Guest Blogger Blog - Katrina!

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Hello Acting Manitou friends and family!!!

This is Katrina, your friendly neighborhood bunk counselor, lifeguard, and costume technician! And may I just say Happy Spring!  To my fellow North Easterners and I, it seemed like warm weather was never coming, but it has finally started to feel like summer is on its way.

For many of us this time of year means Spring shows!  I personally just finished up a production of Peter and the Starcatcher, where I played Mrs. Bumbrake and used a familiar pair of red bloomers Zara and I made this past summer for our season!  It was so wonderful to revisit such a fun and adventurous show that holds so many warm memories for me.  One of the things I love most about theatre is the ability for shows to feel like old friends, and that we can revisit them time and time again.  Some shows stay with us because of our cast, those friendly faces we see everyday, that we open our minds and imaginations with to create amazing works of art. Sometimes it’s a role that opened our eyes to new possibilities and taught us a different way of looking at a situation.  Sometimes it’s the script or music itself, a line or lyric that just sounds right and echoes in our minds every so often.  No matter what it is, there’s something about each and every show I’ve worked on, in whatever capacity, that has taught me new things and sticks with me as I grow and develop as a theatre artist.  Our own, personal theatre histories are a treasure that we must take care of and cherish throughout our lives.  A large part of my studies as college this year have been towards theatre history, and learning all about where we come from as artists.  Just like knowing who your ancestors were and where they came from, thespians have their very own heritage that stretches back to the dawn of man.  I’ve spent the past two semesters studying some of the greatest playwrights we know: William Shakespeare, George Bernard Shaw, Henrik Ibsen, and Eugene O'Neill just to name a few.  I’ve also made it a personal mission of mine to read at least one play by each of the playwrights our cabins are named after!  If anyone would like to join me on this task, please jump in and send me some suggestions- we can even make a little book club out of it!

Theatre artists are some of the strongest people in the world!  And every step we take- be it auditioning, performing, writing, sewing, building, designing, or anything else under the sun- is unimaginably important to our future as a community and as a world, and I encourage everyone to find something you’re passionate about, and let the joy of that shine through in every step you take.  And as always, Take Joy In All You Do.

 

Guest Blogger Blog - Zack!

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Hi Acting Manitou friends!

I think about the Acting Manitou mission statement all year long (if it’s been a while since you read it, I highly recommend you read it again!), but this week I’ve been thinking particularly about one phrase in it: “make lifelong friends.”

This idea kept popping into my head this week because I was working on Here Be Dragons again. The show had its world premiere at Acting Manitou in 2012, with music by John McGrew and book by Steve Borowka, and then I directed it at college in 2016. This year, it was the musical at Friends Seminary, featuring lots of veteran Manitou campers!

As we worked on the show, I was often reminded of the lifelong friendships we make doing theater – the Manitou friends who came to see my production at college, including two of the cast members from the original production; the campers who are now counselors and saw the Friends production; and the new friends I made on this third production. Though camp is only in session during the summer, our friendships keep it alive all year long.

Keep being a good friend to all, and the Acting Manitou family will be your lifelong friends!

Till this summer,

Zack

Guest Blogger Blog - Sam

Dearest Acting Manitou Friends and Family,

I hope you are all having a wonderful year and last couple of months before we (finally!!) arrive at camp for yet another incredible summer filled with theater, magic, love, and sunshine. Around this time each year is when I start to get a little extra excited about camp – the trees and flowers start budding, the sunsets come later, the snow starts melting, and the temperatures start rising. Typically, at this time the planner in me tends to launch into overdrive, beginning to format a packing list in Excel and keep a running chart of all the things I need to accomplish before I make my way up to the great state of Maine. In all honesty, starting these things now may seem a little excessive, but it’s also the way I have been for as long as I can remember.

As we barrel towards staff orientation and the start of camp, I try to take time to remember that the ideals of Acting Manitou can be (and should be!) carried on throughout our entire year and the rest of our lives. It is still just as important to take joy in all you do outside of camp. I know that for me, I try to find the joy and delight in everything each day. Even if my day consists of just sitting in the café at school with my friend Victoria, I find the bits of joy in our conversation, the silence we sometimes sit in as we get schoolwork done, and the frequent visitors of the other theater majors in the department. For spring break this year, my group of six other friends and I went to Myrtle Beach for some much needed relaxation and rejuvenation. We stayed at a resort on the beach and got massages, relaxed by the pool, and we even went to Build a Bear (those of you at camp this summer will have the pleasure of meeting my bear, Charlie). Throughout the week, I took joy in each and every activity we participated in (just because I am terrible at mini golf, doesn’t mean it couldn’t be full of smiles and laughter). By using that week to let joy into my life, I also let the joy heal my soul, and I haven’t felt this relaxed and happy since I left camp last summer. It is imperative that we all look for the joy in our lives outside of our close knit circle in the woods of Maine. I hope you all take this thought into consideration in these last three months before we are all reunited in Maine together, and throughout the rest of your lives.

I can’t wait to see you all again. And to those of you I won’t see, know that I keep a piece of your joy with me all the time.

All my love and sunshine,

Sam “Hot Wheels” Wheeler