Editorial License

Rob Hammerton, music educator etc.

Charles River Tent Flaps: 1970

[“CHARLES RIVER TENT FLAPS – THE FIRST TEN YEARS” is made up of interviews with past and present staff members and campers of the Charles River Creative Arts Program of Dover, Massachusetts and of articles from The Daily Double.” -from “Tent Flaps”, published for the CRCAP tenth-anniversary celebration, summer 1979 (David Downing, editor). We begin at the beginning…]



In the days before an arts festival, Elsom Eldridge was at the helm…


That summer Peter Dewey designed a huge stage that ran the length of the middle building. It was tremendous. They rehearsed there in the sun. This was the very first stage.”


This place was just saturated with people. There was a show a week. Elsom tried to do a show every two weeks that the camp would produce. The Unsinkable Helen of Troy, The King and I, The Mouse in the White House, then The Music Man were done that summer.”

The King and I brought in adult actors in the major roles. The kids were a huge chorus of Siamese children. The adults were specifically hired to be in the shows; there were really no parts for the kids except chorus.”

Kippy directed all “the kid shows. Elsom directed the adult ones. Actually he was Music Director. He conducted the orchestra too.”


That year was the start of the Daily Double. Then it was called ‘The Daily One-Sheet’. It was handled by Chris McVicker.”


There was a string quartet. The people in it were hired only to teach music, play every day at noontime (they were the forerunner of the Noontime Shows), and to be the orchestra in the royalty shows. It was one of Elsom’s main interests. Cynthia and Jim Wilson were in it.”


Anyone who wanted to take music lessons could take them every day at no extra charge. It was a nightmare. I taught the same kids every single day.”


It was quite hectic because all the teachers had to teach their classes and almost all the kids were involved in the shows. Even some of the staff were involved so not much happened in the classes. The next year things calmed down…”

June 5, 2019 - Posted by | arts, CRCAP

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