Saturday, August 4, 2007

Stage Explorers

Posted by Billy Christopher Maupin
Stage Explorers has now come to a close. In case you're not familiar, Stage Explorers is Barksdale's annual summer day camp for rising 1st through 6th graders. Campers take workshops/classes in singing, stage lighting, choreography, theatre games, acting for the camera, set design, masks, face painting, costuming, how to audition, backstage tours, acting, playwriting, and scene painting.

The exciting new thing about Stage Explorers 2007 was that not only were there two sessions at Barksdale Theatre at Willow Lawn, Barksdale Theatre at Hanover Tavern this year boasted one simultaneous session of its own!

Wendy Vandergrift and Janine Serresseque were the ladies in charge of pulling off this monumental task, beginning months prior with registering campers and managing more phone calls than I would like to think about (especially after both Willow Lawn sessions completely filled up). In addition to all the duties Janine and Wendy had in preparation, they also taught classes (along with Catherine Dudley, Sarah Grady, Audra Honaker, Chase Kniffen, Billy Christopher Maupin, Bruce Miller, Kim Parkin, Eric Williams and Joy Williams).

Each group of campers (divided at Willow Lawn into Winkies, Munchkins, and Flying Munchkins by grade) had a fantastic counselor who stayed with them through their journey to their different classes. Emlyn Crenshaw, Andrew Darnell, Jennings Whiteway, Eileen Barnett, Katrinah Lewis, Lauren Paullin, Christina Kilgore, and our purple angel Brenda Meier who volunteered her time to do practically anything for the Hanover session.

At the end of each session, friends and family were invited for a special performance showcasing the songs, choreography, set designs, etc. that the campers had worked on for two weeks. Can you imagine? It's one of the most adorable and wonderful things I've ever seen. To see these children performing, many for the first time in their life and having an absolute blast is such an immensely gratifying and fulfilling experience.
If you're interested, you can sign up for the eNewsletter to be among the first to sign up for next year's camp. Sign ups are in January and Februay. By March, Willow Lawn is usually booked up. This was our first year at Hanover Tavern, so there still seems to be availability there.

--Billy Christopher Maupin

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