by Freddy Carnes, Artistic Associate
I started working at Theatre Action Project in 2005; I was a Teaching Artist that first year and we had almost no work the summer of 2006. I had to get another summer job to survive before I became a full time staff member in August of 2006.
Fast forward to 2011.
We started the summer with the Summer Pageant in the Park, which included two weeks of a camp that culminated in the performance downtown at Republic Square Park. We marched through the farmer’s market and then ended the pageant with The Beatles “Here Comes the Sun”.
The next eight weeks I was teaching at the TAP Summer Camps. Each week was a new fun-filled theme and new amazing students and teachers. Each Friday consisted of an amazing sharing for the parents (from puppets and music to full productions). I only spent one week away from teaching at summer camp; i was not there for “Lights, Camera, Action”. But none the less, that week I performed “World Tales and Tunes” (TAP’s PreK-K storytelling program) in Georgetown and as well as 4 days (at four performances a day) in San Antonio. The amazing thing is that despite being constantly exhausted it was the most fun summer I’d had in years. There is no better feeling for a teacher or actor but to wake up each morning and see the children’s smiling faces singing and laughing and having fun while learning lessons that will last a lifetime. The summer ended with the camp “Songs for the Stage”. We did “Da Doo” from Little Shop of Horrors, as well as “Dancing in the Streets” and “I Don’t Wanna Grow Up”. We also sang a number of Beatles songs including the song that kick started our summer, “Here Comes the Sun”.
This is special work that we do and it takes a special person to do it. It may be exhausting, but it’s how we are affecting the children that helps to put that behind us. Fortunately, TAP has a team of full-time staff that are special and an even larger team of Teaching Artists that do this special work. Wow, we’ve come a long way from the summer of 2006 and I know that we will keep growing!