BWW Blog: Eric Jackson of Transcendence Theatre's 'Broadway Under the Stars - 'I Want to Believe That I Can Achieve What I Dream'
Transcendence Blog: Eric Jackson - Transcendence's Fantastical Family Night
"I want to believe that I can achieve what I dream..."Two mainstage shows gone. Even with weeks of fully well lived days, if I blink my eye then the summer will be completely over. This really occurred to me this past weekend when the curtain came down on our Fantastical Family Night Concert. That event not only marked the end of our second (out of four) scheduled Broadway Under the Stars concert series, but it also was the end of a very special week working with over 50 students at our Transcendence Kid's Camp. Major kudos go out to all of the performers hired on the Fantastical Family Night contract. These performers do the most work in the shortest amount of time in the season. But honestly, I think it's also the most rewarding show too. Let me break it down for you. All of the professional artists hired to perform in Fantastical Family Night are truly hired to do two major tasks. The first task occurs in the first week when, as in any rehearsal process, artists learn all the music, choreography, and staging for the Fantastical Family Night Show. But the second week, which normally is spent just having tech and dress rehearsals onstage at the park, is actually spent being camp teachers at our Kid's Camp in the daytime and then teching the show at night! You can imagine all the overwhelming feeling of accomplishment that rushes over you once everything is done. The magic of all this is that somehow it all comes together. This year, even with a few injuries within our cast, an illness, and a last minute put-in for the ever talented and very game Jessica Lee Coffman, our concert came together. And after only 4 days of Transcendence Kid's Camp, our students performed their numbers within the show, sang their original songs and even performed solos during the pre-show picnic. Whew! My friend, Scott Barnhardt, and I had the pleasure of returning as Co-Directors of the Fantastical Family Night concert after having a great time putting together the same show in the 2014 season. This time we set out to create a completely different experience from the year before. But we also aimed to keep the elements of whimsy, magic, and self discovery within the line-up since we felt that they were necessary ingredients. As with the Kid's Camp, we thought it would also be important to continue the conversation of validating everyone's dreams. There is something to the idea that we all have the ability to stand in our own greatness and shine bright like a star. And if we all work together, each and every one of us shining just as bright, we have the ability to light up the sky. So we came up with a way to put this idea into action at the end of the show. We had all of the Kid's Campers decorate and write their dreams onto white paper bags. We then put LED lights into each of them so that they turned into luminaries. For the finale of our concert, we artists performed "Just One Person" from the SNOOPY! THE MUSICAL holding our own luminaries. The song started sweetly with Liz Kimball and then was joined by Stephan Stubbins who sang the lyrics: "If just one person believes in you,
Deep enough, and strong enough, believes in you...
Hard enough, and long enough,
It stands to reason, that someone else will think
"If he can do it, I can do it.
Making it: two whole people, who believe in you..."
Fly to the moon, sing your own tune, do the extreme!" -Transcendence Kid's Camp 2015 original song, "Do the Extreme"
Until next time,
Eric Jackson p.s.. - If you were handed a luminary right now...what would YOU put down as your personal dream?!
Kids Camper Performance
Luminaries in Action
Kurt Domoney, Shannon O'Bryan and Dylan Smith
Nicole Mangi and Hannah Agnostou
First Day of Camp