“All the [island’s] a stage, and all the [campers] merely players…”

by Kaja Surborg

The campers line up on the Honk Lawn, sweet treats in hand. Saturday evening: it’s time for the show! All day during general swim and rest hour, they’ve been trying to get a peek at the goings-on inside Honk Hall, where rehearsals have been underway since the start of morning activities. For hours, rumors have been swirling around the island: Who’s playing Sumner? We heard it’s an original this week! What have the Ex-Campers come up with?

Eight o’clock approaches; all these questions will soon be answered. 

The 2023 SNS season was a stellar one, with incredible acting, writing, directing, set design, and comedic timing in equal measure. I would have given everyone a Tony if I could!

The season opened with a new take on an old classic: Johnson’s 6 followed a group of intrepid campers as they attempt to pull off biggest candy heist in Pine Island history by raiding a secret stash allegedly hidden on nearby Oak Island. Camper Jack Johnson starred as himself in the role of crew leader and heist mastermind. His performance was so committed and convincing, I found myself wondering if there might really be a secret candy cache on Oak Island that even I didn’t know about. 

The following week saw another brilliant adaptation with The Great Sethi. Starring Zaid Palaniswamy as the narrator and Oliver Grossi as the titular Great Sethi, this show took the audience on an emotional journey across Great Pond that left me hoping for a sequel in 2024.

The mid-season show is traditionally produced and performed by the Ex-Campers, in the few days between their canoeing and hiking trips. This year was no different, bringing us 21 Pine Street, starring Arthur Murray and Anselm Bell as Ex-Camp Directors Taylor Clyde and Anders Westermann. The story followed the pair posing as campers in order to infiltrate and bust an unsanctioned on-island candy trading operation, delivering action and drama as they encountered various members of the Pine Island community. 

As we entered the second half of the season, we were lucky enough to bring in guest director Josh Treat to put together his long-awaited production of The Big Sidorsky. Following a classic case of mistaken identity, Alex Sidorsky, played by Spenser Davis, embarked on an increasingly uproarious quest to clear his name and settle scores. 

The final show of the season was exceptional in more ways than one; check out Sumner’s article for more about this incredible production.

I spend my weeks at Pine Island eagerly awaiting Saturday evenings, and this season’s performances delivered on all fronts. I’m already counting down the days until the first show of 2024!