Putting on a musical production is not only hard work, but it is also a lot of fun. Being on stage inspires imagination and creativity. At Camp Starlight, the shows that are put on every summer are among the most memorable part of a camper’s experience. Each Division puts on their own show giving campers their moment in the spotlight.
At Camp Starlight, not only do campers have the opportunity to perform in the shows but many of them also choose to get involved with the behind-the-scenes activities. Some help with set building and painting, while others help with costuming and makeup. Some also work backstage in the technical areas of sound and lighting. Putting on a new production every week is a team effort and requires a lot of helping hands.
Leading the theater program at Camp Starlight is Jeff Moss, an award-winning Broadway director who has directed well knows actors such as Mickey Rooney and Donald O’ Connor. Jeff has been directing shows at Camp Starlight for OVER 50 YEARS! Needless to say, Jeff has seen and done it all. He has worked with campers of all skills and abilities and knows exactly how to create an environment that is fun and engaging for every cast member, regardless of their role. From the oldest campers to the youngest, everyone looks forward to both participating in the productions as well as seeing the shows produced by the other divisions.
Each week, the anticipation begins anew as campers audition for their show, hoping to get the role of their choice. Some campers are called back for a second look, after which the roles are assigned. That’s when the hard work begins. Campers receive their scripts and get down to memorizing their lines. For the remainder of the week, show preparation is a major part of their focus. Every day, the campers attend rehearsal to learn the stage blocking and choreography. They learn the songs with the musical director and work with the Playhouse staff to put it all together. After one final day of rehearsal, the curtain rises at the Playhouse, and the kids perform in front of the whole camp
Sure, the thought of performing gives some of our campers butterflies in their stomach, but the energy of being on stage, under the lights, and in front of a live audience is powerful. When the show is over, the kids share a combined sense of joy and relief. They know that through all that hard work, they had a lot of fun, but mostly, they have an enormous sense of pride know that through all that they worked together and accomplished a tremendous achievement.
When it’s all said and done, this experience will live on with them for a very long time. Theater provides many long-lasting benefits. There are many studies that show that participating in drama, even in small roles, contributes to creative thinking, critical reflection, improved collaboration, and better communication. In addition, drama can help with concentration, self-confidence, and a host of other life skills.