.

And longtime Prairie Village resident Trinda Crow has been there for 43 of them.

“I just think there’s a magic to it, the magic of Camellot,” Crow said of the experience. “I love the kids, I love their enthusiasm for the arts, and I like that we’re still able to create an experience for the kids that’s the same as the experience I had when I was little.”

Crow, who grew up in Kansas City, Mo., and lived in Prairie Village from 1983 until 2001 when she moved to Oklahoma after getting married, this year assumed responsibilities as the camp’s executive director. As a school teacher, she’s still able to make the trip north for the Camellot session each summer, visiting her husband on weekends.

In the executive director role, Crow now oversees the program’s slate of arts training for the K-9th grade-aged kids. There are classes in visual arts, drama, vocal music and guitar, and the program culminates each year in a theatre performance.

This year’s performance, Alice in Wonderland, Jr., will be staged at 7:30 p.m. tonight at Rockhurst High School.

Though the camp activities do build up to the performance, Crow said that churning out thespians isn’t necessarily the goal of the experience.

“Our mission statement isn’t to produce performers,” she said. “It’s to introduce kids to the fine arts. We know that a lot of these kids will grow up and become frequent attendees of arts events, and they’ll be able to appreciate what goes into them.”