The OCS Theatre Camp is in its 17th summer, and our first session of 2014 began yesterday. We’ve been counting down the days to camp with our OCS 38 Days / 38 Plays Challenge, during which campers and Blackfriars Playhouse patrons alike posted and shared quotes, photos, and music inspired by one Shakespeare play per day. Our Session 1 Challenge winner was Matt Gieseke and the runner-up was Rachel Hubble!
In the months leading up to camp, we spend hundreds of hours planning, preparing, and waiting with sheer excitement for the arrival of our campers. They come from all over the United States and beyond to work for three weeks, training, rehearsing, and preparing to perform the plays in each session. As you can imagine, we’ve been very busy preparing for both sessions. The best way to appreciate the joys of camp is to come and be a camper! If you’re not between the ages of 13 to 18, then you can still enjoy the campers’ free, public performances on July 13 and August 10 at the Blackfriars Playhouse. To give you some more insight into just how great the OCS Theatre Camp is, I’ve broken down some of our important camp numbers for you. Drum roll, please!
- 2 camp sessions of 3 weeks each
- 2 lectures with eminent Shakespeare scholars and professors
- 4 field trips for fun in the summer sun
- 5 amazing interns keeping us organized, and helping with dramaturgical research, costumes, and props
- 5 plays, including Measure for Measure, The Tempest, Henry VI Part 3 (performed by two casts), All’s Well That Ends Well, and the Anonymous Fair Em
- 6 directors, all of them with amazing talent and passion for Shakespeare
- 10 counselors, many of whom are former campers
- 12 performance master classes with OCS Actors and Education Artists
- 19 US States represented by our campers, including:
- New York
- North Carolina
- West Virginia
- Wyoming, plus
- Washington, DC, and
- 74 campers campers aged 13-18, bravely working together and rehearsing for a total of 339 hours for all 6 shows.
These numbers doesn’t even include the many hours that campers will spend rehearsing and performing their own pre-show and songs, gaining college-prep experience in discussions and seminars, researching college programs with the help of our counselors, seeing performances at the Blackfriars Playhouse, observing rehearsals for our resident and touring troupe shows, participating in special events like our masquerade ball, and enjoying fireworks and s’mores on the Fourth of July!
These numbers can’t quite capture how much camp means to so many people, but one thing is certain: We are off to the start of an amazing summer filled with joy, friendship, and great theatre. You can follow along with updates and photographs all summer at the Camp Blog.