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First BHS students created screenplay from short story, now they’ll perform it

A group of Burnsville High School students in grades 9-12 are creating a screenplay from a short story of a nationally-known author and will be producing a student-directed one-act play from it in January.

The project began with teacher Amy Stead, who thought Chris Crutcher’s short story, “A Brief Moment in the Life of Angus Bethune,” would make a great one-act play. She invited students, who are involved in theater and also love to write, to gather after school to work together on a screenplay.
First the group secured Crutcher’s permission, then they got to to work transforming his short story into a screenplay. About halfway through the adaptation process, they Skyped with the author for 90 minutes and asked him lots of questions about the book’s characters and themes, and also about his process when writing it. Crutcher encouraged and empowered students to take lots of freedom in creating the screenplay.
“This impressive project is authentic learning at a high cognitive level,” said Principal Dave Helke. “These students are doing work that adults would do, and they’re doing it very well.”
Their one-act play will be performed several times during the school day on Jan. 19 for their schoolmates, and then for the public during an Evening of One Acts at 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 20 and 21, at in the Mraz Center for the Performing Arts at Burnsville High School, 600 E. Highway 13. Crutcher hopes to attend the upcoming performance.
Senior Anna Ostergaard will be directing. Blaine Borchardt will play the role of Angus Bethune while
Casey Hennessey, Emma Wavrunek, Tessa Lattery and Zac Callan have been cast in other parts.
Posted: Thursday, December 15, 2016 - 08:38