Middle School Arts: 12-Hour Drama Fest

Middle School: 12-Hour Drama Fest Debuts February 9 (Rescheduled from January 29)

Draw the curtains because the show must go on! In a nod to the student-written and directed One Act Festival of years past, the Middle School Drama Program will soon premier the first-ever 12-Hour Play Festival to the Sun Valley Community School stage February 9. A collaboration between MS Drama teacher Megan Mahoney and 5th Grade teaching assistant Elle Lucas, along with the enthusiasm, creativity, and flexibility of more than 25 Middle School students, the festival will allow students to build a play from concept to final performance…all in under 12 hours! 

The Nuts + Bolts
Students will have limited time and given circumstances they have to use in their plays, such as a specific prop, set piece, costume element, lighting look, or theme. “Providing some elements – but not all – gave the students structure, but plenty of room for creativity and fun,” said Elle. “This festival will be all about student choice and expression.” The entire process will come together on the evening of the festival: the brainstorming, writing, rehearsing, and performance. Students will not even know who their teammates would be until they show up. 

The Inspiration
Said Elle and Megan, “We wanted to keep the spirit of One Acts alive, and provide a drama program that lets all students participate in some capacity. We knew we wanted to expose them to the variety of roles necessary to putting on a play, and most importantly, emphasize the collaborative nature of theatre. We wanted the experience to include all the components of a theater production, onstage to backstage.”
 
The Covid Factor

Middle schoolers were craving a live performance, so the team figured out ways to make it work! By dividing students into small groups, and following renewed COVID theatre guidelines for props, costumes, and staging, the first-time festival will no doubt be a success for everyone. 

The Reflection
When the time comes, they will write, stage, direct, tech, perform, and film a short play. Said Megan, “The process will be fast and furious, and will definitely be a knee-slapping good time!” 
 
Though the performance will not open to the public, the 10-minute plays will be recorded and edited by Video Production Manager Michelle DeLateur, and will be released after the event.