The Mount Sentinel Secondary School’s Academy Performance and Media program (Academy PM) annual showcase takes place at the Capitol Theatre in Nelson at 7:30 p.m. on June 8, 9 and 10. Family, friends, teachers and the public are invited to attend.
“The production and preparation for the play has been very hands-on for students,” said Neveah Simpson, who is in her second year of the program.
“The teachers have given students fun challenges and tasks to help us build our skills in acting, drawing, production, and digital arts. We work closely with each other and with teachers to get everything just right for opening night.”
This year’s performance is a mixed horror and mystery play called Trap by Stephen Gregg that is billed as suspenseful documentary theatre. The play is based on a scenario in which, at a local high school production, 241 audience members fall unconscious, except for one girl. Through film interviews and reimagined historical events, a mystery unravels. Academy PM students have also created a trailer for the play that anyone curious about attending can preview.
“The 2022 showcase focused on film, but this year theatre and stage are front and centre,” said teacher Danny Leeming, who cofounded the program in 2018 along with teacher and production director, Heather Shippit. Both have taught in the program for six years.
“It has been a busy year for the students. They get to choose if they would like to act in the play or if they would rather be a part of the production, and some students have decided to help with both,” said Leeming.
The year end Academy PM showcase has become an annual celebration of young talent. In 2022, students made documentaries and entered them into the BC Student Film Fest and Real 2 Reel Film Festival, winning multiple awards.
Academy PM is a cross-curricular program that is designed to prepare students to enter a post-secondary education or a career in the film, theatre, game and digital media industry. It is one full semester in length and offers students an opportunity to work on major, student-led projects and showcases such as film festivals, theatre productions and gallery displays.
Mount Sentinel Secondary and Academy PM work hand in hand with industry partners to give academy members an authentic opportunity to work in an industry they want to pursue after high school. All students who successfully complete the program are automatically awarded a scholarship at Vancouver Film School, a partner in the academy.
“Being involved in our showcase has been amazing, and Academy PM has allowed me to make connections with schools and people who can help me in my life goals and career,” said student Sebastian Bublitz.
Tickets to Trap are $10 and available from the Capitol Theatre online box office or at the door.