Creativity in the Time of Covid–Oct. 17, 2021

Theatre’s “Greek Freaks” Delights

The Theatre Department’s production of “Greek Freaks: Student Written Greek Plays” was a hit with audiences this weekend. A stunning display of writing, directing, and performance, “Greek Freaks” is a great example of the myriad skills students develop in theatre.

Athena (Aurora Newcome) warns Medusa (Raven Peterson) about the disreputable Poseidon.

The performances were adaptations of Greek classics, updated and told with relevance to contemporary society.

Medusa, for instance, is a college student on the brink of earning her degree in herpetology, when she is assaulted by football star Poseidon. His subsequent freezing–an attack of encephalitis lethargica–is blamed on Medusa, and she’s outcast as a social pariah. The stories feel as up-to-date as modern-day pieces. These revisionist takes remind us just how little has changed in the course of humanity.

Theatre Level 3s Embark on SaraSolo Pieces

The Level 3 class of the Theatre Department benefited from a master class with renowned solo creators/performers Clara Francesca and Dennis McSorley. Francesca and McSorley shared ideas about the process of creating solo work and performed snippets of their solo plays.

Francesca explains her interest in Mrs. Marx while SaraSolo co-founders Ann Morrison and Blake Shelton, along with McSorley and students, listen.

Francesca discussed the curiosity that propelled her to create the solo work “Manifesting Mrs. Marx,” including examining the history and culture surrounding German philosopher Karl Marx.

Ms. Sunny Smith has partnered with SaraSolo for several years now, and her students each year write and perform their own one-person shows. These plays are intimate, personal pieces of theatre offering each writer’s unique perspective.

Film Students Launch Into “Guerilla” Projects

Life through a viewfinder: Film students perfect a shot.

In addition to one or two big productions each year, Film & Animation students create weekend, or “guerrilla,” films each semester. The completed films usually run about five minutes in length. Prior to the big weekend, students break into teams of four, dividing up the essential roles for the phases of filmmaking.

Each team is given a prompt, such as a prop or genre, that must be included in the film. This fall’s prompt requires the teams to use one of these unusual locations: BHS’s mock court room or the JROTC tower. 

The teams create a story, a screenplay, a lighting plan and a shot list. They audition actors, and make sure agreements are signed ahead of time.

Then all of the production/filming has to take place in a weekend. The tight deadline emphasizes problem-solving and planning.  Once the film is edited, the teacher and students critique the film, and the strong films are shown in the annual showcase at the end of the year. The best films also are entered into film festivals.

On the Horizon

Check out these events coming up! Get tickets, make reservations, or just learn more here.

OCT. 22 @ 6 P.M. | VPA Art Drive-Thru Print Party – roll up to the coolest party in town and take home an original, wearable piece of art. Print Parties are a VPA Art fundraiser; buy a pre-printed garment for $10, or get your own item printed for just $5. Four new designs will be up for the taking.

Patrons can choose from these four designs!

NOV. 6 @ 10 A.M.-12 P.M. | VPA Forecast Festival – This annual FREE celebration of VPA arts is an opportunity for our community to come see what’s going on at Booker VPA. This event is a must for families interested in attending Booker VPA. We’ll have performances, interactive arts games, activities, tours and more. Come out to begin planning your future at the Forecast Festival.

NOV. 18-19 @ 7 P.M. | VPA Dance Performance: “Six Degrees of Separation” – in a show that emphasizes our connections, VPA Dance will illustrate in movement the many intersections of human existence. With genres ranging from ballet, modern, African, hip hop and more, the performance will offer new perspective on our collective human experience.

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