Monthly Archives: July 2016

Making Dreams Come True

Thirteen year old Dream Scholar, Bianca G., says that the motto at DreamWrights is true. “DreamWrights is a place where dreams do come true. I never thought that I would be in a performing arts program or that I might ever see a live performance.” But this summer, both of these dreams came true for this hard working young lady.

20160721 Bianca Garner (8)

The first week of summer camps, Bianca helped out as a teen counselor for two mini musicals, Pajama Party and Dinostars. Although very quiet and reserved, Bianca’s passion for theatre soon became very apparent. She was diligent in her counselor duties, she loved working with the younger kids, and she soaked up every bit of theatre experience she was exposed to that week. Bianca says, “I loved contributing and helping the younger kids because I could memorize their choreography and help them.” She took the initiative to work with some of the kids, providing them some extra coaching, when the Teaching Artist was busy with other campers.

During her down time, Bianca loved looking at the photo displays of actors and prior DreamWrights performances. She had never seen a live show before and when she realized that the musical, Legally Blonde was opening at the end of the week, she began to save towards the cost of a ticket. Summer Camp Coordinator, Hannah Kohler, remembers, “She would give me updates every day. ‘Last night I did this for five dollars and today I’m doing this for a dollar so I can earn enough money to buy a ticket to see Legally Blonde.’ She was determined to see the show.”

And she did. She was there in the fifth row on opening night. She loved it. When the show was over she patiently waited for every actor’s signature on her program. She said she would treasure that program forever. Bianca remembers, “I was in my seat and I couldn’t keep my eyes off of it. I liked all the songs. I sang them when I went home. Literally I was talking about it all week the week after. I pulled up the Broadway version on YouTube and watched it a million times.”

20160722 Broadway Week (73)

A few weeks later it was time for Bianca to come back to DreamWrights as a camp participant. She couldn’t wait. It was not a surprise that she chose to attend Broadway week. “I picked Broadway Week because I really like musicals and I think that maybe if I got to learn songs I could practice and that way when I get more successful I might be somewhere probably on Broadway or in a different show somewhere else.” Sure enough, during the week she learned many songs and even worked on a few solos. Bianca said Freak Flag from Shrek was her favorite.

On the eve of her Broadway camp performance, Bianca was full of anticipation. “I can’t wait to perform tomorrow because I’m going to be up there and a lot of people in my group always are cheering me on and we always have a laugh together and it is really fun. It is going to be sad tomorrow because the friends I made this week are really amazing.”

When asked about what she learned at DreamWrights, Bianca says, “The number one lesson I’ve learned is that I don’t have to be scared while singing up on stage because I know that the people I’m singing with really won’t judge me. We don’t judge anybody here because everyone is perfect in their own way.”

Bianca says she enjoys performance arts whether she’s onstage, back stage, or in the audience. She says she loves it “as long as I feel like I’m a part of it. Even in the audience you’re a part of it. Because you’re making people feel good about themselves when you sit there and watch them and when you cheer for them. Either way, when I’m backstage helping with lights or whatever it doesn’t really matter because I know that I’m a part of the solution.” But the most important part is to have fun and to let people know who you are. “Because you never know, maybe that person might star somewhere. Maybe their name might be heard somewhere, even if it is just something little. It is something that could influence other people.”

20160721 Bianca Garner (9)

We fully expect to see Bianca’s name in lights someday.

About Bianca G.: Bianca is a middle schooler at Helen Thackston Charter School. She wants to be a comic when she grows up. She loves musicals and comedies and likes to make people laugh without hurting their feelings. She says the best part about DreamWrights is the people. Next month, Bianca will be moving with her mother and two younger sisters. She is hoping to continue to develop her talent at a place like DreamWrights in her new town.

A Summer Institution: Shakespeare Free in the Parks

For its 18th summer, Theatre Under The Trees is adding a modern, musical twist to the classic Shakespeare comedy, As You Like It. Theatre Under The Trees has always brought unique, show-specific music to York County audiences thanks to co-founder, music, and voice director Gayle Eubank. Eubank will be composing original music for the five songs included in the play, taking inspiration from the late 1980’s. These songs will be performed by Strange Oaths, a five part band created just for the show.

20160629 DreamWrights TUTT Strange Oaths
Band Strange Oaths, a band original to Theatre Under the Trees’ As You Like It. (left to right) standing: Johan Unger, Jesse Stagg, Gayle Eubank, seated: Andrea Hammond, Erika Broadaway

Shakespeare’s As You Like It begins with a bitter fight between brothers, followed by a wrestling match with a surprising outcome. Then banished cousins Rosalind and Celia travel to the very musical locale of Arden, where they are surprised to find love letters posted everywhere proclaiming Rosalind’s virtues. Once the mysterious suitor is revealed as Orlando, Rosalind takes advantage of her boyish disguise to educate him about the truths of women to the amusement of Celia and her jester, Touchstone. Rosalind’s banished father and his friends and a trio of shepherds are added to the Arden mix for even livelier entertainment.

Sponsored in party by the Hall Foundation, As You Like It opens on July 22, 6:30 pm at Gifford Pinchot State Park. 7 performances follow. Bring a blanket and some friends and come to the park nearest you. All performances are free, but donations are gratefully accepted. For more information, please visit http://www.dreamwrights.org/2016-season/as-you-like-it.

July 22 6:30 pm Gifford Pinchot State Park
July 23 5:30 pm Brown’s Orchards & Farm Market
July 24 6:30 pm Cousler Park
July 26 6:30 pm Rudy County Park
July 28 6:30 pm Sam Lewis State Park
July 29 6:30 pm William Kain County Park
July 30 6:30 pm Codorus State Park
July 31 2:30 pm DreamWrights

A Place for All

20151006 Seussical Dress Rehearsal (7)
Stauch’s granddaughter during a Seussical rehearsal…

For 70 year old Jim Stauch, DreamWrights means opportunities for his granddaughters. One loved the theatre from a young age and fit right in. The other was more reticent because she is on the autism spectrum. “DreamWrights has given her the opportunity to assimilate into mainstream activities,” Jim explains. “The people at DreamWrights treat her like a normal child. They don’t do anything special. But she has the opportunity to express herself.” DreamWrights gives both of these girls – as well as everybody – the opportunity to get involved and express themselves.

Jim is astounded at the growth he’s seen in his granddaughter as a result of the opportunities she’s experienced at DreamWrights. He says the transformation is remarkable. “From being withdrawn with the rest of the family to now with her confidence to be on stage, to recite poems, from the traveling show to a main production, it’s… wow, it’s just awesome.”

IMG_0479
…and helping out as a teen camp counselor

Jim knows better than anyone the value of the DreamWrights experience. “DreamWrights is here for everybody, regardless of disabilities and handicaps. It’s here for the youngest, for the oldest. It’s all inclusive to everybody. You can feel at home here. You can learn. Any investment in DreamWrights is an investment in the community. It’s a place where kids can come, express themselves, stay out of trouble, and do more than just play on computers.”

Thanks, Jim, for bravely sharing your story with us. We applaud your granddaughter’s successes and look forward to seeing her participate in her next production!