HG THEATRE ARTS CAMP IN ELKLAND by Barbara Biddison
Every year Hamilton-Gibson starts the winter season by taking this theatre arts camp to Elkland. The Deerfield Charitable Trust makes it happen financially and the HG staff headed up by Thomas Putnam puts it on the Clark Wood Elementary stage. Some of us Wellsboro folk carpool over there to see the stage full of kids and the audience full of parents and grandparents and sisters and brothers and neighbors and, of course, Trust Board Members. It is a joyous sight to behold. One of the happiest staged opportunities I've ever seen. You walk right in to find your seat, and you feel it in the air.
I counted the cast members listed on the program and came up with a total of 57. That's alotta kids!! The show is called Junie B. Jones Jr. The Musical. It really does involve everybody....some solo, some in small groups, and often, of course, the whole group singing and performing together. The best part for me is seeing these young people loving being on stage, acting and singing and moving as they have practiced (in a very short rehearsal time).
I know that this is the first and last time some will ever be on stage like this, but I have heard many still talking about a similar experience years later. And some will go on to be in more plays and musicals. I have seen arts camp still listed in the "Who's Who" part of the program for a show a decade after the the elementary show. Itcarries a life-long memory for many.