Camp ZinZanni, Day 3

By Alison Sargent, a.k.a. “Rhubarb”

Today was spent in twos, with the kids learning to work together in just about every way. In the morning the kids paired up, and each duo melded themselves into a single body, as they juggled together, each one acting as a hand.

The kids were absolutely fascinated by Die Maiers’s comedy trapeze act, but most fascinating of all was seeing twenty-seven distinct personalities start to emerge as they created short two-person scenes. Sabine and Yogi coached the kids in the basics of performing on a stage, and gave them tips and inspiration for creating their own clowns. There was a blind juggler, a feather-duster dog, and several vicious fights over juggling prowess and “fine-looking” boys.

Props were also an important partner for the kids today, and they were treated to a presentation by Teatro ZinZanni’s props wizards Shauna and Jake. The introduced the campers to Kiki, Doloreze’s – or, rather, Madame Zinzanni’s – stuffed poodle. Kiki illustrated that when doubles are available, a prop can evolve over the course of a show – surviving decapitation to emerge bandaged, as a puppet, and then again as good as new.

The kids’ relationships with each other and the counselors and staff are evolving the most. As we take risks together by throwing objects through the air and creating new characters, the energy of the group is becoming livelier, looser, and more comfortable. And it’s that sense of community that will be most important as we work to put together a show in the next few days.

The highlight of my day was watching two boys in the water group start with a simple juggling move, add in the physical comedy they learned yesterday, and end the day with two distinct characters and an entire routine. The show is slowly starting to take shape, and I couldn’t be more surprised and impressed by what I’m seeing.


Photo by Christopher Nelson


Photo by Christopher Nelson

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