PHS Students Collaborate on Play
The Princeton High School (PHS) fall play, Bethel Park Falls, which was recorded at PHS last week and will air on ShowShare by Broadway on Demand on Friday and Saturday, November 19 and 20, represents a collaboration of more than 150 actors, art students, and tech crew.
The theme of the play, which is about a community trying to save its beloved park, is reflected in the teamwork of students and their teachers in the process of creating this production over the past two months. The show was directed by drama teacher Julianna Krawiecki, along with art teacher Bridget Schmidt and technical director Jeff Van Velsor.
“For us, the message of Bethel Park Falls celebrates our togetherness, artistry, and the special magic of belonging to a group of like-minded individuals,” said Krawiecki. “Though we each used a different medium — wood, fabric, clay, sound, light, our bodies, and voices — our final goal was the same: to bring the story of Bethel Park Falls to the PHS community.”
Krawiecki discussed the challenges of creating theater during COVID-19. “For the past two years during the COVID-19 pandemic, our PHS artists, technicians, and actors lost their collaborative space, and everything about rehearsing and producing our work had to change as we worked remotely and reimagined our process,” she said. “At the end of the day, theater and art are about community, the shared experience and meaningful collaboration. While we are still facing many COVID-19 restrictions, we are overjoyed that we were able to restore much of this process for our students this fall.”
For the play’s setting in the park, art and tech crew students created 145 hexagons on stage, with 60 wood panels making up a tree, 50 ceramic tiles in the rolling hill, 21 painted fabric flowers, and 14 embroidered badges representing the joys to be experienced.
“Each hexagon represents one person from the PHS community who added something of themselves to make this production unique,” said Krawiecki. “They are a population of the school that is finally able to be in the same space, creating and sharing ourselves, our talents, our joy, our commonality.”
To purchase tickets and stream the show, visit broadwayondemand.com. more