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Longmont student lands lead role in art camp’s “Treasure Island”

17-year-old took on role of Ben Gunn as part of camp at Interlochen Center for the Arts
Interlochen Center for the Arts

A Longmont 17-year-old starred in Interlochen Arts Camp’s production of “Treasure Island” this summer.

April Scherden spent six weeks at the prestigious art camp at the Interlochen Center for the Arts, where she played Ben Gunn, the ex-crewman who was marooned for three years on Treasure Island and went insane.

For Scherden, the art camp entailed six weeks of three hour classes and four hours of rehearsal every day while living in a wooden cabin with 13 others focusing on different art studies. 

Scherden said the audition for “Treasure Island” was pretty typical, though in addition to monologues, scene work and singing, the director also asked for an interpretive lip-sync dance to a song of their choice.

“I was not expecting to be cast as Ben Gunn as I had only read for the part once during auditions, so I was quite surprised but happy to get the part,” she said. “I did read for other parts, though, and they probably considered those readings in the casting.”

Rehearsals were spent warming up, blocking and then refining each scene. Scherden said the most challenging part was developing Ben Gunn’s character, since he was alone for so many years and ended up losing his mind.

“I got to develop multiple personalities for one character, but it was a bit difficult to decide how many personalities he had, and which personality was talking when, but that did end up being the most rewarding part as well,” Scherden said. “Once I had figured that stuff out, it was extremely fun to completely switch personalities at the drop of a hat.”

The production concluded with five performances at the end of July. For her role, Scherden won a Fine Arts award for Outstanding Achievement in Repertory Production.

Scherden added that she plans to pursue a career in acting, though she’s not quite sure what that’s going to look like yet.

Amy Golden

About the Author: Amy Golden

I grew up in Colorado Springs and earned a degree in journalism from the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley.
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