HW Project released for students and faculty

Sydney Fener

The HW Project, a multimedia production including over 23 separate student works, premiered Jan. 22 on Vimeo in place of the regular fall play. 

 Upper School Performing Arts Technical Director and Performing Arts Teacher Aaron Martin said putting together the project was a complicated process.

“Some students wanted to write music, some students wanted to dance, some students wanted to write poetry,” Martin said. “It’s not a piece of theater in the sense of a play, where you get from point A to point B in the form of a story. This is more like a mixed playlist, where this is the self-expression of each person who decided to bring a component to life.”

According to Martin, the theater department began working on the project in September. The guest video artist, Hannah Beavers, began editing and stitching together the individual videos in November. The department provided students with any extra resources they needed, such as cameras to film their projects. Performer Quinn Callaghan ’21 said  it was up to the students themselves to make the videos, but many did not take part in the editing process.

“Instead of having rehearsals where the entire cast meets, almost all of the work was done asynchronously,” Callaghan said. “I would have occasional meetings with the directors to workshop the material I had created and rehearsed, and then after we felt the piece was in a good place, we filmed it and sent it off to be edited.”

The finished show was shown in three parts: a Zoom red-carpet event with the cast,  the premiere of the video and  a Q&A session with the cast and crew.

Emery Genga ’21, a performer in the virtual production, said the experience was  labor-intensive but rewarding.

“Participating in the HW Project was honestly a lot of work,” Genga said. “The subject matter of a lot of the projects made it very emotionally draining to work on. It was, however, incredible to work with so many different people in different grades and watch how their stories unfolded.”

Olivia Gubel ’21 said she was also  moved by the video that showcased so many students’ hard work.

“Watching everyone’s project as a whole was a really powerful experience,” Gubel said. “In a way, it was like being amongst all these incredibly talented and creative people once again, but this time listening to what they want to tell the world, what they need to say.”