Lark Camp Kid's Play

Lark Camp Kid's Play is one of the children's workshops available to any Lark Camp Kid. Rehearsals are held every morning down on the Lower Pavilion Stage. Kids can choose to help with music, acting, narration, props, or special effects, or they can just come down to watch. Kids write the play, rehearse and perform it with the help of Susan Spurlock, who has directed the Kid's Plays since 1992. Here is Susan's description of the experience:

As I look on from the back of the stage, I see child actors feeling the excitement of performance. They fairly gleam, each in their own way. They ad lib and elaborate on parts that
got a laugh or just worked really well during rehearsal. They depend heavily upon one another and so are acutely attentive to what's happening on stage. I watch them use clever cues to prompt one who needs help, defer to one another in the interests of the play, or use gesture or words to reveal details about our story to the audience, sort of helping things along. I see each actor committed and responsible to the group.

I am astounded at their ability to develop characterization and improvise lines - even whole speeches. They are clever playwrights and their dialogue is sparkling. We seem to have found a formula that works here. Somehow, given the right amount of guidance and generous amounts of freedom, a group of 10 to 15 children of various ages can create a real theater piece in 7 days (3 days for half-campers) which they have written themselves. (The ideas come from them during the first and second days in an amazing group process I can't describe.) The quality of the plays in the last few years (especially if calculated by the intricacy of the plots!) has been outstanding.

One of the marvelous things about Lark Camp is the bonding which occurs between folk who may only see each other for one week of the year. The shared love of the creative endeavor - it is an ecstatic experience for the children just as it is for the adults at camp. At the end of this experience, the cast's sense of accomplishment is large, as is mine!

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