Mad Hatter's Camp Celebration Performance
May 27, 2011

Photos by Terri Chastain Walters

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by Crystal Merrell

Last Friday, the Creative and Performing Arts Academy presented it's 40 young campers to their family and friends in a Mad Hatter's Camp Celebration performance of scenes from the musical Alice, based on Alice in Wonderland. With 5 different Alices, 2 White Rabbits, and 4 Tweedles plus many more characters, this fun display was a great chance for more young actors to perform on stage.

Campers were treated to some larger than life characters on Monday with a visit from the Mad Hatter and Alice (Ross Galbreath and Tracey Gibson). The Mad Hatter returned for the Camp Celebration at the end of the week, inviting the campers and the audience to have 'tea and cake' with him after the fun performance. A themed Alice cake by Amy Swancey topped of the event.

Camp was held at the new Tater Patch Players Theater. Campers were taken on a tour of the theater and saw the behind-the-scenes rooms, equipment, and props of a working theater.

During the week, each day began with introduction to yoga and group games that were geared toward self awareness and collaboration with others. This helped the actors in creating a 'human throne' for the Queen and playing a game of 'human croquet' for the performance.

Another highlight of the camp was the craft area where campers created their own 'mad hat' with the help of master crafter Debbie Aiken. A Parade of the Mad Hats followed the Friday performance.

Camp Instructor Bay Cagle, also an Academy Jasper Young Singers Instructor, praised parents on the amount of 'character' in their children, illustrated by how well each camper presented themselves during the week.

Academy Acting Class Instructor Ellen Painter forewarned the audience to be on the look out for a 'special acting outing for kids and parents' this summer in an as yet undisclosed location around town.

Justin Davis, Academy Piano Instructor, and Crystal Merrell, Academy Young Actors Project Coordinator, also were instructors for the Mad Hatter Camp.

Thanks go out to all the totally MAD campers! Great work from you all!

Look for the full production of Alice by the Young Actors Project in the Fall. Auditions will be held at the Creative and Performing Arts Academy on August 12th at 5pm.




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