Hothouse showcases scriptwriting and performing arts collaboration

Scriptwriting and performing arts students collaborated to showcase their talents and raise funds for a Toronto trip
Photo: Emmet Paradis
Michelle LeBlanc, a grad from the performing arts program (left) and Bernice Romero De Gracia, a grad from De La Salle University (right) on stage performing one of the 11 plays.

Scriptwriting students hosted a hothouse event on Feb. 8 where the performing arts actors presented plays written by the scriptwriting students.

The event’s goal was to raise money for the scriptwriting students’ field trip to Toronto.

“The trip is especially pricey since the pandemic rate hikes, so we try to do at least two hothouses and a comedy night as well as a few bake sales and a GoFundMe,” said Teri Loretto, the coordinator for the scriptwriting and performing arts programs.

In Toronto, the students will pitch their movie and TV-show ideas to big producers, according to Logan Indewey, a scriptwriting student who was previously in the performing arts program.

The scriptwriting students wrote 10-minute plays, then passed them on to the performing arts students to present. This was hosted in room 112 of the N-building at the Woodroffe campus.

The broadcasting-television and streaming video students were on-site to live-stream the show, extending access to guests unable to attend.

“Writing a 10-minute play is a challenge,” said Laurie Fyffe, a scriptwriting professor during her speech before the show. “The goal is a complete world with plot, characters, motive, and emotions, all in one tight package.”

The scriptwriting students were eager to see their plays performed by actors because it gave them valuable insight on their work.

“The hothouse is the first time that you’re able to hear your play,” said Indewey. “Oftentimes, when we’re writing, the advice we’re given is to speak it out. Speak the dialogue, speak the actions, all that, to make sure it sounds right.”

The nine scriptwriting students introduced themselves before each of their plays, summarized the stories they wrote, then handed over the stage to the performers.

Each play had two performers or more, some needed every actor in the room.

“It’s a good opportunity to showcase my writing in a live performance,” said Emmanuel Musavuli, a scriptwriting student. “I think it’s more important to have good writing so the actors can portray it to the audience. It’s different from film where there’s post and pre-production.”

Musavuli emphasizes writing quality for live performances, contrasting with Indewey’s satisfaction in collaborating with talented performers.

“It’s an entirely rewarding experience. I’ve been collaborating with the performing arts kids and a few other actors for a while now, and it’s a tremendous experience. They are amazing people to work with, and it’s absolutely lovely,” said Indewey.

Justine Stewart, a graduate of the scriptwriting program, was in the audience.

“I think it’s always impressive to see the topics that people are talking about,” Stewart said. “I think it takes a lot of bravery to talk about some of the more emotional topics. And not just write something that’s purely funny, so that’s always impressive.”

The funds raised during this event will be used to cover the train and hotel costs associated with their field trip, according to Loretto.

“I think it’s super important because lots of people are writers for years and years and years before anybody sees or hears their stuff,” said Stewart.

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