Summer Student Blog Post: The Down-low on Day One!

Some of our campers hard at work completing their magic wan crafts! PHOTO CREDIT: Ally Loiselle

Some of our campers hard at work completing their magic wan crafts!

PHOTO CREDIT: Ally Loiselle

Hello, everyone!

Today was our first day of Drama Camp, and it was so much fun! I’m pretty tired after such a busy day, but I had a specific request from a camper that I post a blog update (Hi, Gretchen!) so I couldn’t stay away! We had a pretty packed day, so I’ll do my best to fill you in on as much as I can. (Apologies in advance for any typos!)

Wand making is serious business. PHOTO CREDIT: Ally Loiselle

Wand making is serious business.

PHOTO CREDIT: Ally Loiselle

This morning, the campers, my fellow leaders, and I all played a series of games to get to know one another. After this, we had our first read-through of the script. Even with a lot of these campers only seeing their parts for the first time today, it went surprisingly smoothly. Characters were coming to life before we had even added any blocking or done any character work! The natural talent in this group is truly remarkable.

We then played some games (including, yes, the already frequently requested Whoosh!), and had a lesson on how to use gesture, posture, face, and body positioning to best convey a character. This was followed by a fun craft: magic wands! You can see some photos in this post of campers hard at work on their creations. These wands will be used as props in the show, so be sure to keep an eye open for them when you attend our final production on Friday at 7:30pm!

This afternoon, we got down to work learning our camp song and blocking our first few scenes. I have to say, I have never encountered a group that enjoys blocking so much! My groups repeatedly asked me, “Can we run the scene again? Can we start at the beginning?” each time we concluded, eager to continue rehearsing and to perfect their performances. Additionally, at the end of the day when I asked our campers what their favorite activity from the day had been, the majority actually expressed learning their blocking! In previous years, the response has overwhelmingly been “playing games,” so this was a surprise; this group is so dedicated to their craft!

Of course, despite it being only day one, we have already been blessed with a series of hilarious comments and one liners. For example, during one game wherein the campers had to guess who was dictating a series of movements, the camper is question told the camper guessing, “It’s actually me,” and when all rest of the campers exclaimed, “Why did you tell her?? You spoiled it!!”, he responded, “IT WAS REVERSE PSYCHOLOGY. YOU SPOILED IT.” I was in stitches.

Overall, a very productive and busy first day! Tomorrow, we will continue rehearsing, make more crafts, learn the choreography to our camp song, and work on exploring and developing our characters. It’s sure to be fun!

Outside of camp, I am also very excited that the QAAW Pub Trivia finale is tomorrow night at 7pm at The Spitfire Arms! My team has no chance of winning this year (last year we managed to snag second overall!), but you can be sure that I will be in attendance! I always have so much fun playing, and finale night is always full of twists and turns. Even if you are not a regular player, you should certainly come out tomorrow night! It’s guaranteed to be a fun time, and new players/teams are always welcome.

I have a bit more last-minute camp prep to complete tonight, so now I must be going. Check in to our social media accounts throughout the week for more updates on summer camp and the goings-on here at QAAW!

Cheers, and talk to you next time!

Ally

Summer Student Blog Post: One more week until camp!!

Hello everyone!

After a bit of a break last week (I went camping at Kejimkujik, explored Annapolis Royal, and went to Fort Anne and Port Royal!), I’m back with a lot to do before the first of two camps starts next Monday. Last week the casting list was sent out, which was a tough job but also exciting- it means camp is so close! We have some fun crafts planned, and I can’t wait to see what all the campers bring to their roles! 

Last week (while short) was interesting, because I got to host Pub Trivia at The Spitfire for the first time! The theme was Strawberries, and while the questions were a bit tricky, everyone did really well! It was tough for me to get up there and be bold because that isn’t my personality, but I ended up enjoying myself quite a lot! Before that, we also presented at a West Hants Recreation arts camp, which got me to learn some new drama games and have an idea of what our own camp is going to be like! (A lot of fun!)

This week is pretty full-I will be writing a camp song accompaniment that Ally wrote the lyrics for, getting a copy of the scripts for each camper, practicing some piano pieces for the musical theatre camp, finding craft supplies, burning a sound effects CD, digging for costumes in the storage building, and attending a Board meeting! 

Well, I better get back to it!

Until next time,

Miriam

Summer Student Blog Post: Planning, Presenting, and Pub Trivia!

Hi everyone!

Some of the supplies we used in our presentation for West Hants Recreation's arts day camp. Thanks for having us, everyone!

Some of the supplies we used in our presentation for West Hants Recreation's arts day camp. Thanks for having us, everyone!

As always, it has a been a fun and busy week! I feel as though I am getting back into the swing of things, and just in time; we are about to become very busy with summer camp just around the corner!

Over the past few days, Miriam and I finalized the final cast list for Drama Camp and sent out that information (so be sure to check your emails, parents and guardians!) This camp production is going to be awesome; we have so many talented performers cast in this show, and I cannot wait to work with everyone to help them learn, grow, and develop confidence in their talents. Our camp performance will be open to the public by free will donation, so stay tuned for news and updates on that in the coming weeks!

My new arch nemesis after Trivia this week? .... Nah. Too tasty. Did you know the average strawberry has about 200 seeds? Neither did I until last Tuesday!

My new arch nemesis after Trivia this week? .... Nah. Too tasty.

Did you know the average strawberry has about 200 seeds? Neither did I until last Tuesday!

In addition to casting, I’ve been spending time researching crafts, creating a rehearsal schedule, and refreshing myself on the rules of some of my favorite camp games so I will be ready to share these with the campers very soon. We are also currently knee-deep in Musical Camp casting; finding and choosing the perfect piece for everyone is very time consuming as we have been taking it very seriously. But fret not, parents and guardians of musical campers, as this information will be coming your way very soon! We are very nearly done, so keep an eye on your email later this week!

Last week, Miriam and I also had the opportunity to warm up for camp by visiting the kids over at West Hants Recreation’s summer arts camp! While there, we played a lot of drama games (including my all time favorite, Whoosh) and taught the campers about stage directions, how to incorporate body language into performance, and how to flesh out a scene that offers very little context or direction. The campers were all excellent; they brought such creativity to their scenes and were so expressive in their performances for the group. I’d like to extend a huge thank you to West Hants Rec for inviting us, as well as the campers for being so lovely to work with and the camp counselors to being so friendly and accommodating. We had a lovely time!

Camp has been my main focus so far this week, and really my only one as I took a little break from hosting Pub Trivia on Tuesday. I had the opportunity to come and play myself with a few friends from out of town and got to experience Miriam’s first time hosting first hand! She did a great job; it’s not easy to stand and speak in front of a room full of people, nor is it easy to come up with 45 different trivia questions! Her strawberry theme had me and my team pretty stumped; we apparently do not know a lot about strawberries, but we had a fun time anyway! Next week, though, I’ll be back to hosting, so keep an eye on our Facebook page for next week’s trivia hint!

Speaking of Pub Trivia, the season is very nearly over! We will soon be gearing up for our Pub Trivia finale, so keep an eye on our Facebook page in the coming weeks for news on that. And be sure to check out our Pub Trivia leaderboard, also on our Facebook page, to see where your team currently stands!

Finally, I couldn’t end this post without mentioned that auditions for both A Christmas Carol and The Drowsy Chaperone are this week! Click here to register for your audition; these are both great shows that you will definitely want to be a part of!

Alright, back to work I go. It’s been nice talking to you all. I’ll write again soon!

Cheers,

Ally

Summer Student Blog Post: The Blog Hiatus Ends!

A selfie from Summer Plans Night a few weeks ago! I was very excited to be giving away season tickets.

A selfie from Summer Plans Night a few weeks ago! I was very excited to be giving away season tickets.

A selfie from Trivia Night! Apparently I am very fond of taking selfies with half of my face covered.

A selfie from Trivia Night! Apparently I am very fond of taking selfies with half of my face covered.

A shot from our summer camp auditions a few weeks back. So many wonderful campers took this stage. I cannot wait for camp to start!

A shot from our summer camp auditions a few weeks back. So many wonderful campers took this stage. I cannot wait for camp to start!

Hello, Quick As A Wink fans!

So. Apparently it has been over a month since I last wrote a blog entry... Oops. My apologies for the radio silence; I hate to miss the chance to engage with all of you. However, that also means I have many exciting things to tell you about!

First and foremost, as many of you know, I have been hosting QAAW’s Pub Trivia at the Spitfire Arms for the past few weeks! Hosting trivia is so much fun; all of our teams make the place such a fun and welcoming atmosphere and are so good humoured and patient. Everyone is so positive and supportive, too! Nothing makes me happier than when an underdog team has a successful night and the entire room breaks into applause to celebrate their success, something that has happened multiple times in the past few weeks alone! Thanks to everyone who has come out to play; you make the job so enjoyable! This coming week, though, I will be taking a temporary break from my hosting duties so that I am able to join the rest of you and play. Not to worry, though; my coworker, Miriam, will be stepping in, and I am confident she will do an awesome job. I hope to see you all there! Don’t forget trivia is only $2 per person to play and happens every Tuesday at 7pm at the Spitfire.

In addition to trivia, I have also gotten to do one of the other things I love the best about this position; engage with our amazing summer campers. Miriam and I recently held auditions for roles in our summer camp productions, and let me tell you, folks, these youth are amazing. Every person who walked through our door brought such a great energy and enthusiasm to everything they did, and Miriam and I were blown away by all the talent we saw. From poems to monologues to songs, every piece delivered to us brought us so much joy and made us so enthusiastic for camp to begin. Luckily, that time is only a couple of weeks away!

Miriam and I also recently attended Summer Plans Night at the Wolfville Farmer’s market. It is always exciting to have the opportunity to connect with the community and share all the things QAAW has planned with them, including summer camps, Pub Trivia, Windsor Ghost Walks, and more! Thanks to everyone who stopped by our booth to chat with us; you made our night!

Additional, I’d like to give a special shout out to the winner of the QAAW season tickets we gave away at Summer Plans Night! You are in for some truly spectacular series of shows, especially given our recent announcement that our first show of the season will be The Drowsy Chaperone! Auditions for this great production, and our winter show A Christmas Carol, are only about a week away, so be sure to click here to learn more and to register for an audition.

This week alone has already been a whirlwind; Miriam and I have been finalizing our casting for the camp productions, and we will also be paying a special visit to West Hants Recreation’s summer camp this week to share our love of theatre with them and play some exciting games! Be sure to keep an eye on our Facebook page to hear all about how this went.

Whew. What a lengthy entry after so much time away! You can expect to hear from me more frequently now that I am back in the swing of things. For now, though, I must go; as mentioned above, we have a lot of planning to do before camp begins!

Cheers everyone, and have a great day!

Ally

Hi there- happy Friday!

After camp auditions last week, I have started to buckle down and dig into a pile of music, monologues, and casting decisions, which hopefully will be figured out by the end of next week! I have read the play, ‘Holka Polka’ by D.M. Larson, for the drama camp probably twenty times already, searching for clues about the different characters, props, sets, costumes, and maybe some fun craft ideas we could do during camp. It is going to be a lot of fun, and I hope all the campers have a blast! 

Looking for music for the Musical Theatre camp later on in the summer has also been a great opportunity, because there are a lot of musicals out there which I don't know well, and now I’m getting to know them a bit better! Today I also went to the space we will be using for camps to give me a better idea of where I can schedule parts of the camps- and it is beautiful. The church is massive, and has lots of rooms which will enable us to work on multiple things at a time during camps (plus two pianos)!

Last night there was a Windsor Ghost Walk, and about 23 people came to see what it was all about which is fantastic! It was a beautiful evening for a stroll around the town (unlike today!). The next one happens in late August; click here if you’d like to learn more or buy tickets.

Another exciting bit of news this week was the reveal of two shows that QAAW will be putting on in December 2017 (A Christmas Carol) and January 2018 (The Drowsy Chaperone). Click here if you’d like to learn more about it or when/how to audition!

I hope you are all able to have a wonderful Canada Day weekend with your friends and family despite the weather forecast! 

Cheers,

Miriam

Auditions Open Now for A Christmas Carol and The Drowsy Chaperone!

We are pleased to announce that auditions for both our December 2017 production of A Christmas Carol and January 2018 production of The Drowsy Chaperone are open now! Due to the proximity of the performances, the production teams from both musicals will comprise the double panel for auditions.

Auditions are to be held on July 12 and 13th, 2017 at the Fountain Performing Arts Centre at King's-Edgehill School in Windsor, NS.

Click here to see the audition announcement, get more information on casting and available roles, and register for your audition today!

Summer Student Blog Post: Summer!!

Hi there!

I just got back from a weekend away camping on PEI- it was the first time I have ever been there, and I'll definitely be going back! Canada is such a beautiful country!

Photo credit to Katrina Salmon!

Photo credit to Katrina Salmon!

Over the last week I have been busy with a few things, including preparing for and being at the Wolfville Farmer’s Market’s Summer Plans Night last Wednesday evening with Ally, working on organizing props in the storage facility, and preparing for camp auditions which started yesterday evening, and continue tonight (Thursday) at King’s Edgehill School (5-8pm).  If anyone needs to sign up for an audition or has any questions about auditioning or camps, please feel free to email me at miriamdegoeij@gmail.com and I’ll get right back to you!

Once auditions have finished up tonight, work is going to get very busy- I can start casting Theatre campers in the fun play “Holka Polka” by D.M. Larson, and also start to find monologues and song pieces to meld into a showcase for the Musical Theatre campers! Also, come hang out with myself and some ‘ghosts’ next week at the Windsor Ghost Walk- we have some great door prizes to give out! (Thursday, June 29- meet at the Fort Edward Blockhouse with the walk starting at 7:30pm!)

Well, I better get back to work! I hope everyone is having a wonderful week!

Miriam

Summer Student Blog Post: Gary-Indiana, Gary-Indiana...

Hello everyone! 

The last week has been kind of crazy, but in the best way possible! I’ve been preparing for the Wolfville Farmer’s Market Summer Plans Night (June 14!) by making a display board all about QAAW and some of the things we do, like Trivia or the Valley Ghost Walks- speaking of which, Thursday evening was the first Windsor walk of the season, and I finally was able to experience a Ghost Walk for the first time! It was highly entertaining, and I learned a lot about the history in the area. The ‘ghosts’ were superb, and completely in character the entire time! It was a beautiful evening for a walk! The next one in Windsor is on June 29, at 7:30pm. I’ll be there with some door prizes donated (wonderfully) by local businesses!

Over the past week I have also been visiting schools- I went to Brooklyn Elementary School and Windsor Elementary School to do some presentations about our summer camps. This week I will be heading to West Hants Middle School! I’ve met so many great kids, I hope to see a lot of them at camp!

A moment from QAAW's performance of The Music Man captured by Carole Morris-Underhill!

A moment from QAAW's performance of The Music Man captured by Carole Morris-Underhill!

I was also extremely lucky to be able to catch the last show of QAAW’s The Music Man on Saturday night- incredible! It was so well done; the cast was completely invested and hilarious, the music is still stuck in my head (76 Trombones, anyone?), and the costumes and sets were fabulous! I loved the barber-shop quartet that kept coming back throughout the show, as well as the fun choreography. Utterly delightful! 

Soon I will be getting ready for auditions and then that means camp planning with Ally- if you want to sign your child up for a camp, you’re not too late! Click here for more information!

I’m off to go enjoy the sunshine- hopefully you are too!

Have a great week!

Miriam