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Hell Week at Stagedoor Manor

The popular performing arts camp heads into tech.

Your roommates and fellow cast members are the ones who make Hell Week a little less hellish.

As our time at Stagedoor draws to a close, we enter the last week which, is known as tech week. Most of the campers and staff, however, affectionately refer to this last week as Hell Week.

It goes by quickly with every director, costumer, lighting designer, working around the clock to fit in and plan every last moment of the show. For campers, it is just as demanding, with performances happening every evening and rehearsals going on three times a day. Classes are no longer in session as they were during the first two weeks.

Performers use every moment to cram the last of their lines into their memories. For example, Stagedoor during Hell Week may be the only venue where it is perfectly understandable to have a book at the table – if its your script. Meals, recreational periods, and the half hour before lights out are no longer forums for catching up but for recalling dance steps and harmonies in musical pieces. One method I found myself using a lot last year was waking up an hour early to go over cues and blocking on the front porch of the boys dorm. It is one of the few places, during the day at Stagedoor, where you can concentrate without any disruptions.

The volley ball court becomes the only place where you can release some stress during cast vs. cast volley ball finals. Although your show is your priority, its imperative not to ignore and lose contact with your close friends at camp. People like your roommates and fellow cast members are the ones who support you throughout your session at Stagedoor. They keep you grounded and make sure you’re not too stressed. They encourage you and offer an escape from the sometimes overwhelmingly professional side of tech week. After all, they’re the best part of the camp and, as I’ve mentioned, the reason why campers return year after year. They are the ones who make Hell Week a little less hellish.

For more information on Stagedoor Manor Performing Arts Training Center, visit