Stories from a 1st-time ASC Theatre Camper

When a friend of mine told me about ASC and the ASC Theatre Camp (ASCTC), I expected it to be enjoyable, but more work than fun. However, in the course of the first few days of camp, I realized how amazing and nice everyone there was. Counselors, directors, and fellow campers all supported each other fully. The workshops that I had expected to be dry and boring turned out to be engaging and fun, while at the same time accomplishing their goal of teaching everyone something new. Something about the people there, the shared interests, or something impossible to put into words bred an aura of openness, and everyone felt it. There was no need to hide yourself as people so often do; nobody at camp was going to judge you, think worse of you, or make fun of you. More often than not, the crazy stuff about the people at camp that people in their day-to-day lives would make fun of made everyone like them more. Even though the camp only lasted three weeks, in that time everyone became such good friends with everyone else. I know of no other place in the world that this could happen.

As an actor used to being on stage in a proscenium theatre where the audience is all to one side and in the dark, one would think that transitioning to being surrounded by and able to see the audience would be difficult and stressful. In fact, while the transition was slightly difficult, it was more fun than anything. People sitting on stage and being able to see the audience made it seem like I wasn’t acting in front of an audience, but rather in a group of friends. Lowering the fourth wall and being allowed and encouraged to interact with the audience was amazing. During All’s Well That Ends Well (one of the shows we saw the resident troupe put on) an actor delivered part of a line to me, making me feel like I was a part of the story. When I felt that, I decided that I was going to make someone else feel that way during our show. While the character I played in The Taming of the Shrew, Gremio, didn’t have many moments that I found to interact with the audience, in the few that I did, being able to bring members of the audience further into the story felt awesome.

ASCTC was one of the most amazing experiences I have been through.

– Colin Archer


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