WPYAC update!

WPYAC stands for White Pines Young Artists Camp - and we're halfway through our summer! We thought it might be a good time to share some of the magic our campers have been making at The White Pines Place!

Week One was all about creating your own superhero. Here's a .gif of our beloved camp teaching assistant Julian playing a dastardly villain and getting his just desserts from a gang of superheroes!

Week Two was film school - and the campers made skits based on some of their favorite movies. Below are pix of a Harry Potter inspired scene, and an Indiana Jones inspired scene!

In week 2 they also made their very own music videos with Tina Budnik of KXB studios!

In Week Three we looked at making creative choices with social media. We made some frames . . . 

 . . . and some masks! 

Week Four was Hamilton week. It was the second most well attended week in the history of camp! We learned songs from the hit musical, studied the history and ideas it is based on, and made our own performance! Check out these videos from our week 4 share!

The next video is thanks to Devon's dad Joe Dougherty. Our memory chip ran out of space before the final song "Yorktown", but you can watch it here, along with Xander's poem! 

We have three more weeks of camp, and some spaces left for you! Sign up today! Click on the title of the camp week to enroll . . . 

Week Five: August 14th-18th

What's Your Story?

Everybody has a story to tell. Even young people. Especially young people. We'll show you how to tell those stories through visual and performing arts.


Week Six: August 21st-25th: 

Actionable Arts!   

     
Art can change the world an inspire communities into action. This week we'll explore how we can contribute art into our families, neighborhoods and community that can activate change.

 

Week Seven: August 28th-September 1st: 

Books Alive! 

        
Join us for a week that honors and celebrates our favorite books! We'll engage in hands on arts projects involving creative writing, illustration, theater and storytelling! 

 

Prices

Full Day: $270 // 9:00am-4:00pm

Half Day (morning): $150 // 9:00am - 12:00pm

Half Day (afternoon): $150 // 1:00pm - 4:00pm


Other FAQs

  • For ages 8-14 (there is flexibility!)

  • Students provide their own lunch.

  • Full camp days run 9:00am - 4:00pm with extended day options available 8:00am - 5:00pm.

  • Camp location is The White Pines Place in Elkins Park PA. Outdoor activities in High School Park across the street.

  • Camp Celebration is at 4:00pm on the Friday of each camp week.

 

Contact Dani at education.wpp@gmail.com  for any questions!

White Pines receives grant to support theater with seniors!

Program director Jerry Perna works with a senior citizen during The Senior Theater Initiative. 

Program director Jerry Perna works with a senior citizen during The Senior Theater Initiative. 

White Pines Productions had received $2,000 from the Henrietta Tower Wurts Memorial to support its Senior Theater Initiative. The Henrietta Tower Wurts Memorial is a charitable foundation formed to carry out the wishes of Henrietta Tower Wurts, who died in 1933. It supports programs in which a modest grant can play a significant part, and which have meaningful goals in relation to the total resources committed to them. The Philadelphia Foundation provides administrative and management support services for the memorial.

Led by program director Jerry Perna, the Senior Theater Initiative transforms the lives of seniors in low-income senior living sites. For the past three years, we have partnered with federation Housing, Inc. to serve seniors in three of heir sites: The Samuel F. Green House in Elkins Park, Sidewater House in the Northeast, and currently the Saligman Apartments on Roosevelt Blvd. 

"We use a fun and in-depth memoir process," says Perna, "in which the participants are asked to share memories and tell stories about their lives. And we also play some theater games and do some gentle exercises to get the creative juices flowing!" Perna then weaves these stories together in an original piece of theater, supported by professional teaching artists from our ensemble Bright Invention. These residencies meet once per week, last between 10 and 12 weeks, and culminate in a performance at the site shared with friends and family. 

"The Residents of Federation Housing have been so thrilled to have been a part of White Pines' Senior Theater Initiative. They found it to be very interactive and they enjoyed sharing their stories with each other. White Pines and their staff have been wonderful to work with and we look forward to future opportunities to work together," remarked Donna Boyer, Director of Community Services at Federation Housing, Inc.

"At White Pines, we are convinced that performance creativity can improve the quality of life for seniors, and for everyone!" say Executive Director Benjamin Lloyd. "The communal process Jerry creates, with its focus on memories and stories, benefits participants in many ways. We are deeply grateful to the Wurts Memorial and The Philadelphia Foundation for supporting us!"

Jerry, joined by two members of Bright Invention, and the participants of last year's Saligman residency. 

Jerry, joined by two members of Bright Invention, and the participants of last year's Saligman residency. 

Fall Classes Announced

Enrollment is open for fall classes at White Pines!

With classes for people aged 3 to 103, with and without disabilities, beginners and experienced performers, White Pines has something to offer everyone! "We are so excited about our fall semester," says Dani Bryant, White Pines' Director of Education. "And this year, we have created a full year of classes from the start, so you can see the progression of classes through 2017 and 2018." 

New in 2017 is the White Pines Young Artist Studio (WPYAS) - a comprehensive sequence of performing arts classes for the serious student of acting. Taught by Alee Spadoni, member of Bright Invention and BFA graduate from The University of the Arts, and Benjamin Lloyd, Executive Director of White Pines and MFA graduate from The Yale School of Drama, WPYAS is a fun way to acquire the skills used by the 21st century American professional actor. "We spent the summer working with Dani to create a three-course sequence," says Alee, "and Ben and I are super excited to work with focused and enthusiastic young people in this new class!" 

Returning to teach classes in the fall are Joy Weir (Ready, Set Create, and Youth Improv), Julian Morein (Anime Club), Klemintina Budnick (Animation) and Sutie Madison (Acting Out!). Ben and members of the White Pines ensemble Bright Invention will be the teachers for the adult improv classes. 

Click below to enroll today!

White Pines awarded grant to work with refugee children

White Pines Productions has been awarded $3,500 by the Employees Community Fund of Boeing to design and implement creative programming for refugee children at The Spruance School in Northeast Philadelphia. This award supports a partnership between White Pines and HIAS, the program leader. 

Valeri Harteg, the HIAS Refugee Education Coordinator, says "The HIAS PA Refugee Education Team is delighted to continue its partnership with White Pines Productions. Together, we look forward to encouraging language development and creativity in refugee youth in Northeast Philadelphia!"

White Pines Executive Director Benjamin Lloyd said "We are deeply grateful to the Philadelphia-area employees of Boeing Corporation for their support of this wonderful program. Boeing is an innovation leader, and it makes sense that they would support this innovative partnership between White Pines and HIAS." 

Tina Budnik of White Pines works with kids at the HIAS program at Spruance Elementary in Northeast Philly. 

Tina Budnik of White Pines works with kids at the HIAS program at Spruance Elementary in Northeast Philly. 

Since January, White Pines Education Director Dani Bryant and White Pines animation teacher Klemintina Budnik of KXB Studios have been working with the kids at Spruance, delighting and stimulating them with theater and animation projects. "We are so excited to expand this work beginning in the fall, and continue to assist these kids and their families adjust to their new lives in America." says Dani. To learn more about this partnership click here. 

This work falls under a suite of programs White Pines offers off-site, away from its Elkins Park home base. These are the White Pines ACCESS programs, and you can learn more about them on the front page of our site! 

Thanks Boeing! 

 

Bright Invention 4.0

Back row L - R: Eric Walker, Alee Spadoni, Benjamin Lloyd, Bob Stineman, Brian Anthony Wilson, Joshua Boden. Middle row L - R: Suzanne Anderson, Kiersten Adams, Leah Holleran. Front row L - R: Gavin Whitt, Aaron Roberge, Aimee Goldstein, Michelle Pauls (picture), Shea Sonsky. 

Back row L - R: Eric Walker, Alee Spadoni, Benjamin Lloyd, Bob Stineman, Brian Anthony Wilson, Joshua Boden. Middle row L - R: Suzanne Anderson, Kiersten Adams, Leah Holleran. Front row L - R: Gavin Whitt, Aaron Roberge, Aimee Goldstein, Michelle Pauls (picture), Shea Sonsky. 

"I think of this new group as Bright Invention 4.0" says Artistic Director Benjamin Lloyd. "Jennifer Macmillan and I put together 1.0 in 2013, then through departures and arrivals in the years since, it feels like this is fourth group of improvisors called Bright Invention."

Anchored by founding members from "BI 1.0" Lloyd, Michelle Pauls and Bob Stineman, Bright Invention now includes new arrivals Alee Spadoni, Aaron Roberge, Kiersten Adams, Eric Walker and Suzanne Anderson. Joshua Boden joined the group last month. "He's BI 3.5 all by himself," says Lloyd with smile. Boden and Lloyd just created and performed their new two-person improv show called, wait for it, Boden & Lloyd. 

The new members were chosen from a pool that auditioned earlier in June. "We had really good groups at both initial auditions," says Lloyd, "it was a really tough choice after callbacks." New Inventors bring with them experience in professional acting, improv of all kinds, social work, spoken word poetry and wide life experience. You can read more about them by clicking here. 

Departures from Bright Invention "3.0" made these auditions necessary. "When you have an ensemble of performing artists, each with their own various dreams and aspirations, it is inevitable that there will be turnover," says Lloyd. "Some beloved Inventors moved on recently, and we cannot replace them. But we can invite others to invent in their places."

Departing this spring were founding members Katherine Perry and Jerry Perna, along with John Schultz, Dan Ison and Kelly McCaughan. Perna will stay on at White Pines as their director of Senior Programs. "Your heart always breaks a little when people you improvise with depart," says Lloyd, "the connection is so deep. But in each case, these remarkable artists have other compelling projects and events in their own lives that demand their time and energy. Life happens and we wish them well." Many in the White Pines community will remember Katherine Perry, who was Director of Education for a year and half, and teacher to many young White Pines students. 

This summer, the ensemble will be in "boot camp" as Lloyd calls it. "It's back to basics, drills, exercises and ensemble-building." The first performance for the new group is currently scheduled for October, "but who knows?" says Lloyd. "It's improv. Anything can happen."

So stay tuned . . .