There was pre-show pandemonium in the dressing room — really, the computer room —as children and youths prepared to stage "High School Musical" Friday, culminating the Roosevelt Recreation Center 2012 Performing Arts Camp in Hampden.
"I guess it's time to start," center director Joshua Fissel told Bella Coleman, 10, a local girl who served as stage assistant.
"Let's go," Bella urged.
Cell phone cameras were out in force in the crowded multipurpose room as parents from around the region, who paid $650 for the 7-week, 5-day-a-week summer camp, watched their children perform songs from the hit Disney movie of 2006.
The young performers stood in front of a screen showing the same musical numbers from the original movie that spawned two sequels.
Rodrick Brown, 11, of Mondawmin, participating in his fourth camp, was featured in one number prominently, backed by a bevy of girls.
"He likes to be the leader," his mother whispered.
The children, ages five to 14, learned a lot at the camp, including how to act and sing, and came away with "the admiration of their peers," said Fissel, who has organized the camps for six years, first at a Southwest Baltimore rec center and then at Roosevelt.
Alyson Cavazos, 9, who attends Federal Hill Preparatory School, said the most fun part of the camp was "learning all the dances."
Rushaad Hayward, 14, a freshman at the Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, said he signed up because he needed service learning hours at school. On Friday, he was a member of the stage crew.
"I had a lot of fun," he said.