Arts, Dining & Entertainment

Beloved Solarfest feature, Theater in the Woods launches summer camp

MIDDLETOWN SPRINGS — When was the last time you ran into a pack of wolves and a princess roaming the woods? This could be your lucky summer: three directors of SolarFest’s renowned Theater in the Woods will hold a two-week summer camp at Burnham Hollow Orchard in Middletown Springs from June 27 – July 8, for Rutland and Bennington county children ages 8-14.
“We’ve been wanting to do this for quite a few years,” says Theater in the Woods Vermont co-founder Melissa Chesnut-Tangerman. “We want to reach the next generation of kids to create outdoor theater. When SolarFest’s continuation was in question last year, we knew it was time.”
The partnership between SolarFest and Theater in the Woods Vermont is strong, and one of the three plays that will be developed at the camp will become the Theater in the Woods play featured at SolarFest at SVAC (its new location for this summer). Solarfest, a renewable energy festival teaching energy education through the arts, was held at Forget-me-Not Farm in Tinmouth for a decade.
Children’s book author Frank Asch wrote his first play for SolarFest in 1997: “Ziggy the Piggy,” subsequently published as a book. Nine other plays followed in the next 15 years. Asch’s plays and the Theater in the Woods company became “a phenomenon unto itself,” says Patty Kenyon, former SolarFest Managing Director. “Each year I watched as more and more people would gather in the woods to begin a journey through time and space, taking us through a magical forest interacting with bears, wolves, princes, frogs and fairies. There was always a clever play on words, tying old fairy tales with present-day dilemmas, complete with a moral at the end of the story.”
Glenn Tarbell of Middletown Springs and Wheaton Squier of Tinmouth join Chesnut-Tangerman in a mission to encourage kids’ creativity through the transformative power of theater in the magic of the woods. Each director brings years of performance, directing and educational experience to the camp.
Theater in the Woods Vermont camp is open to ages 8-14. It runs weekdays June 27-July 8, from 8:45 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Burnham Hollow Orchard, 30 Orchard Road in Middletown Springs.
For more information, visit the website at

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