For the third show of the 2018 season, both groups of Expedition Campers, sixteen in all, directed by XCamp leaders Ian Ford, Satchel Toole, Nick Miller, and Cole Gibson, produced eX-Camper, based on the movie Big. The curtain opens on an alternate Pine Island universe in which counselors Matt Miller and Noah Brodsky (Sawyer Carson and Alex Lanoff) are wreaking havoc upon island life. Carson and Lanoff’s confident and audible performances brought life to their portrayals of the goofy pair. Miller’s own tent experiences the worst of the abuse of power: Will Napolitano, Tom Straus, and David Austin (themselves) suffer nobly through Miller’s treatment. Ben Brill, leading the first half of the show with his usual charm, gave a memorable performance as himself. Soon, Brill meets the stuffed cow genie, played with whimsy and excellent comedic timing by David Donoghue, who offers to grant Brill a single wish. The next morning, they awaken as fully-fledged counselors: Cole Wofford fearlessly takes on the role of Counselor David Austin, Garrett Gellert as the charismatic Counselor Ben Brill. But being a counselor is not as easy as it once seemed: in a single day, they’re accosted by a nervous mother (Alex Dhawan) and her first-year camper (Dylan Ashby), who hilariously list their concerns with the son’s many allergies. Austin is awakened by his camper (Anders Westermann) and learns he has overslept on his OD day. Other campers, played by Alex Sidorsky and Alex Desjonqueres, make life miserable with constant questions throughout his day. Even payday is a disappointment – Emily Swan (Anders Westermann) distributes paychecks that are a meager seventeen dollars. The pair wish desperately to return to their original camper form, and with lesson learned, the wish is granted. Through this show, the Expedition Campers proved their ability to work as a team to create something sensational.
The second Saturday Night Show of 2018 brought a charming adaptation of Boyhood entitled Buckhood. This show was written, directed, and narrated by seasoned Pine Island thespian and senior camper Buck Livingston. Teddy Mottur takes the stage, portraying the charming Young Buck. Soon, he meets Ben Swan (Victor Clamageran). Clamageran’s Swan is strong and captivating. Young Buck then finds his way to tentmate David Effron, whose welcoming attitude is portrayed well by Eamonn Daniels. Eventually, Young Alex Lanoff (Ben Lew) and Young Will Napolitano (Luke Beatie) enter the scene: the trio of actors’ camaraderie and goofiness parallels the real-life bond between the three boys. They begin their rise to fame as campfire performers in the skit series “The Expandables,” which in real life extended over five summers. Then Buck (Max Klivans), Lanoff (Alec Ritchie), and Napolitano (Arthur de Rochefort) take the stage as the winsome threesome, a few years older and wiser, while they struggle through a heroic downfall, which includes a terrible Maine Woodsman experience, campwide skit-fatigue, and the trio’s breakup because of Expedition Camp. Klivans, Ritchie, and de Rochefort bring truth and maturity to their portrayal of the tragic heroes. The mood is kept light and jovial, however, through Livingston’s expertly written and delivered narration. And it’s a happy ending for all: the trio is asked to produce one last skit that earns them such fame and glory that Ben Swan asks Buck to take over his job as Director, with Lanoff and Napolitano as Assistant Directors. A heartwarming tale, expertly acted, narrated, and directed entirely by campers.
The 2018 Pine Island community was treated to imaginative and hilarious productions every Saturday night this summer. The season began with an original production, Disappearance. Directors Mark Pierce and Matt Hawkins wrote, casted, and directed a thriller based on the real-life disappearance of Tent 15 several years ago. The Curtain opens to new campers, played by capable leads Will Hartley, Arthur de Rochefort, and James Burrell, questioning counselor Bobby Flynn (himself) about the missing tent. Skipper Ben Schachner, played with proper level-headedness by Irving Baldwin, sends the boys to counselor Nico Ramirez, played by the skilled Caleb Choe. Ramirez runs an underground anthropology lab near Colby College that contains records of every Pine Islander in history. Hearing Nico whisper, “Find Rhoads” as he dies, having eaten a poisoned Charleston Chew, the trio returns to the island to find Rhoads Miller (Eben Weislogel) who leads them to the trapdoor beneath the old Tent 15 site. This is the first of Weislogel’s excellent performances this season. Soon the group must complete trials that The Guardian, also played by the versatile Caleb Choe, has planned for intruders. After Will and Arthur fall victim (yet again!) to poisoned Charleston Chews, Rhoads and James must face the evil Perch Monster (Navi Vaisbort). An epic battle ensues, and Rhoads chases the monster away. James, the only camper left in the perch chamber, finally discovers the that the real monster is Charles Tonchew, also played by Vaisbort. Charles explains, in an extensive monologue that gives the villain’s backstory, the history of Tent 15. James and Tonchew duel using Chews as swords. James is victorious, putting an end to crime once and for all at PIC.
This is the first installment of a five-part series. The full story will be available in the upcoming edition of Pine Island Camp’s newsletter, The Pine Needle. Stay tuned!