Camp Jabberwocky presents annual play on Martha’s Vineyard

In the first scene, Drs. Peter Lynch (center) and Matt Lagunowich announce that Beth Ainsworth (Hellcat) has a broken ham bone and won't be able to perform in the play. — Photo by Lynn Christoffers

On Friday and Saturday, July 15 and 16, campers and counselors at Camp Jabberwocky transformed a small studio at the end of Greenwood Avenue in Vineyard Haven into a scene revealing the icy depths of Lady Gaga’s wardrobe.

This year, Camp Jabberwocky lit up the stage with an original rendition of “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe,” the second in a series of seven novels that make up “The Chronicles of Narnia,” by C.S. Lewis.

Counselor Michael Leon wrote and directed the play. Borrowing plot ideas and themes from Lewis’s novel, Leon gave the play a distinct Jabberwocky twist with a song list consisting almost exclusively of music by Elton John. With accompaniment by Counselors David Musen, Drew Beaulieu, and former counselor Chad Urmstrum, the cast performed songs including “Tiny Dancer,” “Rocket Man,” and “Your Song.”

Keeping with tradition, Camp founder Helen Lamb and camper Beth Ainsworth opened the play with a recitation of Lewis Carroll’s Jabberwocky poem. However, as soon as the curtains opened, the play was far from conventional.

Mr. Leon crafted a clever plot that seamlessly integrated “normal” life at Jabberwocky with a potentially perilous journey into Lady Gaga’s icy wardrobe.

With counselors and camp directors Johanna Slavy De Romero, Arthur Bradford, and Kristen Sullivan playing their real-life roles, Jabberwocky campers gave life to the stage with mythical roles and costumes inspired by Lewis’s novel.

The three lions were played by campers Myles Iselin, Sam Wood, and Jon Herzog, Mary-Beth Rush played the role of Lady Gaga, and Kendra Maler assumed the role of the wardrobe.

The days leading up to the play can be very tiring for campers and counselors at Jabberwocky, but the final production is always easy to get excited about. As July session winds down, the 2011 Jabberwocky play provides an energetic finale to a thrilling summer at Camp. “Its really nice to share what Camp is all about with the campers’ parents and the rest of the island,” counselor Sarah Johnson said.

“The studio was packed both nights,” counselor Marquisha Edwards said. “I think everyone, on stage and in the audience, really had a great time.”

A seasonal resident of Chilmark, Caroline Leahy has been a counselor at Camp Jabberwocky for four years. She will be a freshman at Harvard this fall.