Every year Acting Manitou produces two festivals of shows in the beautiful foothills of Oakland, Maine. Each festival caps off three weeks of hard work on the part of the campers and staff. Performance and Music Campers work on their respective shows (each is cast in a show early on in the session) and the Tech Campers work on building, designing and producing festival as a whole.
Each festival day is designed to take the audience on a journey through various theatrical experiences. Not only is there a balance of material, with Shakespeare and Greek Tragedies presented side by side with modern works like Spring Awakening and Almost Maineas well as classic plays like Oklahoma!and The Government Inspector. Not only does the balance of shows provide a day of diverse theater for the audience of visiting families and friends, it also provides a great opportunity for campers to learn and grow as artists.
The plays on festival day take place in the traditional thrust stage theater but also in non-traditional locations like one of the two outdoor amphitheaters, a large gazebo across the “Great Lawn” (a popular place for Shakespeare), and even the pool!
This year’s season includes the cult hit musical Be More Chill by Joe Iconis, a show that the campers brought to the attention of camp owner, Steve Borowka. Other musicals include Tuck Everlasting directed by Adam Fleming (Broadway’s Wicked), Billy Elliot, and The 25thAnnual Putnam County Spelling Bee!
Classic works this summer include Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing and A Winter’s Tale. The latter is directed by Monica Flory, a Philadelphia theater maker who premiered her work Sew What?in last year’s festival. Other plays include the hit Noises Off and The 39 Steps.
Of course, if you are excited by being a part of making amazing theater it’s the perfect time to…