Dance, dance, dance. 2018 MADD Campers step out for parents at performance.
Clinton KY - Hearing Hickman County young people sing "This is Me" from "The Greatest Showman" moved Murray's Playhouse in the Park director Lisa Cope to tears every time. The song was the big finale for the 2018 MADD Camp held at the high school from Monday June 23 to Thursday, June 26th. A performance on Friday was presented at Hickman County Elementary School after a luncheon for the actors, their families and workers.
Cope and her team, Adam Ellis, Jax Richardson and Jake Hunter, provided singing, dancing, costumes and drama instruction for twenty five young people. At left, Ringmaster Dallas Willingham gets last minute tips from Play
The weeklong camp about music, art, dance and drama, is provided without charge to students grades 5-9 by a cooperative effort of local groups. This is the second year that Playhouse in the Park has provided instruction in the summer program, now in its fourth year. MADD Camp is a joint effort of the Hickman County Arts Council, Inc., which provides funding and volunteers, Hickman County Schools providing bus service, breakfast, lunch and snacks through the school's FLIGHT program and the Hickman County Extension Office.
The circus theme was designed by Playhouse in the Park specifically for MADD Camp. The theme was not casually chosen. The story was a springboard to discussion and creative activity. Cope said that watching "The Greatest Showman" with students gave them a chance to talk about self esteem and being themselves.
Campers were divided into three groups. The "Exceptionals" were challenged to create circus characters and present a back story for them. Shown at right, Lilly Williams tells the story of the bearded lady who found acceptance in the circus.
"Talents" created circus acts - juggling, line taming, clowning. "Soloists" practiced their parts and their songs. The whole group learned the finale "This is Me" with dance steps.
There was universal amazement at the student performance. Judy Hilliard Long posted on Cope's Playhouse Facebook page "Thank you so much. It was a wonderful experience for 3 of our grandchildren. We are blessed to have this camp for our Hickman County children."
Below - it's all rehearsal. Students spent four days learning dance routines, circus acts, songs.