What I did on my summer vacation - Got dramatic

August 15, 2006|by ALEXANDRA CANTONE

"All the world's a stage," William Shakespeare wrote in his play "As You Like It."

To paraphrase Shakespeare, my weeklong theater camp at Mercersburg Academy was a stage, and all the boys and girls merely players: We had our exits and our entrances; and each camper in the week played many parts ...

There were so many parts, so many exciting activities.

The first day at the camp, I was a little nervous. All but two students boarded at the camp - including me - and I was one of the youngest kids there.

But as soon as the parents left and it was just the kids and the counselors, I lost all of my nervousness. By the end of camp, I wasn't nervous about anything at all.


After the camp's opening ceremony, we went straight to our first game as a group. We played a lot of games during the week. We did a lot of warm-ups and played a lot of games to help us with our acting and with our confidence in front of other people.

One of the games we played was called, "What are you doing?" In the game, one person stands up and acts something out, such as drinking water.

Another person walks up to the actor and says, "What are you doing?" The actor says something that they are not doing, such as washing a car, and sits down. The questioner becomes the actor; the new actor has to act out washing a car. The game is over when everyone has had a turn.

Another game we played was called, "Freeze." In this game, there are two actors acting out a scene. Then someone else calls, "Freeze!" Both actors freeze their body posture and gestures. The person who called "freeze" takes the place of one actor, and the two actors begin a new scene, starting from the previous pair's frozen body position and gestures.

When I played, two people were yelling at one point; they froze with their hands by their mouths. The new actor, inspired by the position, acted like she was drinking something.

Every day before we rehearsed, we did different warm-ups, such as learning to speak from our diaphragms, and exercising. We even did a relaxation exercise.

We rehearsed a play during our week of camp and performed it on our last day. The play was called, "How To Eat Like A Child." It was a play about what children say, think and do. The play was set up in different lessons, such as "How to Torture Your Sister," "How to Beg For A Dog," "How To Stay Home From School," "How To Express An Opinion" and "How To Act After Being Sent To Your Room."

Going backstage

My favorite camp activity was our trip to Harrisburg, Pa., to see a play called, "The Boyfriend." I thought it was a great show. After the play, we moved to the front seats, and the actors and actresses came out to talk with us. It was different to see them in normal clothes instead of their costumes.

We asked them questions about being in plays and how it changed their lives. After our questions, we toured backstage and onstage. We even got to see their dressing rooms and where they practice their choreography and dance moves.

Every day was fun at theater camp. The people I met at camp also made camp fun. I made so many new friends.One thing in particular was funny: Campers were not only dramatic on stage but off stage as well.

Camp was a great experience, and we learned so much about acting while we were having fun. It was truly, as Shakespeare might have said, as I liked it.

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