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Festival making

As winter presses into Long Island Josh Gladstone ’90 plans for next summer and the Hamptons Shakespeare Festival’s third season. 

Gladstone, who studied at Circle in the Square and worked in region-al theater, spent his summers in the Hamptons and came across a little-used county park in Montauk whose huge natural amphitheater caught his eye.
 

  

"We have this great place. Let’s put on a show," Gladstone told friends. With help from his brother Dan ’94 and Mark Holcombe ’90, among others, Gladstone created the festival, which opened with performances of Romeo and Juliet in the summer of 1996.

Holcombe, a banker, helped raise funds from the corporate sector (the budget was augmented by private funds and grants as well) while Dan, who was in the sports marketing masters program at UMass, set to work on a ready-made practicum in event marketing.

Gladstone was hoping 20, maybe 30 people would show up for the festival’s first performance. A crowd of 450 appeared and the festival averaged audiences of 250 for the run. "This was meant to be," Glad-stone remembers thinking and soon found himself putting together a board of directors.

Last summer, with a budget of $80,000, more than double the first season’s, the festival staged A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Attendance for the 15 performances was 6,500, an affirmation that has the board fundraising and planning for this third season. Gladstone is considering As You Like It or The Tempest while tending to myriad details.

Gladstone’s dual roles, actor and artistic director, suit him. "I got this great degree at Colgate but I was also bitten by the acting bug there and I spent six or seven years say-ing to people, ‘Please hire me.’ It is empowering to call the shots now."

Of the festival itself, Gladstone says, "It is very much getting back to the root of theater — the raw, ragged, troubadour feel of it. There is a looseness and youthful energy. We have a magical space and the action comes alive with the environment of an old horse farm with geese flying overhead and mist rolling in. It’s inspiring to be outdoors with the voices of the actors echoing. It is not museum theater."

For more information, contact Hamptons Shakespeare Festival, P.O. Box 63, Amagansett, NY 11930 or phone 516-267-0105.

 
 

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Camp counselor

Kerstan Lincoln ’93 lives in the woods surrounded by boys.

Far from a fairy tale, Lincoln’s life as an Eckerd Family Youth Alternatives counselor/teacher for troubled youngsters is very much reality-based.

The 50 boys of Camp E-Toh-Anee ("You and I together") outside Coldbrook, N.H., range in age from 13 to 17 and all are facing major issues, from serious crimes to expulsion from school to academic failures. 
 

  

Two or three counselors work with each of the camp’s five groups and everyone lives in "tents" with-out electricity or indoor plumbing. "It’s mostly experiential learning," says Lincoln. In addition to acquiring the skills required to live off the land, campers are assigned projects including maintaining the campsite, constructing the permanent tents and cutting firewood. There are also extended canoe trips and backpacking expeditions. 

The idea is to "control behavior" and prepare those in the woods group to move on to a more formal classroom curriculum. The average stay is 12 months, with the typical boy spending three-quarters of that time in the initial phase.

"I really believe in this program," says Lincoln, who sees many drug and alcohol problems and "basically kids from messed-up families. It takes lots of perseverance and with the nature of these kids it has been hard, but it is rewarding to see the difference I’ve made over a long period of time." 

Lincoln, who is from Arizona, had unusual directions to New Hampshire. She took Wall Street to the Appalachian Trail with time out for a stop at the National Outdoor Leadership School.

Following a month-long post-graduation camping trip, Lincoln began work as a legal assistant on Wall Street. "I was into the corporate scene — business suits, long hours, my own office," says Kerstan, who nonetheless left to spend three months taking the NOLS course. When she finished Kerstan only knew she didn’t belong in her New York City apartment.

A high school friend suggested hiking the 2,160 mile Appalachian Trail and in March of 1996 Lincoln set out from Springer Mountain, Ga., bound for Mt. Katahdin, Maine. "The amazing experience" took six months with only about 20 days off. A mere ten percent of those who intend to hike through complete the trek.

"It’s about people being really real," says Lincoln. "Everyone is at the same level. All you have is a backpack."

On the trail, Lincoln met a hiker who told her about the Eckerd Camps. Started 30 years ago by Jack Eckerd of drug store fame, there are now 17 camps all along the Eastern Seaboard.

"We work on real issues," says Kerstan Lincoln, who is making a real difference.

 
 

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Kingsley captured

Amos Kingsley, one of Colgate’s 13 founders, was spotted recently at a store in nearby Nelson. University archivist Carl Peterson was thrilled when he came across an original gilt-edge cabinet card of the Baptist circuit preacher. The image is probably a copy of a daguerreotype made of Kingsley not long before his death in 1847. The original was copied by Cincinnatus photographer A.C. Cook sometime between 1888 and 1891, according to Peterson. 

The find means Kingsley joins Nathaniel Kendrick as the only founders with photographic images in the Colgate collection. The university has paintings, etchings and engravings of the others.
 

  

Peterson scours shops and flea markets for the work of 19th-century Madison County and Chenango County photographers. "We have a significant local history collection and the photographs are something we can afford," says Peterson.

The Amos Kingsley cabinet card set the university back 50 cents.