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Call of the Wild: Our Journey

Over many months Boxerwood educator Jess Sullivan rode the waves of our Spectacle project, leading camps, making puppets, creating dances, rallying volunteers. Who better to share its story? Thank you, Jess!

Reflecting on the year-long process of putting together the Spectacle, I hear the voices of the middle schoolers who last spring created the story's three main characters. Iris, Max and Danny were imagined by students' own thoughts, fears, joys and opinions of what is going on in the world and in their homes. They came forth, for us.


I see a hundred elementary school children in five summer camps and two multi-week afterschool programs. These children summoned the wild to create art installations, writings, and puppets for the Spectacle. They learned to play drums and wood flutes and kazoos and not only wrote songs for this larger-than-life production, but sang. And danced.


I see the many adults who came to Boxerwood on hot and sticky summer days to get goopy in puppet paper mache, who got covered with paint, and who laughed and laughed with each other.


I see the giant puppets hoisted up in front packs and Jim Stewart's beautiful creations coming to life. I also see my husband’s talents come to life with a moveable stage turning three stacked bedrooms into an enormous sturdy tree.


I see a living, breathing community coming together, sharing ideas, making friends, and creating magic!


I am so grateful for the beautiful sunny day for our one and only hilltop performance. For the patient and impassioned audience, and for the whole-hearted effort of everyone on stage, all bringing forth stories, movement, music, and song.


My heartfelt thanks to everyone who was (and is) a part of this journey and especially to my dear friend and Spectacle artistic director, Stephanie Hodde.

Photos By Stephanie Blevins of The News-Gazette

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