Showcasing students’ creativity through films and plays

By Peyton Jackman and Anna Kotris

As the clock strikes seven, the echoing voices filling the theater go silent. The main event is starting: it’s March 9, the first night of student-directed films and one act plays.

This annual three-night event held in the Parkrose theater since 2009 showcases short movies and plays created by video and theater students. The students who worked to create the movies and plays for the event were chosen in (month). The students worked from (month) until the end of until the premie preparing to showcase the fruits of their labor at the three-day event.

Students say this is an opportunity to show their creative side. Last year, Justin Arandia co-directed the film “Life of Juan” with Eli Bravehawk. This year, seniors Arandia and Bravehawk co-directed the sequel, “Life of Steve.”

Arandia said that seeing students react to his films in the classroom made him interested in sharing his hard work with the rest of the community.

“I love sharing my work of art to an audience,” Arandia said. “It feels good to see the audience full of laughs and smiles.”

Student-directed films, short extracurricular movies made by advanced video students, are one part of the event. The film directors are assigned by video teacher Casey Goodlett in November, and they work from then until the final deadline for videos at the end of February. While directors are assigned by Goodlett, the film topics are not, and students are free to record what they want. The freedom that the students were given showed on presentation night, with each of the films being different from the last.

The other half of the night event is one-act plays, which are short plays accomplished within a single act. Like student directed films, one acts are not required for any class. The actors who participate in one acts practice and prepare for the event in their own free time. Once a director is chosen, they can submit a script for the play that they plan to direct. Like with student-directed films, the plays can be completely original; however, many students choose to direct a play that already exists. Because one acts are performed entirely on the spot, it is important that the actors prepare for the event, as one wrong move could throw off an entire play.

Although these films and plays take much time to prepare, they have and will continue to serve as a popular creative outlet for video and theater students at Parkrose high school. The chance for someone to have a story of their creation told to members of their community is very appealing to some students.

“I love sharing my work of art to an audience. It feels good to see the audience full of laughs and smiles,” Arandia said.

At this year’s Student Directed Films and One Acts, hundreds of people were in attendance to view the creative works on display, and many hope that attendance will be even better next year.


Photo By Pavel Nikitin


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