Take the Stage:  A Girls Rock-umentary

First official screening on Thursday, November 16, 2017 High Noon Saloon at 5pm
by Teri Barr
November 2017

Mackay signs a poster backstage at Girl’s Rock Camp - photo by Teri Barr

Mackay signs a poster backstage at Girl’s Rock Camp
photo by Teri Barr

The line of fans waiting for the doors to open, wraps through the building, and out the door. But this isn’t just a normal show the crowd is waiting to see—this is the showcase for Girls Rock Camp Madison.

Two area women recently ran a successful Kickstarter campaign to fund a documentary which “follows the journey of determined, female rockin’ youngsters, ages 8-18 at a music intensive day camp.” Darla Courtney & Portia Danis are the producers and directors behind the roller coaster into rock and roll, “Take the Stage, A Girls Rock-umentary.” And while there have been some tease videos of the film released, the full documentary remains a surprise, though the ending can be considered a sure thing. It will probably feature the community, collaboration, and sense of accomplishment every girl who participates in a week at Girls Rock Camp Madison takes home after the final note is played.

It starts off innocent enough. Dozens of girls meet, form bands, choose and learn various instruments, write a song, and before the week-long camp is over—an afternoon showcase highlights everything every band has learned. It ends with an explosion of energy and joy, and though most of the girls are exhausted, many also say they don’t want it to end.

I have a special insight on what happens at Girls Rock Camp Madison. My God-daughter, Mackay, has attended multiple times. She has learned and played keyboard, and bass. But more importantly, she has made new friends with similar interests, and reached a new level of confidence that is through the roof. Mackay has a medical condition, but at Girls Rock Camp Madison, she is treated the same as everyone else. And she thrives because of it. In fact, every girl there thrives. The shy one finds her voice. The one who thinks she doesn’t have a talent, finds her niche. The bossy one learns to cooperate as part of a team. All the girls simply start to believe, they can do or be anything. And showcase day, the girls are in the spotlight. They are posing for photos, signing autographs, and being treated like superstars. It’s an amazing thing to witness.

If you are curious, check out the documentary and its first official viewing at High Noon Saloon in Madison on Thursday, November 16, 2017, at 5 p.m. Then send your girl to camp, or support another girl’s chance to go. And if you’re really bold—there’s a life-changing camp for women, too. But for now, this super-fan can’t wait to see the documentary about Girls Rock Camp Madison.

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