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.

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