A Beloved Feature of Solarfest Branches Out to Summer Camp
Three veterans of SolarFest’s Theater in the Woods will hold a two-week day camp in Middletown Springs. “We’ve wanted to do this for years, create outdoor theater with the next generation,” says co-founder Melissa Chesnut-Tangerman. “When SolarFest’s continuation was in question last year, we knew it was time.”
SolarFest will be held this year at Southern Vermont Arts Center on July 15 and 16. One of the three plays developed at the camp will be featured there.
Children’s book author Frank Asch wrote his first play for SolarFest in 1997; nine other plays followed. Asch’s plays and the Theater in the Woods company became “a phenomenon unto itself,” says Patty Kenyon, former managing director of SolarFest. “Each year more and more people would gather … taking us through a magical forest interacting with bears, wolves, princes, frogs and fairies. There was always clever wordplay, tying old fairy tales with present-day dilemmas, complete with a moral at the end of the story.”
Glenn Tarbell and Wheaton Squier join Chesnut-Tangerman in a mission to encourage kids’ creativity through the transformative power of theater in the magic of the woods. Each director brings years of performance, directing and educational experience to the camp. Theater in the Woods Vermont camp is open to ages eight to 14, and will run weekdays from June 27 to July 8 at Burnham Hollow Orchard in Middletown Springs. For details, visit theaterinthewoodsvt.com.