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The Windy Hill

The student news site of Methacton High School

The student news site of Methacton High School

The Windy Hill

The student news site of Methacton High School

The Windy Hill

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MHS Theatre hosts its Second Annual Boot Camp for K-8 students

Approximately 50 K-8 students joined members of the MHS Theatre Company for Theatre Boot Camp on Dec. 15 in the cafeteria to get a crash course in every aspect that theater has to offer. 

 

The night began with games taught in most theater settings, Honey, Do You Love me? and Beatmaker, allowing kids to get more comfortable with each other and the unfamiliar setting. By the end of the game portion, the kids were giggling and excited for the night to come. 

 

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Theatre director Mrs. Fitzgerald introduced herself and explained the stations that everyone would be attending. The list included props, costumes, dance, and tech. There also would be hair and makeup demonstrations throughout. 

 

The lead of the props station, junior Tom MacNeel, explained his role in this event. 

 

“I’m the company’s props master, which ultimately means I create a majority of props used in both the play and musical.” He elaborated on what the students would go through during the props station in the 15-minute time frame. 

 

“The kids are going to be split into groups and can make their own props. Of course, it’ll be pretty simple but I have supplies like popsicle sticks, cups, plates, markers, and masks, so the possibilities for creation are endless. With the last five minutes, they’ll make a quick skit with the props and improv it, just to allow them to get comfortable with standing up in front of others.” The kids ended up creating hilarious scenes like mad scientists discovering gravity or birds coming together to defeat a common enemy. 

 

The costume station was run by Evangeline Sullivan. She talked about her goals for the kids and what she hoped they would gain from her table. 

 

“We have a whole bunch of costumes and fabrics where the kids can look around and see what we have and can use for costumes. A lot of past performances we have already done or smaller pieces that we may use.” 

 

She also discussed the long-term positive connections she hopes she can make for the kids.

 

“I hope they can learn the different dynamics of creating and putting together costumes and see if it’s something they may be interested in. They may have the opportunity to do it here or if they find themselves being able to do it somewhere else, just allowing them to get inspired by it.” 

 

She briefly discussed how it plays a big role in WPG, the Methacton performing arts group that touches on hard-hitting topics and celebrates activism. The costume station allowed the kids to create fun, or serious, costumes for the theater company members, like Evie, to wear and model in real time. 

 

Jeramie Hampton led the dance station alongside Amelia Syx. Hampton is one of MHSTC’s choreographers while Syx is a dance captain. Hampton talked about how she would be teaching the small groups a short dance number to a fun upbeat song. 

 

“They’re gonna learn it and perform it in front of their parents. They’re going to have a bunch of support. it’s going to be really cute.” Much like the other leads, she explained what she hopes they gain from the experience. 

 

“You can be involved in theater without being a ‘theater kid.’ You can always find a sense of community here and there’s always people to fall back on.” 

 

Kathleen Kenny helped run the tech portion of this event. 

 

“We showed them how important the main stage lights are to a show and how they can help the audience members feel a certain way about certain scenes. I introduced them to how the spotlight works and how they can maneuver the light, making it bigger or smaller, or even changing the color. They even got to move it themselves,” said Kenny.

 

Jessica Gabell is a student director for the theater company this year and also participated in the event. She was stationed at the costumes table and discussed her thoughts on the night. 

 

“The reason I volunteered is because I love to see kids get involved and encourage them to get involved with theater. I just want to get them interested in what we have to offer and hopefully inspire them to do theater here at the high school.” 

 

Elijah Hughes agreed. 

 

“I just think the next generation has a lot to offer and it’s cool that we can get them interested in theater early on.” 

 

Sprinkled throughout the evening were demos of wig installations and makeup applications. Participants asked questions as well. Some of them included “How do you get wigs to stay in place on stage” or “Why do you do your makeup so dark for performances?” 

 

Directors and sponsors Mrs. Fitzgerald and Mrs. Naylor spearheaded the event. Mrs. Fitzgerald shared her takeaways. 

 

Our Second Annual MHSTC Boot Camp was a huge success. Watching our high school company explain the things they love so much to this group of campers was such a wonderful thing to see. Hearing the excited recap as students left with their parents at the end of the evening made me so proud of all our company does and has to offer,” she said. 

 

Mrs. Naylor shared a similar sentiment. 

“The comradery I witnessed from our dedicated and passionate Theatre students patiently teaching all aspects of theatre makes me proud to be a part of such an amazing program and interact with an equally amazing group of students.”

The props table is covered in masks, markers, and cups. The students can be seen unleashing their creativity and eagerly unlocking endless crafty opportunities.
Senior Paige Alashuski keeps a watchful eye on the 1st graders at the props station.
Senior choreographer, Jeramie Hampton, and sophomore dance captain, Amelia Syx, are alongside some of the other theatre company volunteers. They are pictured teaching Hampton’s younger sister the upbeat dance the kids will be performing.
Senior Sonja Otero is performing a makeup application on freshman Kira Sands in front of the K-8 students before their snack break.

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Brianna LaFreeda, Staff Writer

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