Our summer camp season is in full swing! Last Friday we completed our first camp, and what a camp it was. Twenty-six students joined us for lessons on voice and introduction to the theater, drama games aimed at helping kids conquer self-consciousness, and scene work ranging from the classic The Importance of Being Earnest to the modern Wait Until Dark.
This fun and lively week may have been one of the least stressful camps I’ve ever run, and it absolutely ranks as one of the most rewarding. The students worked hard all week. By dress rehearsal I was confident that the recital would be enjoyable. Not spectacular, not everything I had hoped, but far from painful.
I couldn’t have been more wrong. Sometime in-between 5:00 – 7:00, the students were able to dig deeper into their parts, let go of the self-consciousness that was holding them back, and find the commitment needed to energize their scenes. The result? A great recital.
From directing standpoint, it was so amazing to see the students connect with what we had been telling them all week and to be able to have fun on that stage while doing their best performances. From a personal standpoint, it was very encouraging.
Summer camps marks the return of Players of the Stage. We took off the spring when I cut my hand. The emotional and physical drain of that accident, combined with the loss of our very dear POTS mom Judy, left me very unsure about returning to Players of the Stage. Judy had always been such a huge supporter of Players of the Stage, and it seemed wrong to be going ahead without her beside us, praying for us, running errands for us, giving us advice… It seemed overwhelming. It seemed pointless. I felt unable to do it. And yet, I feverishly hoped that starting camps would help me return to “normal life”.
I had a great time on the first day of camp, but when Tuesday morning hit me and I was faced with the reality that there was a still a heaviness in my soul and that I still had to fight to get out of bed that day, I despaired. Returning to my job hadn’t done what I wanted it to. I decided that I was right – everything was pointless.
Tuesday night when my husband and I talked through our days, we realized how we both had been struggling at work because we had been looking to it to fulfill something for us. I had been looking to my job to remove the pain and worthlessness, and when it didn’t, I wanted to wash of my hands of it. But after praying for the grace to look to Christ alone for my healing and meaning in life, I found that I was able to be excited about going back the next day.
The rest of the week was still hard. I thought of Judy’s absence often and cried during devotions every day, but I was able to enjoy being back. I stopped worrying about vindicating myself through the theatre and was able to look forward to watching my kids perform. Having a great recital was such a gift to my soul from my Lord Jesus. It reminded me of why I love theatre: it changes people. While my job doesn’t give me meaning, it is meaningful. It was such an encouragement to be able to see that reality on stage.
Our first camp was a huge success, and I cannot wait to see what God does through the other three! Come out to the recitals July 10th, July 24th, and August 7th at 7 PM. They are always a lot of fun and sometimes they are even great.