Maureen McAfee and Ziza Soares Receive ACA’s Community Arts Leadership Award

On Thursday, June 4th, ACA was fortunate to be a part of Arlington High School’s annual Senior Awards night, which served to recognize and honor the diverse accomplishments of AHS’s graduating class. ACA presented the 5th annual John Cinkala Community Arts Leadership Award to two graduating AHS seniors: Ziza Soares and Maureen McAfee. The John Cinkala Community Arts Leadership Award is generously supported by former President of the Board of Directors for the Arlington Center for the Arts John Cinkala and aims to recognize graduating seniors who have demonstrated creativity and leadership in building community relationships through the arts.

This year’s recipients couldn’t better exemplify the values of this most prestigious award. Ziza Soares, through her work with the Thompson Drama Project, successfully directed 25 children in a highly popular dramatic rendition of The Queen’s New Clothes. Originally brought on as the Assistant Director for what was planned to be one long play, Ziza skillfully transitioned into the role of principal director when the Thompson Drama Project announced it would instead be producing four shorter plays due to the unprecedented number of children who enrolled in the program.

Ziza Soares, center, directed 25 students in an immensely popular rendition of

Ziza Soares, center, directed 25 students in an immensely popular rendition of “The Queen’s New Clothes.”

Maureen McAfee, Thursday night’s second recipient of the John Cinkala Community Arts Leadership Award, was an integral member of a team of young artists who lead a mural-making project for the Fox Library. McAfee, an accomplished painter and artist, worked with a group of students to transform one of the meeting rooms at the Fox library from a drab basement into a lasting work of art for all to enjoy.

ACA was honored and proud to award these two accomplished community artists and continue John Cinkala’s important work of recognizing and empowering young emerging artists within the Arlington community!

Drama Camp Diary

Ever wonder what it’s like at Drama Camp?  To be thrown together with a bunch of new kids, and put on a play together in just TWO weeks?  And not just any play – but SHAKESPEARE?!!

We asked our campers to keep a “DRAMA DIARY”  – to share their experiences as they prepared to present “A Midsummer’s Night at the Museum,” an original mash-up of some of Shakespeare’s best-known comedies, written by ACA drama teacher Jen Davis.

So, without further ado, and in their own words, we present ACA’s Drama Campers…

“I love drama camp!  It’s great, you get to do awesome plays, play super fun improv games, and do creative art projects.  ACA is an awesome camp and it brings out your inner artist, whether it’s musical, dramatic or artistic!”

— Fiona

Having fun with Shakespeare, swords, and pantaloons...!

“This is my 5th year in drama camp and I’m loving it!  I’m Beatrice (girl in the pink dress in the costume ball) and Sir Toby (boy in black leggings and smock thing).  The improv games here are awesome.  My personal favorites are Squirt, Salute the Director, Monster Museum, World’s Worst, and Where’s Charlie?  Oh, and Bus Stop!  I’ve had a lot of fun in the past week and two days and 3 hours, 50 minutes and a whole lot of seconds!  I love the cast party and it tastes really good! (yum).  On, and I have to wear PANTALOONS!!! Really!”

— April

“Drama camp is really cool.  I LOVE improv games, especially Bus Stop and Salute the Director.  Blocking and rehearsals are fun too, because it feels awesome to be performing and know your lines.  I am sooooo excited for the show!  It’s gonna ROCK!!  I also made a new friend and she’s really cool.  Oh, and pantaloons are NOT cool (or comfortable).”

— Maya

playing improv games up on stage...

“We love the game Squirt!  And other fun games.  I love to do the rehearsals.  Sometimes we play the last round of Squirt and 2 people would play and one person would tell a story and Jennifer would stand in front of a fan so we would be practicing our projection!”

— Joji

“Hello from Drama – Drama camp is totally awesome, all the games are really fun like Squirt and Museum Guard.  Blocking and Performing are also great.  I play Kid 2, who has a little sense of what’s happening.  This is going to be really fun!”

— Ben

Playing Taxi...!

“I really like the Drama Camp.  You get to do a bigger play than the other groups in the [regular arts camp].  Everyone always gets a part.  I like all the improv games we get to do.  I like Taxi and Bus Stop best.  I also like the three room game.”

— Olivia

“I had so much fun at drama but my favorite thing to do is rehearse!  I play Ms. Miranda.  My favorite part of playing her is I get soaked at the end! ”

— Anja

“Drama Rocks!  ACA is so much fun with lots of games and meeting new friends.  We played games like Squirt, Bus Stop, Taxi, World’s Worst, Salute the Director, Alien, and Where’s Charlie.  Everybody here is very nice!  My counselors were Alie and Allana, Eliza and Alex.  Drama Camp is awesome!”

— Joji

“ACA is great!  It passed by so quickly!  I can’t believe that it is almost showtime!  It’s going to be great!”

— Evelyn

“I’ve had a great time and I just want to say this Drama Camp is awesome.  I’d certainly like to do it again.”

— Cameron

working together on our costumes for the show...!

“We just finished a great day!  We blocked scenes, played improv games, worked on costumes, and finished art projects – it was a very productive day!”

— Evelyn

“Out of everything in these two weeks of Drama Camp, I would have to say my favorite thing was getting to know my character Scarlet.  I loved finding out what her personality was and then bringing Scarlet to life on stage.  I taught people fun improv games like Where’s Charlie and Alien, both of the games get you ready to act on stage – Alien gets you pumped up, and Where’s Charlie helps your acting skills.  Drama was great at ACA, everybody was nice and supportive.  DRAMA CAMP ROCKS!”

— Evie

“I am honored to be welcomed into the Drama group.  And I like playing games: Bus Stop, World’s Worst, Salute the Director, Echo, Squirt, etc.  I met a bunch of new friends.  Lunch, snack, and recess are awesome.  I play Benedick and the Fairy Chorus.”

— Lucy

“My favorite part of being here is all the games we play and meeting new friends.  I also love Drama Camp because we get to perform a play and have fun.  In the play I’m in the Fairy Chorus.  It’s really fun!”

— Jenny

“I’m very sad I can’t come back next year, but maybe I’ll be a C.I.T. and work with the Drama Camp.  I had lots of fun at Drama Camp.”

— Flava

“I play June in the play.  I like playing improv games.  My favorite part of being June is being the only practical kid. I really liked finding out our parts and seeing the costumes come together.”

— Laura

working on sword-fighting skills...

“ACA Rocks!  2 days until the show.  Sword fighting is awesome!  Main characters are Puck, Parris, Luke, Scarlet and June.  Cast party after!! Awesomeness!!!  I hope the show is awesome – what am I saying?  It will be!  Go Drama Camp!”

— April

“Dear ACA, just in case you want to know, I’m Witch 1 and Sir Andrew.  I loved playing improv games and Squirt was probably my favorite.  All the costumes are really cool!  I liked getting to know my character and getting to know my fellow campers.  Acting like people (or things) that I’m not is really fun and interesting.  Also playing improv games can bring out your inner actor!  From memorizing lines, to playing improv games or just being in your costume, they are all really great!”

— Fiona

“Dear Peeps, I love ACA!!!  It is full of awesome activities!  If you like art, drama, music, and fun stuff, this is the place for you!!”

— Ava

Want to see more from Drama Camp?  Check out our “Midsummer’s Night at the Museum” Slideshow for more photos from the production and all kinds of behind the scenes action!