French Woods has one of the most ambitious theater schedules in camping, producing more than 80 full-scale productions every summer. Our music departments provides orchestra pits for musicals. Our sound, lighting, stagecraft and costume departments support the productions and give campers opportunities to be involved backstage as well.
There are five theaters on camp: a black-box, a proscenium stage with fly system, a proscenium stage with raked seating, a theater-in-the-round and a three-quarter-thrust stage. All theaters are equipped with sound and lighting systems and a technical crew that teaches and designs. Two full scale scene shops, a huge costume shop, full music and tech theater departments support our stage productions.
Auditions take place on the day after you arrive at camp. For the musicals, campers are asked to sing 16 bars or about 30 seconds of any song that shows off their voice and for the dramas, we provide sides. Theater shows are divided up by age into 5 groups: 7-9 years old, 9-11 years old, 11-12 years old, 11-14 years old, and 11-17 years old. Because there is some overlap, a camper might be eligible for more than one age group of shows. We recommend everyone try out for everything they can, and we guarantee that if you audition for the musicals you will be placed in a show.
Professional instructors also teach classes in improvisation, acting technique, commercial technique, creative writing, directing, dialects, musical theater, Shakespeare, stage combat, scene study, theatre games and more. Our Cabaret and Improvisation Troupes are invited to perform at nearby resorts and neighboring camps. If you are interested in technical theater you can take classes and get hands-on experience in stagecraft and design, lighting, sound, video, costuming and makeup.
Our musical productions are supported by live music, provided by campers and staff in our classical, jazz, or rock and roll music programs, whichever is appropriate for the show, from small combos to full pit orchestras.
We also offer several one-act plays each session, some of which are directed by campers.