Emily’s Theatre Camp

Back in the mists of time when Oliver was wee, we had an excellent run of babysitters. One of these was Emily Hanlin, an American expat who’d fallen for Prince Edward Island. Oliver met her for the first time at Kinder Music, and sometime thereafter we managed to become one of her babysitting clients.

Emily is the only babysitter to have arrived at the door with a full range of child enrichment materials, all wrapped up in a very Mary Poppins-like bag to boot, if memory serves. Oliver loved her, and she loved Oliver, and it was a very sad day when we learned that she was up and moving on (to Chicago, where I think she met Arthur Miller).

In the intervening years Emily’s moved about some more, and last summer she was married and settled down, as Emily describes it, in “Westford, Massachusetts on a 250 year-old farm with her husband, Eric, their dog, three cats and a flock of hens.”

This summer Emily’s returning to Prince Edward Island, to host a one week theatre camp for kids in Charlottetown. Here’s how she describes it:

I am so pleased to announce a project I have wanted to commit to since leaving PEI in 2004 is finally coming to fruition! I am excited to announce a partnership with Beaconsfield Historic House, one of my favorite spots on the Island. With BHH, I am presenting a summer theatre camp for kids, Monday-Friday, July 19-23, in Beaconsfield’s Carriage House. The camp is an afternoon camp from 1pm until 5pm and is for ages 8-12. The fee is $150 CDN with sibling discounts available.

For our first summer, I decided it would be fun to connect the theatre camp to the history of the house. I am currently working on an original comedy, Princess Louise Comes to Call, which draws upon the real-life visit of Princess Louise, Queen Victoria’s daughter, to the historic PEI home. The play includes a bit of time travel for two young volunteers at the museum. Not only do they get to meet Princess Louise, but also a host of other Island historic figures who join her as guests to a “fine” dinner party. Young thespians will learn about proper table manners and the etiquette of the 19th century – as well as learn about comedic timing and diction.

You can register for the camp online (there are still spaces available). I can’t imagine a better way to spend a week for a theatrical kid.