The Charger Blog

High School Students Get Behind-the-Scenes Look at Opportunities in Film and Theater

As part of the University of New Haven's Film and Theater Academy, high school students learned the art of storytelling, crafting pieces about themselves and their communities, while exploring roles on stage, in front of the camera, and behind the lens.

August 16, 2019

By Renee Chmiel, Office of Marketing and Communications

Image of Film and Theater
Troy Morrell has attended the University's Film and Theater Academy twice.

Seda Rua, a 16-year-old high school student, recently spent two weeks at the University of New Haven rehearsing, filming, and creating. While participating in the University's Film and Theater Academy, Seda attended workshops and collaborated with University faculty and staff and fellow students.

Image of Film and Theater
Seda Rua edited the final performance and screenings video, as well as a camp highlight video.

"I went into this camp with a desire to learn more about film than theater, yet I ended up building important skills related to both areas,” said Seda. "I gained experience I would not have had otherwise from very knowledgeable and kind professors. I would recommend it to anyone interested in film or theater."

The program enabled high school students to explore the role of storytelling in film and theater. Led by Margaret Savilonis, Ph.D., an associate professor of English and co-coordinator of the University's theater program, and Natalie Chavoya, an adjunct professor in the University's Communication, Film and Media Studies Department, the camp culminated in a performance that celebrated the students' talent and creativity.

"I gained experience I would not have had otherwise from very knowledgeable and kind professors."Seda Rua

"The program, ‘Connections,' was devised by the ensemble over the course of two weeks in various film and theater workshops,” said Savilonis. "The academy focused on collaboration, skill building, and creative exploration and application.”

Image of Film and Theater
Students explored roles in front of the camera and behind the lens.

Students worked together with the help of teaching assistants Alexandria Severo '21 (communication) and Bobby DellaCamera '20 (theater arts) to develop the show and bring it to life, exploring the roles of theatrical artists as they created six vignettes. They also and collaborated to write, produce, shoot, and edit more than 10 short films that were screened on the final day of the program.

"They learned to collaborate, to listen, and to think outside the box – all while developing valuable film and theater skills." Natalie Chavoya

Working with state-of-the-art equipment, students worked behind the scenes and in front of the camera, taking on roles that included actor, director, and cinematographer.

Image of Film and Theater
High school students learned the art of storytelling at the University's Film and Theater Academy.

"With two weeks of intense rehearsing, filming, editing, and creating, the students produced a thoughtful and unique multimedia performance that incorporated each of their individual personalities and artistic styles,” said Chavoya. "They learned to collaborate, to listen, and to think outside the box – all while developing valuable film and theater skills. I am so proud of their work.”