Creative Kids Day led me down this path
July 2017 – Written by John Brotherhood, performing intern at Northern Sky Theater
Two of my favorite things in the world are live theater and Door County. I am blessed to be able to say that I have found a way to combine my love for both of these things.
I have spent every summer in Door County with my family for the past 10 years. Because my interest in live theater started at such a young age, my mom wanted to make sure that I would have some kind of outlet for it during our summers up here in the county.
She came across two different opportunities when I was a kid and enrolled me in both: Doorways, which is Door Shakespeare’s weeklong day camp for kids (another theater I have been lucky to come back to perform at years later as an actor); and Creative Kids Day, a program for kids right here at Northern Sky, at the time known as American Folklore Theater.
Creative Kids Day had a special impact on me. It was about 10 years ago, but I remember arriving at Peninsula State Park and feeling very nervous and shy.
However, even though I was not able to fully comprehend the experience at the time, I vividly remember having the feeling, even then, that this place was more than just a theater. Watching company members such as Jeff Herbst, Doc Heide and Doug Mancheski interact with each other, I remember thinking that they were more than just a group actors who worked together — they interacted with ease and banter, just like a family, albeit with the unique skills and talent that was evident even to an eight-year-old.
Throughout that day, I was able to hear about all of the different shows they had done, and I particularly remember thinking how cool it was that their shows were about my home state of Wisconsin and, even better, about Door County, my favorite place in the world.
After attending Creative Kids Day, I went with my family to see my first show at AFT, “Lumberjacks in Love” (which is back this summer). I remember watching the show, thinking it was so cool to see the people who had taught me at Creative Kids Day up onstage performing, because I felt like I knew them.
Leaving the theater, I was filled with the energy that the show and its cast had bestowed upon the audience and said to myself, “Someday I’m going to be on that stage.”
Jump ahead 10 years and here I am, being welcomed into the Northern Sky Theater family as a production intern and actor in this year’s world premiere, “Oklahoma in Wisconsin.” Every single person in the theater has been so warm and welcoming to me, making me feel right at home. Walking out on the Northern Sky stage to tell this story with actors whom I have been watching since childhood is very surreal and humbling, and it fills me with so much gratitude.
The most special part of this experience for me is knowing that I now have the opportunity to provide a spark for the kids sitting in the audience this season, hopefully to encourage them to be excited about the theater and become part of the next generation of theater goers and actors This is what my Creative Kids Day leaders did for me when I was a young participant 10 years ago. So, to all the kids out in the audience this season under the Northern Sky, you could be on that stage someday, too!
Friday, July 14th, 2017
Northern Sky Amphitheater Stage at Peninsula State Park
For youth ages 6-16
Learn and perform a song and dance from
“Oklahoma in Wisconsin” plus get a backstage tour!
9:30AM-12:00PM or 1:00PM-3:30PM
(Children may register for either session)
Tickets: $25 for each child
Spend a few hours up close and personal with Northern Sky performers, staff, interns and volunteers!
Call the Northern Sky Office at 920-854-6117
What if it rains? The event will go on if at all possible. Northern Sky will not cancel this event until start time, or even a bit after if the weather appears to be passing. We will also put up a tent to hold a shortened version of the event if there is only a small amount of precipitation. However, if we need to cancel, you will receive a refund application. If you choose not to attend, and the event goes on as scheduled, there are no refunds or exchanges.