During a typical school year, The Ellis Theatre Guild presents a musical during the winter term. Director of the Center For The Arts Chris McGriff didn’t let the extended winter break and H Term stop him - or his students - from performing! As part of the Student Short Play Festival, nine students wrote, directed, and produced original short plays on topics that were important to them, including healthy sleep habits, navigating social media, and a choose-your-own-adventure play that focuses on ASL during a pandemic. Most of the actors in the plays were Hill students, many of whom were also enrolled in this course and directing their own plays.
Daniel Schlegel ’23 wrote and produced “Catching Slumber” along with his co-director and writer Geordie Ravara ’22. The cast included eight Hill students. According to Daniel, his play addressed the “difficulties of falling asleep,” a topic based on his own personal experience.
“I thoroughly enjoyed working with everyone in the festival,” remarked Daniel. “Everyone was doing their part and constantly adding in new ideas, and we had fun. I am glad my H-Term was spent doing something I love, and I’m also happy I gave others that time too. “
McGriff acknowledges that what he asked of his students - creating and presenting a play in five weeks – was a daunting task. Yet, all nine of them rose to the occasion and the work was completely driven by the students.
“They met this task with creativity, optimism, and a work ethic that is truly impressive," remarked McGriff. “I am so very proud of the final result.”