Fourth of July

Today was a unique day in the annals of camp, because today and today only camp graced the premises of the MBU Wharf location – for a workshop with the one and only Dr Peter Kirwan! In his words, what better way to spend Independence Day than getting a lecture about history from an Englishman?

Dr Kirwan is a scholar (currently working on the Arden 4 of Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale), critic (writer of the longrunning Shakespeare review blog The Bardathon) and professor of Shakespeare at Mary Baldwin. His workshop concerned that most mysterious theatrical convention of the early modern stage: The Cue Script!

A facsimile of an early modern cue script


In Dr Kirwan’s workshop, campers learned that actors of Shakespeare’s day would not receive a full script; instead, they would receive “parts” – abbreviated documents with their lines, preceded by the last few words of their cue lines. Campers had a chance to participate in cue script work by acting out the “rude mechanicals” scene where the buffoonish Nick Bottom gets a donkey head!


Working with a cue script version of Midsummer!


After dinner, campers moved on to their first showcase rehearsal, rehearsing scenes from the following early modern plays:

Hamlet, with Sam Grocock

Tempest, with Marielle Buxbaum

Midsummer Night’s Dream, with Jake Raiter

Much Ado About Nothing, with Scarlet Frishman

Romeo and Juliet, with Joan Raube-Wilson

Gallathea, with Austen Bell

Only serious theatre happens here (not pictured: the broom puppet Tempest)


Campers finished up their Fourth of July with sparklers in the courtyard and fireworks on the hill – some campers maintained that their chanting of “To be, or not to be” immediately before the fireworks began was the charm that manifested them.

I tried to take pictures but they all kind of looked like this. Could be an album cover for something?


Olivia Rose finished us off by leading a quasi-choral rendition of Stephen Sondheim’s “No One is Alone” for a lullaby. We all look forward to a full day of workshops, rehearsals, and of course MASQUERADE tomorrow!

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