24 Years of Nothing But Drama! Camp Equinox Comes Into Its 24th Year of Theatre Camp!
Camp Equinox, Bozeman's oldest and biggest theatre day camp got their start back in 1996 at Headwaters Academy. From 50 campers that first year, Camp Equnox has grown to 300 kids over two sessions, now held at Bozeman Summit School.
"We really believe in creating community first, and nurturing campers to become amazing young people. Theatre and comedy are just terrific ways to do it," says Co-Camp Director Soren Kisiel.
Kisiel and his wife Katie Goodman do everything together. They built the camp, ran what is now the Verge Theatre (under the previous name The Equinox Theatre) for over 12 years, co-write and direct the nationally touring professional satire company Broad Comedy which last year ran Off-Broadway.
You may have seen them in Spontaneous Combusibles, the improv comedy troupe that has performed at Sweetpea for 23 years running, that they founded. They met in a play at college, and have never stopped working to teach and create new theatre since. They were even nominated for a MacArthur Genius Award for their unique work in theatre.
Living in New York, they know the ins and outs of the professional theatre and comedy improv world. They know what it takes to be a creative person in this day and age, and they have found that expressing themselves through comedy is powerful. But they also know how to put process over product when it matters. While the professional theatre scene can be quite cut throat at times, it's important, they say, to remember why you got into the creative arts to begin with.
"The community that is built creating theatre is one of the most enlivening and empowering things in my life," Goodman says. "I get so much joy out of creating a character and connecting with other actors to bring a show to life. It's magical. I learned this when I was a kid doing theatre and now we want to create a safe place where kids support each other and feel really proud of both the creative work they are capable of doing, but also of the friendships and culture that they are a part of. Loving theatre is one thing, but loving your buddies and helping them be their best is really what matters."
Empowering kids to feel self-confident is what matters most to the Camp Equinox staff. And it's what matters, it seems, to parents of campers too, who keep sending their kids back year after year.
"Our son dropped a little gem on us at dinner one night last summer," said one parent who wished to remain anonymous so as not to embarrass her pre-teen. "We asked how his day was and he said that he had forgotten how great it was at Camp Equinox where he could totally be himself versus how stressful school was where you had to be cool all the time. The 'aha' moment was the realization that it just might be better to be your real self than to be "cool." This was the best news a parent of a pre-teen could hear."
Camp Equinox offers two separate month-long sessions for kids going into grades 1 - 8. Camp runs from 8:30 - 3:30 (except Fridays which end at noon). A fiesta of learning includes acting, musical theatre, comedy improvisation, Shakespeare, dance, puppetry, play writing, hip-hop, costume and set design, and much, much more.
The Camp Scholarship program offers varying scholarship amounts to families in need. These are financial need-based awards. Camp Equinox has never turned anyone away with a financial need based on national income guidelines. Please call for a scholarship application.
Camp Equinox culminates in a giant final performance at the end of camp for family and friends. They are also featured in the Sweetpea Festival and Farmer's Markets every year performing a smattering of their favorite musical numbers.
For more information or to receive a brochure, please call 406-522-7623 or go to the website at www.campequinox.com where you can get more information as well as download and printout a registration form.