Harand Camp of the Theatre Arts


History of Harand Camp

First established in 1955, Harand Camp’s unique method of
teaching has helped countless alumni develop poise and
confidence. Harand began as a Chicago children’s studio
founded by sisters Sulie and Pearl Harand.  Pearl, a former
member of the Chicago Repertory Theatre, taught drama,
while Sulie, known for her incomparable one-woman
interpretations of classic musicals, taught voice.  Other staff
included Byrne and Joyce Piven, (who would later found the
Piven Theatre Workshop), and Chicago's future Commissioner
of Cultural Affairs, Lois Weisberg.

The curriculum focused on musical theater with an emphasis
on the community spirit and equal opportunity for which they
would later become known. The studio was also the FIRST to
combine training in all three musical theater disciplines –
singing, dancing, and acting. Pearl once told the Chicago Reader
the “dream [had] always been to have a place where kids
can laugh and play, where they can develop their whole
personality while learning through shared experiences."


 

harand theater theatre summer camp performing arts
Harand Camp of the Theatre Arts sign in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin

harand theatre summer camp founders sulie pearl byron sam
Founders Pearl Harand, Sam Gaffin, Byron Friedman, Sulie Harand

Harand has also been able to set itself apart from other arts
camps by adhering to a philosophy of inclusion and a non-
competitive spirit - placing a premium on social development
and holding firm to its commitment to sharing lead roles and
the ideals of “No Man Is an Island.”  Sulie said they have
wanted
“to give children the ability to live with other people
and not feel someone else has to fail for them to succeed."
 

This philosophy has generated support from alumni such as
Lois Weisberg, former Commissioner of Chicago's Department
of Cultural Affairs, who stated that
"the Harands' approach
should be reinvented today in the public schools...

Their model is an extraordinary model for teaching."

Led by Sulie and Pearl, with husbands Byron and Sam, the
camp opened its doors in 1955 in Elkhart Lake, WI. Campers
were divided into groups designated by names of shows and
became known as “Haranders.” The curriculum struck a balance
between the arts and traditional camp activities. Harand alum
Jeremy Piven told the Reader "how many places in the world
can you go to as a kid and get fulfillment performing in plays
without all the politics-and still get to play sports all day long?"


harand theatre theater summer camp jeremy piven west side story performing arts
Jeremy Piven at Harand Camp of the Theatre Arts in the 1980s



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