Downstairs in the Music Room in the Education Center at Holy Family School in South Pasadena, kids, working with a musician on a keyboard, take turns singing, “I Just Can’t Wait to be King” from the musical “The Lion King.” Across the way in the Art Room, youngsters are learning the words and choreography for an upbeat version of “The Bare Necessities” from “The Jungle Book.” They rehearse positions, practice their “flash hands” (hands wide-open) and, at one point, imitate eating bugs like Baloo the Bear did in the Disney flick.Down the hallway, very young children are imagining characters and reactions given a specific scene: right now, it’s a park setting where a girl loses the ice cream off her cone. Finally, in a large hall (complete with stage lights), older kids are testing their techniques as they work on a skit involving an angry cowboy and a shoot-out in a Western bar.“Finally! Some dramatic deaths!” exclaims Tharon Garber, director of Holy Family’s summer theater camp that’s now in its third year. “Your dying is getting better every time you do it.”These campers — from first to eighth grade — are getting a weeklong taste of life in the limelight, but it’s not only students from the South Pasadena school who are busting their chops. This year, students from Holy Family’s sister school, Dolores Mission in Boyle Heights, are joining in the theater fun and games, thanks to a grant from Wells Fargo & Company and other donors that provide transportation and scholarships for students to sing, dance, act, improv and make friends in three one-week sessions.For Garber, this unique combination of students is just another step in bringing performing arts to communities and schools that don’t offer dramatic programs to youth — an experience, he says, that can be life-changing.In fact, over the past three years, Holy Family has invited Dolores Mission students — free of charge, again with financial help from Wells Fargo — to attend their annual spring musical as a field trip which includes transportation, meals and treats for 230. At this year’s Holy Family production of “Beauty and the Beast,” Wells Fargo representatives announced the summer drama camp scholarships. Jumping at the chance, 25 students signed up for the program with 15 supported by Wells Fargo and the rest through other donors. Eighth grader Michelle Fuentes said she hoped she could attend all three sessions. “I love to sing and dance, and I wanted to try acting which is something new for me,” she said. “Everyone here has been so friendly and it’s really fun.”Fellow classmate Leslie Patntoja said she wanted to join in because “I am trying not to be so shy. I think this will be good for me.”Trying on different personalities has been entertaining for seventh grader Anabriana Lizarraga who is excited about rehearsing the number she will be doing with her fellow Dolores Mission classmates — “Telephone Hour” from Bye Bye Birdie. “It’s been really fun to practice,” she says.Wells Fargo has a longstanding relation with Dolores Mission and, according to David DiCristofaro, president of the Greater Los Angeles region. “[We] applaud the schools’ ability to work together with the community to offer young people safety, stability and a quality education in a nurturing environment. Education in the performing arts will help these young leaders throughout their lives.”“For many of our children the performing arts are something they wish they could participate in more often, but our school just doesn’t have the budget or resources to provide,” said Karina Moreno Corgan, Dolores Mission principal. “This is an incredible opportunity for two different worlds to come together. A lot of our kids never have seen theater or a live performance until they came to Holy Family. This is learning for them in a different capacity.”While the summer program has been well-received and full, Garber has even bigger dreams. A parent at the school, he started volunteering at Holy Family when his job was downsized in 2009. He gravitated toward the performing arts, offering his talents to create the summer camp.Today, with the camp being successful, Garber has a new idea: create a Theater in a Truck which would bring performance art classes, camps, workshops to schools that don’t offer such programs. “Skills that you learn from theatre can translate easily to other disciplines,” he explained, adding that today many business colleges require their students to take acting classes. “Anytime you can tap into that creative part of you, you discover new things about what you can do and who you are,” he said of the theatrical process. “Plus, the welcoming nature of theatre people really cuts across all ethnic, economic and cultural boundaries. You are all in it together — to put on a show and be the best you can be.”After the campers take a 15-mintue “banana break,” they assemble in the big hall to rehearse a show-stopping tune, “I Will Follow Him” an old top-40 song more recently made famous by the movie and stage play “Sister Act.” It’s the first time they are doing it without their sheet music. Singers follow the choreographers who are in front of them, and with joyously blended voices, they raise their arms, clap their hands and sing. No acting here; these kids are really having the time of their lives.{gallery width=100 height=100}gallery/2013/0712/sgtheater/{/gallery}