When Acting Manitou began 18 years ago, it was the idea of two incredible people based on their desire to provide a space in which young people could explore and express their best selves through the context of theatre. In the first years, Tim Brownell and Steve Borowka honed their philosophies on what it meant to be a theatre camp. They knew, even then, that at Acting Manitou certain core values were true and today they continue to form the back bone of Acting Manitou as we move forward into this next chapter of our journey.
The opportunity that has presented itself to us is a challenge that we accept with a great humility and respect. As two people who were both welcomed into this community, 11 and 3 years ago respectively, we understand that what makes Acting Manitou the life-changing experience we experienced is not one or two people but the entire community of campers, staff, families and alumni who continue the spirit of camp year round, even when time has kept them away for a summer or more. We are committed to supporting and growing the bonds of this community by embracing the strengths already present in its foundation.
We are also looking forward to the exciting opportunities that exist because of this renewed commitment to Acting Manitou. Already, we are working on improving and updating the layouts and infrastructures of our cabins and living quarters. This fall we are working to evaluate and transform the role of our staff, asking how each staff member can be more present with our campers daily, creating the bonds and lifelong friendships that we know are the magic of Acting Manitou.
Furthermore, we are looking at continuing the work that Steve and Tim began in asking how we educate young artists in an ensemble based program, but allow for individualized and advanced training for those campers looking to pursue theatre beyond camp and high school. It is important to us that Acting Manitou remain a camp that does not value the spotlight, but rather the creative power of the ensemble, and provides equal footing for the camper just beginning in theatre as well as the camper who is engaged year round.
In short, we cannot wait! We are so excited to bring Acting Manitou into 2020 and to do so with all of our returning families, campers and staff as well as those who will be joining us for the first time in 2020. Thank you so much for making Acting Manitou what it is and for encouraging what it will be!
Lesley and Chris
Owners and Directors, Acting Manitou