A Day with Camp Creamery
July 19, 2017
Last Wednesday I got the opportunity to sit in and experience a day with Camp Creamery. Camp Creamery is a week long summer workshop for children who are interested in exploring theatre. Through Camp Creamery, children get the chance to learn from professional actors from the Old Creamery Theatre while rehearsing and presenting a play. On the third day of the week, the children get to do a work-through of the whole show after spending Monday and Tuesday learning all the scenes, songs, and choreography for their roles. This is the first opportunity for them to see how the entire show will fit together while they continue memorizing their lines and movements. After only two days of rehearsal, I could already see real talent shining from these kids.
I remember going to Camp Creamery myself about ten years ago, but seeing a rehearsal now was a whole different experience. The show I was watching come together was “Little Red Meets the Wolves.” It’s the traditional story of Little Red Riding Hood, but with a few added twists and turns and the added prospect of some delicious Grandma’s cooking at the end! The children are divided into smaller acting troupes (bunnies, wolves, woodcutters, and townspeople), and they get to bring these parts to life next to three professional actors.
This is a very talented group of kids. Seeing as it was only day three of this show for the kids, I expected there to be lots of bumps in the show. What I wasn’t expecting was how much they would remember already. Sure, there were plenty of moments where the children would be looking around, unsure of themselves. However, there were also always a few kids who remembered what came next, and they would help lead the way. Best of all, when the kids were confident in their parts and performed without being timid, all of their faces would light up as they embraced the crazy roles.
What shocked me the most about this group of kids was their focus. The Camp leaders do a great job of holding the kids’ attention when they are on stage or learning something new, but what really impressed me was how focused the kids were when they were not on stage. Of course there were a few moments that this focus waivered and they had to be told to be quiet, but mostly the kids would be looking in their scripts learning lines or following along when they were sitting and waiting for their turn.
I only got to see the kids on one day and from one camp, but I think this sample is a good representation for how Camp Creamery has been going so far. Camp Creamery has already visited six other communities in June, and they will work with a total of sixteen groups of up to 60 young actors this summer. The shows are fun and engaging, the leaders are encouraging, and the kids that are signed up are excited and willing to learn new things. I can’t wait to see how the kids improve in just a few days for their final performance. Seeing what it was like on day three, I know it’ll be a great performance!