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Day 1: In Which We Meet Our 97 Young Heroes

It's finally here, the first day of summer camp, when questions flash through everybody's minds. "Will I make friends?" "Will I get the part I want?" "Where do I put this form?" "If this place is called Stage Right does that mean it is also technically Audience's Left?" And let's not forget, "Who is that mysterious figure in the red hat and trenchcoat drawing everybody?"

That would be me.

If you read my previous posts, you know I love Chicago and Frozen. My plan was to use my acting skills to disguise myself as a teen—or preteen—and attend camp as one of them. Unfortunately, this plan ultimately failed:

"This is Rebecca," said director Tony Marino. "She is one of our interns."

This means I will need a better disguise next time.

As for the ACTUAL campers, they got to know one another and the camp staff, as well as learn the audition songs and dances.

The teen dancers in Renata Marino's class.

Auditions are the biggest part of day 1, exciting for some and no doubt nerve-wracking for others. But the best part of these auditions is that nobody is put down or rejected for not knowing a dance move, flubbing a line, or being unable to hit a note. Everyone's here to support everyone else, and everyone will play a role in making these shows come together.

The teens take turns singing their audition songs in the upstairs studio.

The teens got a taste of the jazzy syncopation they'll have to sing and dance to in Chicago. I was somewhat surprised to discover that the boys in this camp can sing Mary Sunshine's lines better than I can.

In the lower studio, the preteens took turns singing songs from Frozen. Those not auditioning at the moment waited their turn on the dance floor.

Audrey, my fellow intern, sings a song with some preteens waiting for their audition.

With nearly 100 kids between the two groups, it was a loud, hectic, crazy fun day full of music, movement, and mistaken identity. Who knows what activities our young thespian heroes will encounter tomorrow. Maybe tomorrow I will remember to order my lunch on time.

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