Theatre Camp: My Experience as a Counselor
"The future belongs to young people with an education and an imagination to create" - Barack Obama
One of my favorite parts about blogging is getting to create an online portfolio of the things happening in my life. I recently completed a Theatre Education internship at the WaterTower Theatre in Dallas, TX, and it allowed me to rediscover my love for children's theatre.
Flashback to May: I'm already staying in the DFW area to do summer stock theatre, and I can't stand to have too much free time on my hands. I google internships in the area and decide to apply for this one because the dates work, the position pays, and it will look nice of my resume. Two months later, I can confidently say that I got so much more out of the experience.
As a theatre education intern, I served as a co-counselor during WaterTower's PlayMakers camp. The camp is designed for kids ages 8-16, covering theatre basics like characterization, improv, and physicality onstage. Unlike similar theatre camps, PlayMakers also focuses on teaching devising and puppetry.
Devising, or creating original works of theatre, is something that is studied at OCU's School of Theatre and at theatre programs across the country. Within the two week intensive, the campers devised an original play based on the story and themes of Pinocchio while drawing inspiration from their own experiences.
Before this internship, I had done a little bit of devising at OCU. Puppetry, on the other hand, is something I've never had the opportunity or desire to explore. But within two short weeks, I learned the basics of all things puppet--sock puppet, scarf puppet, shadow puppet, sponge puppet, "real" puppet...you name it.
While getting to create theatre nine-to-five is a dream in and of itself, my favorite part of the internship was the kids I got to connect with. In two short weeks, some of these children became such a big part of my heart. One little boy in particular, Myles, made me look forward to coming to work every day. At just eight years old and less than four feet tall, Myles is both sassy and sweet. A master at improvisation. A goofball who is just innocent enough that you forgive any misbehavior as soon as you see his toothy smile. And crazily enough, within just the first few days of being his counselor, Myles felt like a little brother of mine.
One of the greatest blessings of this summer has been the absolute contentment I feel pursuing theatre full time, whether it be performing or educating. I encourage you all to do what you love, and love what you do--it fills me with joy like nothing else.