BWW Blog: At Acting Manitou, Theatre Camp is More Creativity, Less Drama
Perhaps you've seen a movie about teens going away for the summer to put on shows in the idyllic setting of theater camp. If so, you are most likely familiar with a plot about doing whatever it takes to shine solo in the spotlight. But in 2019, theatre camps have to reflect a deepening sensitivity to what young adults need in order to balance ever intensifying pressures during the rest of the year.
Centered around a program that encourages working with an ensemble, inclusive and diverse storytelling and radical self-expression by campers and staff alike, Acting Manitou is entering its 17th Summer with a deepening commitment to their campers and families. Producing 10 shows a summer, split over two three-week sessions, campers at Acting Manitou take part in one of three tracks: performance, tech and music. Each camper becomes an integral part of making the visiting day festival of shows a reality for family and friends who come to enjoy their day of theatre in the beautiful foothills of Maine.
Recent shows have included Be More Chill, Tuck Everlasting, Chicago, The Addams Family and other musical favorites. Campers may also be cast in plays that range from Greek tragedy to Shakespeare to original works written by alumni of the program specifically for Acting Manitou. Past years have seen devised works based on The Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland, a process that allowed campers to be both actors and writers in an original piece they created over the three week session.
This year's two festivals are not yet announced but are shaping up to include more original works as well as crowd favorites. But most importantly Acting Manitou is working with its artistic staff, including Broadway performers as well as international theatre makers, to make sure that it reflects a more well-rounded group of playwrights than what one sees on the top 10 list of high school plays.
Acting Manitou is also committed to carrying through on their promise of community not just during the six weeks in Maine, but year-round as well. This year they have launched a new podcast that is gathering stories from alumni and friends of the camp, including Ethan Slater (Broadway's Spongebob Squarepants The Musical) who appears on one of this month's episode.
All of the attention to planning for 2019 and keeping campers connected throughout the year is an effort towards building a community of young artists who create work that reflective of their experiences and their ideas. The goal is that those who experience what Acting Manitou has to offer take the values they learn there, inspiration, creativity, community and joy, and find them popping up in their everyday lives at school and with family.
To find about more about how you or your child can be a part of Acting Manitou's 17th summer you can request more information here.