Making musical memories.

Today was all about the music — and let me just say right now that we have an amazingly varied and stunningly talented crop of campers this session. I mean, we always have a lot of talent in the room, but in my short tenure as Camp Director I have never seen so many instruments in the PEG dorm! These kids play everything – aside from the ubiquitous acoustic guitars (what’s summer camp without an acoustic guitar or seven?) and the usual handful of ukeleles, this session we also have five (yes, FIVE) violins, a saxophone, a trombone, a clarinet, a flute, several pianists (though none of them are in possession of the majestic kitty keyboard Elias Cross brought with him last session — each key “meows” its note when played), some maracas, I think I saw a tambourine at some point, panpipes and several different recorders. Oh, and CAROLINE RAYMOND with her upright bass:

You can bet your bottom buck that we’ll be making use of all of these musical talents in each of the shows as well as in our mid-session Showcase (which is on Saturday, July 30). Today we started working on an all-camp song, which will close the Showcase performance and make a reappearance to open the Final Performance Festival on Sunday, August 6. We’ve got a whole strings section, not to mention a clarinet-flute-saxophone-trombone quartet. It’s gonna be magic!

In addition to rehearsing music for the Showcase, campers had a lot of one-on-one time with their heroes today: they split into casts for Voice class with Alli Glenzer, which meant each camper was able to get more individual attention in their vocal work, and then we all joined back together for a music workshop with another ASC veteran actor (and extraordinary musician) Chris Johnston.


What if Henry IV Part One were a Musical?

Shakespeare did not write musicals. He had songs in his shows. ‘Full Fathom Five’ in The Tempest, for example, is a lyric he wrote. But no, he did not write songs. Or musicals. I, however, do write songs. And musicals. Song takes a huge role in Shakespeare’s work though. Henry IV Part One does feature a song sung in Welsh. The American Shakespeare Center also features preshow and interlude music that ties to the show. The campers will be singing and playing music all over the Blackfriars Playhouse stage and they’re going to rock! All the shows are preparing reshow music and they are not to be missed. I am working on Henry IV Part One as the dramaturg and the sound they are creating for the show is exciting. In this vain myself and my friend Theo Teris have written two songs inspired by characters in Henry IV Part One.

A song inspired by Prince Hal and his relationship with Falstaff, entitled “Every War”:
A song inspired by Falstaff, entitled “Put on a Mask”:
Shakespeare has inspired song and musical a like since shows like West Side Story to a more recently published show, the 1980s John Hughes-esque musical Like You Like It. Shakespeare sings. His work inspires and creates a sound world and the all campers and all the audiences are invited to this world!