Annual Student Directed Festival emboldens creative growth


It’s all smiles as senior Alexander Blanton, freshman Christopher Jennings, senior Sam Pollak, sophomore Carsyn Friedman, freshman Betsy Soloway-Aizley and sophomore Zach Lowestein rehearse in the White Box. PROVIDED BY SARAH SIMON

Paul Miller-Schmidt, Opinions Writing Editor

Adaptations of the cartoon show Bob’s Burgers, satires on the ungratefulness of Brookline and classics like The Rhinoceros are just a few examples of the vast range of performances at the Drama Society’s Student Directed Festival.

Student Directed is a two day festival during which groups of students perform 20-minute long plays directed by their peers. This inclusive format allows for flexibility and diversity, letting more people be part of the creative process.

According to junior Jacob Zachary-Flanders, the festival brings students into drama who were not previously involved with the department.

“It really gets people who don’t usually do drama to try it out and see what it’s all about,” Zachary-Flanders said.

According to junior Xueyan Mu, it is valuable because the festival gives people an opportunity to express themselves.

“I think it gives people a stage to boost their self confidence and show the work in a format that makes them feel like they are important and creative,” Mu said.

According to Zachary-Flanders, the entire process has also taught him about all the work that goes on behind the scenes.

“When you are directing, you realize how much attention to detail has to go into everything. You have to be responsible for the setup, the costs and organization, which is a lot,” Zachary-Flanders said. “You don’t really realize it all unless you are actually trying to do it, but I have also learned it’s really fun.”

Junior Max Murphy said that he has learned how to be assertive and make important decisions with a lot of people depending on him as a director.

“I feel like one thing I’ve already learned as a director is how to problem-solve by not relying on others for answers,” Murphy said.

Students tackle a wide range of material, from original plays to classics to adapting other forms of art. Zachary-Flanders’ favorite part is seeing the diversity that everyone brings.

“I love seeing what other people produce,” Zachary-Flanders said. “It is really cool to see their own personal styles and aesthetics, which are really diverse. There is a really wide variety of subject matter that you get to see over two days.”

Murphy said that he has really enjoyed the entire process and is very excited for the festival.

“The great part about the festival is its relaxed vibe, which makes it more fun for everyone,” Murphy said.

The student directed process showed Mu that she was far more capable than she gave herself credit for.
“There is this adultism thing that makes you feel like you don’t really know what you are doing and you’re just playing around,” Mu said. “But, you can actually make something real and meaningful to other people.”