IS Theater Playhouse
The summer camp experience is rich in tradition and time-honored events that campers and staff look forward to year after year. These celebrated events and activities bring the camp community together and create memories that last a lifetime. One of these very special camp traditions is the “camp play”! Every summer the IS Playhouse lights up the night with two camp productions, giving IS campers the opportunity to perform, challenge themselves, build their skills and confidence, and have their moment in the spotlight. Through the years, musicals like Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, The Lion King, High School Musical, and Aladdin, bring cheers and applause from the camp family audience, as friends and bunkmates amaze and entertain us.
Wes Laga, the IS Theatre Coordinator, makes every production a fun and positive experience, helping campers to develop self-expression, build confidence, and learn empathy and tolerance. Wes loves the creative outlet the theatre gives campers, but also considers it a “safe place” for campers of all abilities. Wes feels that “the theatre program gives campers an opportunity to grow as people and as artists.”
The IS theatre program staff put a lot of thought into what shows are chosen each summer. They know that a show with a big ensemble is a must, and try to feature as many campers as possible. There is a place in the play for everyone at camp, and nobody is turned away from being a part of this hard-working dedicated group of young people. From the leading role, to the ensemble, to scenery and make-up, everyone is included. The IS theatre program is a place for campers to grow and have fun, and the benefits are plentiful. It’s amazing to see campers’ step outside of their comfort zone and take part in the camp play. Kids that would never consider participating in theatre at school, surprise us all with the confidence to take a chance and try something new. The benefits of participating in a theatre group go way beyond self-confidence. Campers also discover…
Self-expression – Following a script or creating a musical on their own, campers benefit from the opportunity for self-expression.
Empathy and Compassion – One of the reasons Wes fell in love with theatre is because “it accepts individuals of all ethnicities, backgrounds and identities.” When campers portray characters onstage, they practice putting themselves in others’ shoes.
Creativity – Campers become more creative and can think on their feet. Kids learn to think outside of the box. Theatre experience helps kids learn creative problem-solving techniques.
Belonging – The theatre group becomes a family, cooperating with and supporting one another. From B1 to G22, campers of all ages have the opportunity to make new friends outside of their bunk or division. They expand their camp family.
Communication Skills – Through confidence building, kids learn to speak clearly and thoughtfully, and even learn to pick up on non-verbal cues.
Teamwork – Working together teaches kids to consider the ideas of others and work toward a common goal.