by William Nix, Class of 2023
On Saturday, August 14, twenty-one middle and upper school students gathered to share their writing with parents and friends of Mount Vernon. That evening, magic transpired. Professional actors brought seven different student-authored scripts to life. This is what is special about Mount Vernon’s annual 3 Day Play – the opportunity for students to work together to create original stage plays, to share their creative works with an audience, and to have those works performed live by actors.
The 3 Day Play started after school on Thursday, August 12, when students introduced themselves and writing teams were formed. After the introductions, students were given several line prompts related to Mount Vernon’s 50th year that were required to be included within their pieces. Apart from the prompts, the students were free to take their plays in any direction they chose. The process began with team brainstorming sessions on Thursday.
The student writing teams met again after school on Friday, when they immediately started to compose scripts. By the end of the day, the first drafts of their scripts were complete.
Student playwrights returned to school early on Saturday morning for script feedback sessions with assistance from Mount Vernon arts and humanities faculty members and script rewrites. After a day of collaboration, creativity, laughter, and even a little bit of deadline anxiety, the 3 Day Play participants were finally ready to unveil their scripts.
That evening, the Upper School Blackbox was filled with audience laughter as the actors brought Giddy-Up Grandma, A Sock Tragedy, and A Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Date, among others, to life. The magic of 3 Day Play didn’t end in the Blackbox. The magic continues through its lasting impact on students, who accomplished so much in such a short period of time. Amanda Lower, Mount Vernon’s lead instructor for Lower School Performing Arts who assisted with the 3 Day Play, noted that the experience is impactful to the students because “it shows that your voice can be expressed at the highest level.”
The 3 Day Play has become an annual tradition at Mount Vernon and, typically, it is the kickoff live theater event for the school year. The Mount Vernon students who participated included Charlotte Chaffin, Avery Cole, Siena Ferrara, Natalie Fiacco, Rhylinn Franklin, Peyton Fuller, Shea Griffith, Piper Hendryx, Ryanne Kelly, William Nix, Dennis Norman, Caroline Putnam, Sierra Peterson, Sonoma Peterson, Kat Perry, Win Scott, Abby Stanford, Vivienne Veach, Addie Vogt, Holly Vogt, and Miller Woodall.