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School column: NHS Students put on an evening of arts

By Ellis Bissonnette and Anna Berglas

This year, in order to celebrate the vibrant art scene at Nepean High School, the senior drama class coordinated Knight of the Arts, an evening which featured jazz bands, the student male choir, visual art and an original theatre piece.

Braeden Moore (center) crouches in despair as Jada Badawy (left), Anna Carsley-Jones (middle) and Katie Laperle (right) watch on during the performance of the student-led play State of Mind.

Braeden Moore (center) crouches in despair as Jada Badawy (left), Anna Carsley-Jones (middle) and Katie Laperle (right) watch on during the performance of the student-led play State of Mind.

Parents and peers first gathered in the cafeteria, where they viewed the senior jazz band, conducted by music teacher Mr. Szabo, perform three pieces. First was A Night in Tunisia. Next were Feeling Good and Higher Ground, which featuring Meera Thomas first singing and then playing the piano.

The audience was then invited to wander down Nepean High’s main corridor where they viewed visual art from Mr. Miller’s Grade 11/12 class. In one of the stairwells, Nepean High’s student male choir, Equis Chorum, sang three pieces: Find and the Cost of Freedom, King of Spain, which featured Silas Vonhurff, and Parting Glass.

The evening ended with a one-act production put on by the Grade 11/12 drama class and directed by Grade 12 student Joey Gilbert-Parsons. The class, which has only 11 students, began working on the production in October. The students were responsible not only for acting, but also creating costumes, props and sets, and organising the evening. While the class says it was been difficult working with such few hands, everyone has participated in order to make the event a success.

Miriam Felman, a Grade 11 student with a passion for writing, took on the task of writing the script.

“Mr. Wright wanted it to be a message to kids our age, so we decided on mental illness and friendship,” said Miriam.

She found it different than her usual style of writing, as she had to jump into writing without much preparation, but the class helped her in her revisions.

“We’ve been editing lines the whole time. It really helps to bounce things off people,” Miriam said.

The play, State of Mind, revolves around a teenage boy, Niko, played by Braeden Moore. He is accompanied by three voices in his head; anxiety, depression and addiction. The actors playing the voices in his head physicalize, too. For example, anxiety taps Niko repeatedly. As Jana Badawy, the voice of anxiety, said “It empowers the story.”

“I think it’s good to get it out there and have it voiced,” added Anna Carsely-Jones, who played the voice of depression. “It’s a story that people are invested in.”

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