“I’ve got too many irons in the fire,” is an expression I’d often hear my grandma say. Well, I wouldn’t say it’s “too many,” but the Phoenix Theatre for Children definitely has a lot of irons in the fire right now! Just this week, there were summer camps going on in six (yes, six!) different locations! IN addition to the camps held at the Columbus Performing Arts Center, PTC also has camps running at the Riffe Center, BalletMet, Columbus School for Girls, the Lincoln Theatre, and in Dublin, In addition, they are providing teachers for a workshop at the Franklin Park Conservatory tomorrow.
I think the coolest thing about PTC being present in so many areas is how they are able to broaden their impact this way. Part of PTC’s mission is “to provide young people and their families with theatrical experiences that encourage and enhance an awareness of self and the world in which we live.” By having camps in multiple locations, PTC is able to expand this mission to areas of the community outside of its physical boundaries.
I spend most of my time at the Columbus Performing Arts Center, and this week I spent all of my time there. This week was World Theatre camp. We decided to take a familiar story, Cinderella, and find different versions of the story from around the world. Last week as I was collecting materials for the camp, I learned that there is an Irish Cinderella, an Egyptian Cinderella, a Cajun Cinderella, an Appalachian Cinderella, a Korean Cinderella, and a Mexican Cinderella. (I’ll bet you didn’t know that!) It was fun to watch the campers learn about international forms of theatre, including Commedia del arte and Kabuki. One of the highlights for the campers was getting to wear Kabuki costumes.
I’ve also been able to witness some of the other camps and programs going on. Today, I went over to BalletMet to watch some of the dancers perform the monologues that they’ve been working on. Tomorrow, I’m helping with the puppet workshop which is part of the Savage Gardens program/exhibit at the Franklin Park Conservatory. And, next Wednesday I’ll be chaperoning a trip to the opening night of Wicked for the campers at the Riffe Center.
I admire PTC for taking on so many opportunities for education and outreach and I’m glad that I get to bear witness to some of the amazing programs they have in place.
Julia Rice- CATCO-Phoenix