Blog: July 21st, 2018

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Good morning all!

It's crazy to realize that we've arrived at show day! These past three weeks have truly flown by. I'm so sad that this session is coming to a close, yet so unbelievably excited about the shows! Yesterday was dress rehearsal day, which is probably my favorite day of the session. On dress rehearsal day, the entire camp gets to watch all 5 shows. It's a jam-packed day, but a day that is so inspirational and wonderful to witness and be a part of.

The day started with The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, which had the audience laughing hysterically at the excuberant characters, and toe-tapping along to the catchy numbers. We then journeyed to the big amphitheater to watch a not-your-grandmother's-adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. This version was quick-paced, silly, and lively, bringing a new life to the Jane Austen classic. After some lunch (chicken cordon bleu, Steve's favorite, in honor of his birthday!) we time traveled back to the 1970's to watch Much Ado About Nothing! This version was filled with dance breaks and bell bottoms, which was a surprise twist on the Shakespeare classic. After Much Ado About Nothing we gathered to watch a brand new installment to our performance days, our first ever CIT showcase! The CIT showcase gives our fabulous and talented CIT's a chance to perform any piece of their choosing, from monologues, to songs, to tap dancing! Our CITs are so special to us, and it was a joy to watch them shine while performing pieces that they are passionate about. We then broke for dinner, and then finished the night with our remaining two shows! First we watched Tuck Everlasting, a beautiful show that is heartwarming and touching; the themes of family and friendship hit particularly close to home for us. Lastly we went out to the mini amphitheater to watch She Kills Monsters, a real life version of Dungeons and Dragons! Well, almost. The show is filled with elaborate and intense stage combat battles and duels, but also has themes of family and acceptance.

It was a spectacular day, and it was amazing to see everyone's hard work pay off. Everyone is so talented, and it was a joy to see everyone thrive in their roles and shows. I can't wait to see all of the shows again today, and to hopefully meet some of you!

For those of you coming to camp today, I can't wait for you to see these shows! For those of you who sadly cannot attend, I know you'll be with us in spirit!

Signing off for the final time this session,

Margie

Blog: July 20th, 2018

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Happy early morning! It’s Spencer once again, returning for my final first session blog. Yesterday was our final day of tech and all five of the shows took exciting steps forward in preparation for dress rehearsals and show day. 

We kicked the morning off with some blueberry pancakes and then most of the shows headed into a tech run-through or morning rehearsal. I’m the choreographer for Spelling Beeso I headed off to our run-through in the theater. We were very lucky to have a small audience in our rehearsal, comprised partly of some friends from Tuck Everlastingwho were on their morning off. The rest of the house featured campers and counselors from our friends across the woods at Camp Manitou. By complete coincidence they also put on Spelling Beethis summer, so their cast came by to watch our version. They were an engaged and vocal audience, which was much appreciated by our performers, who found the opportunity to breathe new life into the show.

After some mac and cheese for lunch and some ping pong at downtime, rehearsals continued and the cast of She Kills Monsters put in some time cleaning camp (a very welcome help before friends arrive on Saturday!). After pool time and a delicious dinner of haddock and brownies for dessert, the casts of Tuck and She Kills Monstersgot their shot at a final tech rehearsal. While the SKMfolks got a late start so they could work in the darkness outside, the Tuckcast was in for a surprise: like their Spelling Beecounterparts they were treated to a full audience. This time it was our neighbors from the new camp down the road, Camp Somerset. We had over 60 (!) campers see the run-through and judging by the raucous applause after each musical number, they had a blast. 

We finished the day with a long-standing tradition: a campfire up in the woods. After gathering our sweatshirts and bug spray, we headed up to a fire started by our maintenance man extraordinaire, Darren. Once everyone had arrived, our CITs were given the opportunity to speak to the camp, whether it be to reflect on their experience this session, to share an insight from their years at camp, or to talk about how they will bring the Acting Manitou mission out into the world. It was a lovely, relaxing end to a long day and we headed back to the bunks to rest up for dress rehearsal day. 

Check back in tomorrow to hear about one of the most exciting days of camp!

-Spencer

Blog: July 19th, 2018

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Hello Acting Manitou Family & Friends! 

We’re at full speed here at camp as we take our tech week by storm and prepare our 5 fantastic shows for you all to enjoy this weekend. Our second day was a success, as we again followed our new schedule of 3 tech periods of the day, in which casts rehearse for two of them and are off for the other. Some rehearsal and tech rooms opened their doors to an audience for the first time, like the cast of Spelling Bee, so they could start getting a feel of what the show will be like with real audience participation! As I walk around camp through all the different performance venues, it is inspiring to see all of the hard work and joy that each camper is putting into their roles, onstage and off. I’m also blown away by our incredible sets, beautiful costumes, and dazzling lights that our talented tech team has been working tirelessly on. I can’t wait until we open our doors for you all to see, too! 

In the evening when the last rehearsals and tech periods came to an end, we had a surprise treat: Klondike bars! After nibbling on the tasty, late night dessert, Justin and Jeremy read the campers some Shell Silverstein poems for power down before bed. Our CITS, however, gathered in the lounge with some members of our staff for our traditional CIT Roundtable. We shared with the campers what we did post high school and talked about the various paths we have gone on educationally and professionally. The floor was opened up to the CITs to ask about college, studying theatre, and transitioning into the “real world.”  I found myself even wanting to take notes from some of our staff members as they imparted wisdom and shared life advice with the campers. After the discussion, we all went to bed to gear up for one last day of tech. 

It’s all coming together so quickly! Can’t wait for you to get here. See you soon! 

Kyra :)

Blog: July 18th, 2018

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Hey AM Family!

Yesterday was a bit rainy and cold outside, which was a welcome reprieve from the heat we’ve experienced lately.  There’s nothing like getting cozy in a large sweatshirt and curling up in our comfy cabins.  Besides—a little rain can’t get us down, for yesterday was the first day of tech!

Tech rehearsals are busy for everyone here on camp—production staff, artistic staff, counselors, and campers alike are in overdrive in order to make sure the shows are the best they can be for our upcoming Festival Day this weekend.  Tech days are divided into three rehearsal periods, and each show rehearses for two out of those three rehearsals.  They are busy days, but it is always so rewarding when all aspects of a production—the actors, the design, the effects—come together to create a cohesive piece of theater.

In the morning, the cast of Spelling Bee did a tech run in the theater.  They were able to work through the whole show with full lights, sets, and costumes. It’s looking great and those kids are a riot!  In the afternoon, Much Ado About Nothing got to work in the theater.  If you listened closely, you could hear the 70s music thumping from the theater all throughout campus.  In the evening, after a hearty dinner of veggies and chicken, we resumed tech rehearsals.  Casts that were not rehearsing in the evening, had a great time doing some arts and crafts with our Evening Activities team.  By the end of the day, the campers were quite tired, but fulfilled from a busy day of rehearsing and prepping for our shows.

That’s all for now! The Ping Pong tables are afire right now from our annual Ping Pong Tournament.  I’m going to go checkout the competition.

-Justin

Blog: July 17th, 2018

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Good morning everyone!

I hope all is going well with you all back at the home front. It seems like just yesterday was camper arrival day, and now we have reached our final week of first session! Yesterday we had our last "normal" day of activities before we head into tech week. The campers had a double dose of rehearsal, allowing them to polish their performances and perfect their show. The campers have been working so tirelessly on their performances, and it is so exciting to see how far these shows have come in such a short period of time. After spending the morning rehearsing, we enjoyed lunch and then some downtime, and then dove right back into rehearsal!

We had an early dinner in order to leave for the evening activity, which was (drumroll please).... BOWLING! Campers and staff took some time away from campus to head out to Central Maine Bowling for a night of games and fun! Whether you were like camper Danica who got two strikes in a row, or someone like myself who found their ball in the gutter more often than not, it was still an enjoyable, high energy night for all. Campers were able to play in the arcade as well, racking up tickets to buy toys like barbies and stuffed animals, and candy! After battling it out at the lanes, campers were treated to ice cream at Gifford's, paid for by camp! Gifford's is a staple here in Maine, and campers (and myself) enjoyed indulging in some of their iconic flavors, such as Muddy Boots and Pink Peppermint Stick. It was a nice (and delicious!) treat after a busy day of activities. It was also one last final hoorah before tech week begins, and all of our focus is directed on the shows. I for certain can't wait to see all of the incredible shows this Saturday!

Until next time,

Margie