Thirty of both Paly and Gunn’s Creative Writing students’ work will be performed at the Children’s Theater next Tuesday in a project called “Page to Stage.” This project was created in an effort to allow students to gain more experience in creative writing and realize its immense power.
“I want students exposed to creative writing,” said cocreator and Paly English teacher Lucinda Filppu. “I also think writing is really healthy for mental health. It builds community, it lessens stress, so I wanted to showcase what our writers can do because they have a lot of talent.”
The students in Ms. Filppu’s Writer’s Craft class started this project of writing pieces that will be turned into a script following various themes chosen beforehand.
“[Writing] lessens stress, so I wanted to showcase what our writers can do because they have a lot of talent.”
Paly English teacher
Some themes we wanted to cover in our writing [were] secrets, bravery and resilience,” said Hana Morita, a student in Writer’s Craft.
When students arrived at the Children’s Theatre, they got their creative juices flowing with a variety of different activities before writing their actual pieces.
“For one of [the prompts], we wrote down a secret we had and then these cards were collected and given out to other people,” Morita said.
“We didn’t know what to expect going into this workshop field trip, but I think everyone was pretty excited about having a field trip. It was really interesting to see how these actors interpreted our work.”
Writer’s Craft student
They continued their work with additional activities, such as one where they asked the writers to work with partners in order to build the background of their characters and their relationships with each other.
“[The prompts] helped us start writing down ideas and just get into the right mindset,” said Marie Davis, another Writer’s Craft student. “It’s hard to start writing a piece so they were like baby steps to get us started.”
Students finished the brainstorming activity with a free-writing activity that was based on the three themes of their main story.
“What was the most difficult challenge to your life — and how did you get through it?” was asked to focus on the theme of resilience. For the theme of secrecy, questions such as “When you were little, what were your secrets?” and “How do they differ from secrets now?” were asked.
As they were collecting ideas, actors were there to help act out parts of their story.
“Some themes we wanted to cover in our writing [were] secrets, bravery and resilience.”
Writer’s Craft student
“It was pretty neat to have our work performed,” Morita said.
However, this is was just a preview for their final work, which was also written during their trip to the Children’s Theatre and will be showcased. According to Davis, the script for the performance will combine pieces from all of the students. She finds it exciting to be able to see her work presented in a different form.
Morita also shared her excitement for this project.
“We didn’t know what to expect going into this workshop field trip, but I think everyone was pretty excited about having a field trip,” Morita said. “It was really interesting to see how these actors interpreted our work.”