The temperatures and humidity are here, our 46th season has ended with another rip-roaring production of Voices in the Mirror, and that means ... summer camps!
Summer camps are one of my favorite times of the year (but when you work at The Theater Project, what time of year isn't your favorite time of year?). But camps are special; spending most of your day in the theater, producing shows in only two weeks, LOTS of theater (and other) games - Stone Lions, anyone? Always my fav. - and more.
Our summer camp season kicked off last week with "Mystery Solvers Agency" - our first camp for 6 - 8 year olds. My rocking co-teachers and I had an energetic group of 22 kids who were more than ready to explore the theater, solve mysteries, and develop some foundational theater skills. We solved mysteries like what my favorite animal is (raccoon) and how old Maggie is (16 - though we had some great guesses from 8 to 43). Throughout the week we worked on using our bodies (no words!) to express something to the audience - either a gesture, emotion, picture, anything our imaginations could come up with - as well as working together as a team to create an original story.
We talked about our primary ground rule "respect" - respecting each other, teachers and campers alike, respecting the building, and one suggestion from a camper that I've never heard before but I LOVE: respecting the audience. We talked about how respecting the audience meant not goofing off during a performance and giving the best performance you can because they've come to see a great show and when we goof off and ruin the magical illusion of theater that can be disrespectful to our audience. Isn't that great? One of the best things about working with children is when we learn new things.
And of course, summer camps give us adults and teachers a time and place to let our imaginations loose a little bit and get into the spirit of the season. Like below, where we teachers couldn't help but put some costumes on (it looked like too much fun!).
Happy summer everyone!