“In sweet music is such an art.” -Henry VIII, III.1

This session’s campers are a musical group.  Certainly for the musicians at camp (and for some of our young ladies), Monday’s music workshop with ASC actor Gregory John Phelps was a camp highlight.  Greg has helped with camp for years, and his music workshop traditionally (as it did this year) generates a new, original song from our campers.  I had some eyes in the room to help me capture the talent, fun, and musicality of our campers.  Here is a video of the original song one group produced in less than an hour, with Greg’s guidance.

They are a musical, talented bunch.  Spencer, Abe, and Dan on those strings, Holland and Katie keeping the beat, Rachel and Evie at the 88 keys, and voices coming together with harmony and strength really makes one feel that “in sweet music is such an art.”

-Kayla Blue, camp intern

“We’ll measure them a measure and be gone.” -Romeo and Juliet, I.4

My favorite part of camp, the dance masterclass, took place this week.  The workshop began with a dance party that ultimately led the campers into a discussion and analysis of movement and music and how closely they are related.  Campers brought up outstanding concerns about staging a dance on the Blackfriars Playhouse stage, such as: how to hear spoken lines over music and dancing, the demand that the dance cannot prevent or impede the spoken lines, and that Shakespeare’s plays are chock full of embedded stage directions that impose certain demands on his scenes.  These demands both help and hinder the staging possibilities.  Finally, the campers had only minutes to produce a dance that operated within a scene from one of Shakespeare’s plays which took into consideration all of the aforementioned concerns.  The outcome delighted. I took pictures and pictures of our campers dancing, but what I really am excited about sharing with you are the videos of the final scenes they produced.

And that’s just what I’m going to do. The camp was divided into four groups of nine. Keep in mind, these campers had eight minutes to familiarize themselves with these pieces of text, create a concept that could be realized in a show, and begin choreographing the dance to correspond with the text.  The scenes they worked with came from Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. 

I hope you enjoy seeing these bright, energetic campers at work. Shoo-bop-shoo-bop-shoo-bop!

-Kayla Blue, camp intern

Camp Life: ImprovOlympics

Last night, 35 campers competed in the ImprovOlympics.  They weren’t tumbling, swimming, cycling, ice dancing, curling, or doing any of our favorite Olympic games sports, but instead competed in Time Jump, Questions Only, and Slideshow.  On six teams the campers battled wits, immediacy, and comic timing; the result: entertainment galore!

Some highly silly things were taking place last night. Such as…

Jake birthed a lion cub.

Jake birthed a lion cub.

Kaya plotted creepily.

Kaya plotted creepily.

Nula used Phoenix to jackhammer the streets of Vienna until Sarah showed up.  Abe tagged along.

Nula used Phoenix to jackhammer the streets of Vienna until Sarah showed up. Abe tagged along.

Kirsten, as Andrew, directed Cassius and Brutus (Holland and Ellis).

Kirsten, as Andrew, directed Cassius and Brutus (Holland and Ellis).

Rachel turned into a zombie...

Rachel turned into a zombie…

Maren led the group in pagan rituals.

Maren led the group in pagan rituals.

Jake and Dan were Jake and Dan.

Jake and Dan were Jake and Dan.

Evie instructed ballet.

Evie instructed ballet.

Clifford, Spencer, Kat, and Ella cheered on the teams.

Clifford, Spencer, Kat, and Ella cheered on the teams.

After the sun set, Sidney and Grace clicked through the pictures of their vacation.

After the sun set, Sidney and Grace clicked through the pictures of their vacation.

And Clifford found new reasons to stick his tongue out.

And Clifford found new reasons to stick his tongue out.

Laughs and memories of last night will be shared with our campers and staff for a long time.  They are a wild and crazy bunch and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

-Kayla Blue, camp intern

A Lakeside Day

Sunday is fun day at ASCTC.  In the place of workshops, classes, and rehearsals where we work hard, we sleep in, take field trips, and play hard at camp life activities.  Last Sunday, on a comfortably air-conditioned cozy Quick’s bus the campers headed Southeast from Staunton to Sherando Lake.

The campers and staff enjoyed time swimming, reading, hiking, playing games, and generally enjoyed the beautiful day.

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Randi is ready for the water!

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(L-R) Emma, Bridget, Sarah, Evie, Courtney, and Sidney enjoy the great outdoors.

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(Clockwise) Sofia, Phoenix, Rebecca, and Macy picnic in the woods.  The lunch fare was good-ole traditional American campin’ food: hotdogs, cole slaw, pasta salad, pulled pork BBQ, and potato chips (and veggie burgers for our non-meat-inclined campers!).

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Phil and Counselor Paul recount their hiking experience to those of us (not pictured) reading by the lake.

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Abraham and Ellis play Frisbee.  They were courteous enough to shorten their game so that I could snap a shot of them both in the frame.  I think I even got the Frisbee in a cameo.

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Ahh! For some campers getting a tan was on their list for the lake trip.  This group of swimmers and sunbathers posed for a picture at my request.  Such accommodating campers we have! Can you find Bobby?

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Hello Katie, Counselor Chloe, and Maren!

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At the end of the day, we gathered to come back to Staunton but not until this group photo was snapped. Our thanks to Geoff and Henry for all their help making this lovely day come together.

-Kayla Blue, camp intern

New Friends at Camp

It may go without saying that our campers are making lasting friendships while at camp. However, yesterday, I ran into some campers who found some new friends of a different variety.  Our camp home, the campus of Mary Baldwin College, is also home to these two new friends:

(L-R) Maeve, Val, and Ella pet the calico campus cat.  We don't have a name for him yet, but I propose Tybalt, who is the prince of cats.

(L-R) Maeve, Val, and Ella pet the calico campus cat. We don’t have a name for her yet, but I propose Tybalt, who is the prince of cats.

Ella befriended this grasshopper.  No names yet proposed or dubbed yet.

Ella befriended this grasshopper. No names yet proposed or dubbed.

What can I say? ASC theatre camp is so fun that even the cats and insects want to join in.  This weekend’s trip to Sherando Lake will certainly offer more opportunities for our flora and fauna-loving campers to delight in the wonders of nature.  For after all, “one touch of nature makes the whole world kin.” –Troilus and Cressida III.3.

-Kayla Blue, camp intern

A Very Merry Unbirthday to Ella!

Today is her unbirthday, for yesterday was camper Ella’s sweet sixteenth birthday.  The camp staff surprised Ella at dinner with balloons, treats, and a personal birthday cupcake. We had to wrangle the campers to stick around at dinner long enough to surprise and sing to her, but with some great help and sneakiness, I think we succeeded.

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“But then there was a star danced, and under that was I born.” –Much Ado About Nothing II.1
That quote certainly came to mind last night.  Indeed, I imagine many stars dance over the birthday of this talented, sweet young lady. The happiest of birthdays to you, Ella, and thank you for celebrating with us here at ASCTC.
-Kayla Blue, camp intern