‘A Quick 5′ With Karma Camp

Karma Camp is one of the busiest people in the area. She is an award-winning choreographer whose work has been seen at pretty much every big theatre in the DC area. She currently has Parade running at Fords Theatre. Karma is Resident Choreographer for Shakespeare Theatre Company as well as having choreographed many productions at Signature Theatre. As if that is not enough – she also works for Disney cruise lines. Dang!!!

What was your first professional job as a choreographer?

I was fortunate enough to assist A Chorus Legend, Baayork Lee on a couple of different projects with the Washington Opera. My first project as a professional choreographer was for Kim Peter Kovak and Deirdre Lavrakas with their previous company, Paradise Island Express. Right after that, I choreographed a couple of episodes for All My Children – which I also acted on!

Had you been a dancer prior to becoming a choreographer?

Yes, I was trained for A Chorus Line (international tours) with my mentor, Baayork Lee. I was also offered summer replacement by Violet Holmes – then Artistic Director of the Rockettes. I danced in the world premiere of Goya – pulling Placido Domingo with me on stage, and danced in a now defunct company called, Dance Workshop.

What are some of your favorite productions that you have worked on?

A Taste of Tennessee – Inaugural Gala for Vice President, Al Gore. At Signature Theatre: Cabaret, Kiss of the Spider Woman, The Witches of Eastwick and Urinetown. At Ford’s Theatre: Parade (now running) and Little Shop of Horrors. At Arena Stage: The Cocoanuts (I was a*s’t to Baayork Lee). At Kennedy Center: NSO Galas. At Lincoln Center: NY Philharmonic Gala with Marvin Hamlisch. At The Shakespeare Theatre Company: Volpone with Pat Carroll. On Broadway: The Graduate with Kathleen Turner. For PBS: In Performance at the White House: The Motown Sound, and 25 commercials for the cell phone company Amena in Europe.

What are the differences in choreographing for a theme park or cruise ship over a regular show?

D A N C E R S. We have very few in the DC area that sing and dance. It’s a challenge. My theme park and cruise ship shows have been for Disney and I love them! The budgets are higher than any other theatrical show, and the support and number of people involved is enormous. I can’t say enough wonderful things about the people at Disney. The caliber of designers, talent and support is nothing less than fabulous!

What else do you have lined up for the current season?

Next up: Boys from Syracuse at Shakespeare Theatre, Hairspray at Signature alongside my daughter, Brianne, Christmas Show with Marvin Hamlisch in Pittsburgh, and Aladdin for Disney Cruise Line (flying to Germany to bring their new ship The Fantasy across the Atlantic). I’m also very proud of this. My daughter, Brianne, will be assisting me again.