Camp Dinky Springs

Kaylyn Riley reacts in disgust during a recent rehearsal for the Denham Springs High theatre department’s production of “Camp Dinky Springs,” an original play students will perform four times over a four-day period Nov. 8-11.

DENHAM SPRINGS -- David Peoples calls it a battle between “misfits and jerks.”

That battle will commence on stage, along with plenty of laughs.

The Denham Springs High School theatre department will perform four showings of an original play, “Camp Dinky Springs,” in the Jacket Gym from Nov. 8-11.

Tickets for the show are $5 for students and senior citizens and $8 for adults, and they can be purchased at the door.

The play, written by recent DSHS graduate Peoples and theatre teacher Donna Van Oss, tells the story of a one-sided camp rivalry many years in the making.

Camp Dinky Springs, comprised of misfits, delinquents and other colorful characters, is located “across the pond” from Camp Roaring River, which is made up of “your classic overachievers and goody two shoes,” Peoples said.

Every summer, the camps compete against each other in a five-challenge contest, and every summer, the teens from Camp Roaring River emerge victorious. In fact, the troubled teens at Camp Dinky Springs have never even come close to winning — that is, until this year.

Both camps are owned by the same millionaire, Mr. Worthington, who promises the victors a getaway to one of his hotel resorts. Camp Dinky Springs is run by Worthington’s son, Ezekiel, while Camp Roaring River is run by his daughter, Tabitha.

Camp Dinky Springs

Nevaeh Grimes, right, plays the role of Sergeant Frank Palmer for the Denham Springs High theatre department’s production of “Camp Dinky Springs,” an original play students will perform four times over a four-day period Nov. 8-11.

“It’s the classic story of the misfits and jerks battling it out,” Peoples said.

Peoples, a communications major at Southeastern Louisiana University, said the inspiration for “Camp Dinky Springs” came over the summer when he and other theatre members were making a short film in Van Oss’ classroom.

While filming, Peoples and Van Oss discussed ideas for a play that didn’t require an elaborate set, and the play grew from there.

“A big struggle we had last year was the set... so Mrs. Van Oss wanted to take on the challenge of writing a play with one set that never has to change,” Peoples said.

“So she threw out the idea: ‘What is a set you’ll never have to change?’ Someone said, ‘woods or a forest,’ and then she said, ‘what happens in a forest? Camp happens in a forest. We should write a play about a camp.’

“That is almost the exact sentence that came out of her mouth,” Peoples said with a laugh.

Peoples said the play will run about two hours, with 20 main cast members on stage most of the time.

This will be the second production for the DSHS theatre department this year, following its annual haunted house in October. The department will also perform a sequel to last year’s “High School: Another Day, Another Test” in the spring.

Showtimes for ‘Camp Dinky Springs’

-- 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 8

-- 2 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 10

-- 7 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 10

-- 2 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 11

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