Summer Theater Camp, they are pirates!

It’s time for the 4th Annual Lummi Island Summer Theater Camp, and the show is Gilbert & Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance!

This year, the Summer Theater Camp is honored to have:

Mark Kuntz, Director. Artistic Director at Bellingham Theatreworks, former chair and current theater faculty member of Western Washington University, Mark has directed over 125 plays around the nation including the Producing Director of Bellingham’s 1500-seat Mount Baker Theatre and the Artistic Director of their repertory theatre.

Pam Kuntz, Choreographer. (full-time this year!) Pam joined us part-time for Annie in 2013 and Bye Bye Birdie last summer. Pam is founder and Artistic Director of Kuntz and Company a nonprofit, professional dance/theatre company that produces original work. Pam is a member of the Dance Faculty at WWU where she is a Senior Instructor and the recipient of a 2015 Artist Trust Fellowship, 2012 Artist Trust GAP award, 2012 Peace Builder award, 2011 Ken Gass Community Building Award, and 2007 Bellingham Mayor’s Arts Award.  

Steve Barnes, Musical Director. Steve is an independent artist in Bellingham, brilliant pianist, and musical director. He has worked regularly with young performers in the Bellingham School District and Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth (BAAY). He’s also accompanied and directed at the Bellingham Theatre Guild, the Upfront Theatre, Mount Baker Theatre, and Western Washington University. 

And that’s just the staff! Among our many amazing volunteers who will be working directly with our campers we have:

Sandy Wolf who administered the Theatre Division of the UAF Summer Fine Arts Camp in Alaska, which drew over 400 teenaged students each summer.  Sandy taught Theatre and English at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and participated in multiple musicals with Fairbanks Light Opera Theatre and Theatre UAF as a performer or stage director. Marina, her original musical about Blaine in the early 1900s, was produced in May 2015 by Bellingham TheatreWorks at the Mount Baker Theatre in Bellingham.

Marissa Wyll will be working with the Lummi Island Summer Theatre Camp for the first time and she can't wait! She recently graduated from WWU with her BA in Theatre Arts and BS in Biology. She has experience in acting, directing, and theatre educationincluding WWU's Summer Youth Theatre Institute and the 5th Avenue Theatre's education department.

We are grateful that so many of our stalwart volunteers have agreed to grace us again with their creative talent and unbounding energy! Just to mention a few:

Alyssa Daschbach returns as Dance Captain and Stage Manager.

Wonderful and multi-talented Linda Smith returns again on costumes with amazing Capella Cole-Mann and the artistic whirlwind Pat Moye joining the team as well. 

Ingrid McGarry and Robin Richardson returns on sets, and Buffy Lapoff can find anything on this island for a prop.

Lucas Walker, Sam Bowman, and Byron Moye will lend a hammer and drill when needed.  

Clearly the Lummi Island Summer Theater Camp is well on its way to becoming an annual tradition (and yes, we’ve thought about doing Fiddler On the Roof).

Summer Theater Camp would never have taken off without our community’s generous support. The camp will grow and expand as we invite our community to come see island kids, Beach School kids, summer kids, vacationing kids, Bellingham and Ferndale kids, and our international kids, as together they become a community of actors, singers, and dancers to perform a rollicking rendition of Gilbert & Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance.

Lummi Island Foundation for Education (LIFE) and the PTO work in close partnership, concentrating on both organizations' responsibilities: our community’s youth. PTO provides the school gymnasium space and receives the Camp's proceeds. LIFE organizes and financially supports the Camp while the PTO is on break during the summer.

The kids will remember their camp experience for the rest of their lives. Please come, join us and be a part of the future!  

How it all began

In 2012, islander Robin Richardson saw a musical at Bellingham Arts Academy of Youth.

"Why don’t we have a summer theater camp on Lummi Island?"

Erna Gregory was standing in line at the Island Library and wasn’t sure if Robin was talking to her or to whomever was behind her.

"Uh…I don’t know," Erna shrugged.

"Well we should! LIFE should have a theater camp—aren’t you on the board?"

Erna nodded. She was pretty flattered that Robin payed any attention to what she might be up to.

"Well LIFE should coordinate this!" Robin carried on. "I can’t drive my granddaughter into town every day and hang out for six hours, and most other parents and grandparents out here can’t either. We need the talent to come to us—we have fantastic kids and they deserve it! This is a beautiful Island, people come from all over to enjoy this place. People would love to come out here and run a camp."

Robin sounded serious as only she can.

"Uh, sure. Okay…." Erna was next in line to get her books checked out. She could hear her son, then three years old, in the children’s section. He was not using his library voice.

"I’m going to email David Post at BAAY and see if he’ll talk with you about it."

Me?! Who’s David Post? What is BAAY?!

Erna had just joined the LIFE board and was still getting her sea legs trying to understand what the Garden Tour was all about. Theater Camp?

Robin—ever intrepid—did follow through (as she always does) and got Erna in touch with the incredible David Post and the rest is fast becoming history.

We are all so grateful to David, who is on to new endeavors and we will be forever grateful to him for helping us get our little camp off the ground!