Why It Matters

Straight from the Students:

Wingspan is my favorite place on earth.

+ I would like to say that Wingspan has really changed my life for the better. It allowed me to grow, not only as a performer, but as a person as well. My confidence and skills improve more and more every time I do Wingspan.

+ At first I was a little hesitant about fitting in and stuff because I was new. The other people had already been at Wingspan for so many years, and they were very close. I was worried at first that I wouldn’t be able to assimilate. I did assimilate very well, though.Everyone was welcoming and friendly. I didn’t feel left out or awkward at all. I also loved how everyone was so supportive of each other. If you were having an off day, you could just talk to someone, and they would make you feel better. I also felt that everyone was truly equal at Wingspan. At the arts program I do during the school year it sometimes turns into a contest of who’s done the most shows or who’s been there the longest. I never once felt that at Wingspan. All of the teaching artists, directors, and kids just made you feel at home. Finally, I felt that I had a connection of some kind with everyone in the camp. Even if I didn’t have any classes with a person, and I only saw them at lunch or rehearsal, I felt like I had spoken to everyone many times. I can talk about a moment I shared with each and every person at Wingspan. I really felt like we were truly a family. I can’t wait to go back next summer!

+ Thank you Wingspan for teaching me that when I completely trust the people around me and just live in the moment it helps me make the scene on stage more realistic to myself and to the audience. I was surrounded by amazing, talented, positive, beautiful, encouraging, good people who helped me build my confidence. Honestly, I really do consider everybody at this camp my family and I’m proud to call them that. It’s so great to be in a place where you never feel judged so you don’t need to worry about making mistakes.

+ Wingspan is the best because no matter your age or gender everyone is best friends.

+ I owe a lot to all of you at Wingspan. You really helped me discover who I am. I will never be able to thank you enough.

+ Honestly, I’ve looked on the wrong cast list every year I’ve been at Wingspan, and I love that. It’s an initial shock, but it makes me think differently about my possibilities as a performer. The fact that I’ve never been placed where I expected to be placed has taught me that I can be so much more than what I already think I am.

+ This summer I realized how amazing the Wingspan/theater community is. I reconnected with old friends, made new friends and just picked up where I left off with others. Everyone wants to help, every one is looking out for one another. This helped me be more confident as a performer and as a person.

Straight from the Parents:

+ My daughter had an incredible experience at Wingspan. She was surrounded by fellow actors, teaching artists, a musical director and a director who shared her passion and dedication. There is something incredibly beautiful about working towards a shared goal with people who care about what you do but there is something so much more that will stay with her. She was grateful from the very first day she began at Wingspan. I remember asking her- ‘what is it about this place that you love?’ And she said, ‘everyone here wants to be here- I don’t think they’d want to be anywhere else.’ Pure joy.

+ What I’m most impressed with, is the comfort level you are able to bring the performers to.  If there is any nervousness in the actors, it isn’t evident.  They are simply having the time of their lives sharing their talent with the audience.  As a parent, I’m so delighted to see how [my daughter’s] self confidence has grown.

+ Nothing seems to unify people like creating something together. That was quite evident during [the performance]. All the children were completely committed and each and every one of them shined- and was SO enjoyable to watch. And they looked like they were having a blast!  I know [my daughter] made some very nice friends and felt a great sense of camaraderie and belonging. Thank you for all that you have done, and continue to do.

+ These performances absolutely blew my mind.  The production was truly awesome — the casting, the way you did the costumes and the sets, the direction, the choreography, the lighting — ALL just tremendous.  Your team is a super talented group.  I am so grateful [my child] was given this opportunity to participate in Wingspan – I know it will be a life experience she will treasure always.  The kids’ joy and singing continued through the cast party, which is a testament to what you provided for them all summer long.

+ The friendships that [my son] formed were beyond his experiences in high school so far because he was surrounded by such wonderful other children similar to him.  The students showed a genuine care for one another and supported each other along the way.  I give credit to the directors for selecting great kids.

+ Each day [my son] commented on what was worked on and how his peers supported each other and how he felt everyone became a family.  [He] immediately established friends and truly developed some nice connections.  [He] was eager to learn and wanted more and more Wingspan.  As the days got closer to the show, his remarks were “mom you won’t believe the show, everyone is doing such a great job”. “You will be blown away”. He came home and had tears of joy over how wonderful the show would be.  Indeed he was right!!  We are so grateful to Wingspan for allowing [our son] to be part of this incredible company that truly became his family this summer.

+ [My son] did not originally love the idea of spending the summer indoors at a camp.  While he really loved the idea of taking classes to help him with his acting skills and creating the performance piece, he was anxious about spending the 5 weeks indoors and was nervous about the commute to Manhattan every day.  He decided very quickly that he made the best decision ever to attend your amazing camp.  He loved every minute of every day.

+ My daughter had such an amazing experience. She formed strong friendships with her peers, great relationships with her teachers, and gained confidence in so many areas. It truly felt like one big welcoming family! [She] came home each evening full of inspiration, singing and showing me the various dance moves.