Wednesday, July 19, 2017

First Week - The Writing Process

During the first week of camp, the goal was to WRITE, WRITE, WRITE. The group had to have the entire play written by the end of the week. This year's group excelled at that challenge. You may wonder: how did they start? what were the difficulties? what kept them motivated and focused? was it still fun with all that work? Perhaps this blog post will answer some of those questions...

Putting the Marker to the Paper: The first activity of the week began with one marker and one large sheet of paper posted to the back wall of the theatre. The goal was to create a huge brainstorming web centered around the word PERFORMANCE. Each camper took turns walking, leaping and sprinting to the paper to put down the first word that came to mind when thinking of PERFORMANCE. It lasted about a 1/2 hour and this was the end result:

Journal-ing: As a writer, each camper learned quickly that it is important to jot down any and all ideas. Everyone received their own journal, in which pictures were drawn, lists were made and scripts were devised. One of the most important lists that was made was in response to the question: What is most important to you? Because it is easiest to write from what we know, stories began to develop from this list...

Recognizing Strengths and Embracing Individuality: After the first couple of days, each camper's individual talents started to shine through. While some chose to write, others composed songs and drew pictures. The individual stories that developed took place in a variety of settings, such as a school, the woods, even a whole different universe. Now the question was: how do we put these unique stories into ONE play?

Finding Commonalities: Within each of the stories, a common theme started to arise: BE YOURSELF. This was something that each camper knew early on that was important to everyone. By identifying this commonality, the theme of BE YOURSELF was highlighted as the moral within each mini-story in the play. Here is a collage of what each camper wrote that was important to their story:

Always Room for Fun: As most people are familiar with, A play with 6 different writers certainly cannot be written in one sitting. By the end of the week, a back-and-forth rhythm of theatre games and writing blocks was established. Usually, after writing for about 30 minutes, it was time to move. Everyone would get on their feet, act like animals, freeze like statues, improv mini-scenes, strategize, vocalize, and moblize, until a new idea was sparked that must be written down. Check out these action shots from game time:

What's next? The performance is coming up this Friday, July 21st in the afternoon! Check back soon for more details.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Meet Safiya - The Sporty Actress

Camper: Safiya 
Character in the show: A clumsy, friendly, smart, competitive, and ambitious 13-year-old student named Cecelia Brooks, who dreams of one day making an anime comic book.

What is your favorite sport? Softball.
What is your favorite part about camp? I like the games and how they help your acting skills.
What are you looking forward to next week at camp? I’m looking forward to performing! 

Meet Greg - The Gamer

Camper: Greg 
Character in the show: A laid-back 16-year-old named Sky Blue, who hopes to become a writer. He also likes to play sports and read.

What are your favorite hobbies? Sports and video games. My favorite sports are baseball and basketball.
What is your favorite part about camp? The games, when we go outside and the improv.
What are you looking forward to next week at camp? What we do outside and how far we take the play.  

Meet Denisse - The Fantasy Writer

Camper: Denisse 
Character in the show: A kind of nerdy and shy 192-year-old wizard named Michelle.

What is your favorite genre to read? Science Fiction!
What is your favorite part about camp? Creating the play - I like writing.
What are you looking forward to next week at camp? The play, the performance and the choreography. 

Meet Celia - The Singer

Camper: Celia 
Character in the show: At the beginning, she is shy and reserved, but at the end, she becomes confident.

What is your favorite hobby? Singing and reading. My favorite books are “The Alchemy of Forever” and “The Impossibility of Tomorrow” by Avery Williams.
What is your favorite part about camp? I liked how I could write songs and sing.
What are you looking forward to next week at camp? The show, field trip and my birthday party! 

Meet Rebecca - The Designer

Camper: Rebecca 
Role in the production: “The Visual Artist”. Rebecca is very talented at drawing! She is helping design the show.

What is your favorite animal? Dog!
What is your favorite part about camp? I like the marbles game. And I liked meeting new people. 

Meet Abby - The Drama Queen

Camper: Abby 
Character in the show: A shy, awkward, but headstrong 16-year-old model named Ally.

What is your favorite activity? Taking pictures of everything.
What is your favorite part about camp? I get to be a drama queen!
What are you looking forward to next week at camp? I am looking forward to the field trip and performing. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Welcome Basia Mack, Matrix's new intern!

I stand by this quote because there have been so many things I have envisioned myself doing, and I ask myself, “Why am I not where I want to be? What is taking me so long?” Then I take a step back to re-evaluate myself and realize that “Everything happens for a reason.”

Born and raised in Detroit, MI, at the tender age of seven, I fell in love with the arts. I cheered, danced and played instruments. I took everything I did seriously; blood, sweat, and tears have definitely built me up to become the strong-minded young woman I am today.

My name is Basia Mack and I am a student at Eastern Michigan University. I am studying Arts and Entertainment Management with a double minor in Entrepreneurship and Entertainment Design and Technology. Working in the Arts is my calling. I feel I have an obligation to make this world understand the importance of how many people can benefit from the arts. Art is a health booster. Art is a stress reliever. Art is fun and art is just simply amazing! I have dipped my hands in the various fields of the arts, but now it’s time to put my love for the arts to the test!

For my final semester at EMU, I had been charged with the task of finding an off-campus internship. I really wanted to see, smell, and taste the atmosphere outside of Eastern Michigan University and get a hands-on experience in my related field. In February of 2016, I called Matrix Theatre Company, but at that time they were not offering any internships (along with everyone else). My Summer, 2016 goal of obtaining an internship was tarnished! Again, “Everything happens for a reason.” The Fall, 2016 Semester began and I sat down with my Department Advisor, Susan Badger Booth, to brainstorm ideas for the type of internships she and I both felt would benefit me. She said, “Hey, what about Matrix?”

             I said, “Susan, remember they weren’t looking to have an intern, we called together.”
“Oh, that’s right!” she said, “Well, try again, things could have changed!” 
After that conversation, I had thoughts of not calling, but then thought, what is the worst that could happen? 

Walking into my interview, it already felt like home! It was as if I had been here before. My final confirmation of knowing I belonged here came when I began to converse amongst a staff of intelligent women; you can tell that the love of arts oozes out of them. Taking a class in this field of study versus really working in it is really different! 

The good thing about Matrix is that it’s small enough for everyone to have some sort of knowledge of each department, and they all can work as a cohesive group. Teamwork is very important when running any type of business. What struck me the most about Matrix, though, was their Mission Statement. It communicates the values of how I feel about the arts, and how they strive to teach children about theatre while also teaching a lesson about different social justice issues that happen within our everyday lives.

            Now that it is my time, I’m excited to see how my continued journey here at Matrix unfolds while operating in each department; marketing, theatre operations, theatre education, and overall administrative duties. Wish me luck!