We decided to interview Leah Finkelman, our Project Director, to learn a little more about Project and see what she has in store for us this session!
“This is my second year directing Project, and I could not be more excited to be back at camp. Already, I’ve been able to work with a phenomenal staff, reconnect with campers I worked with last year, and meet new campers, all while preparing 72 high schoolers for an incredible show.
Each summer, the unit of Anaf performs “Project,” a musical prepared entirely by them. By the end of the summer, they will have learned their lines, songs, and dances. For many, this is their first foray into musical theater, but we aim to make the program something that’s enjoyable for everyone, regardless of their talent and experience. Each camper is put on a crew, and as a unit they are responsible, with the help of their counselors, for all costumes, props, set, and the backdrop. The rest of camp doesn’t find out what the show is until the day of the performance, and the fifth crew, Project Ruach, gets them excited and ultimately reveals what the show is during meal times.
I originally took the job of Project Director a little hesitantly, excited to continue working with Anaf, but worried that I didn’t have enough theater experience to be an effective director. I had a few things going for me: a little acting and a lot of behind-the-scenes experience in my high school’s theater program, but my biggest advantage was my experience with campers. I’d been coming to camp since Garin, had done Avodah, and had been on staff for two years, including two sessions as an Anaf counselor.
This summer, Project is already off to a great start. We told Anaf what show they’ll be doing last Tuesday night, and they all auditioned on Wednesday. Last Thursday, they received their cast lists and scripts and started planning for the rest of the session. They have already demonstrated to all of staff that they are a talented, excited group of people who will embrace their roles, both offstage and onstage, and create something truly beautiful for all of camp.”
Obviously Leah loves Anaf and Project and it is sure to be awesome this session. We really can’t wait to see it!