By Marc Larrivee, MST, Social Thinking Instructor and Kyle Goldman, Creative Arts Coordinator
Cabin Fever……. Yeah!!!! This line from the Muppet’s Treasure Island captures the creativity and fun of the annual Cabin Fever Festival in our town of Lee, MA.
Each year the town of Lee celebrates this week in the doldrums of the middle of winter. It includes snow carving, storytelling, open mic performances, bathing suit runs, and more. To kick off the week, the CIP Berkshire students added in their own events to hrlp shake off their winter blues!
Great Impressions Fashion Dinner Show
CIP Berkshire students prepared costumes and acts for Once Upon a Time, Not on My Interview, Trash to Treasure, and A Night on the Town. They dressed up in period Shakespearean outfits and enacted a costume ball.
They dressed in classy social outfits for a night out. They dressed in fine threads obtained in local thrift shops and presented interesting textile eco-facts. They also dressed in silly and outlandish garb for a mock interview. The students performed all this during their weekly community pot luck, enhanced to have dinner theater with pizzazz. Following the show, they had a great time dancing and singing karaoke. Everyone got a chance to enjoy wonderful food made by the Culinary Classes, lead by staff Kate Scholz, along with dishes brought from student’s homes. It was a fun night for all!
The students worked in teams to design, plan, prepare and perform their acts. They created and practiced activities before performing. They worked to have a time to play, and they developed skills along the way. They improved teamwork and communication skills as they cooperated on projects; work skills as they completed their projects and reviewed their participation in topics such as instruction following, planning, problem solving, and work quality.
Finally, the students had an opportunity to enhance their self-esteem. This came in part from the successful completion of their projects. It also came from their performances in dazzling outfits, playing with attire and the recognition that self-dignity at a deeper level comes with accepting that “I am made for good purpose, and am inherently valuable”.
Dog Fashion Show
As a benefit to a local dog park awareness group, CIP students and the Good Purpose Gallery chipped in to host a dog fashion show fundraiser. The event brought in dog lovers and their pooches from around the Berkshires for a fun-filled event that everyone enjoyed.
CIP students were able to strut a few dogs themselves with help from a few staff members who loaned them out. The grand prize winner was CIP Executive Director, Heather Greene’s dog Hank who dressed up in a tuxedo.
Shadow Puppet Workshop
The CIP Berkshire Puppetry Class welcomed local performer & puppeteer Meredyth Babcock (also known as Dr Marmalade) for a Shadow Puppet Workshop! Meredyth brought her wonderful shadow puppet stage, taught students how to put it together and then how to make shadow puppets. Students experimented with shape and shadow and how to make moving paper puppets with help from Meredyth and Berkshire Puppetry teacher Margaret Markham. It was a great time and we can’t wait to get Meredyth back on stage here at the Spectrum!