FEST from the eyes of the directors


Marissa Gibson, FACTS Staff Reporter

FEST 2022 had its 10th anniversary this year with two plays written by current students and two plays written by former students. 10 years means a lot to FEST, also known as “Falcon Expressions in Student Theatre.” From what was a shower thought, to the auditorium being full of friends, family, students and staff, FEST is only going to go up from here.

Stefanie Davis, current English teacher at PMHS, is especially close to FEST. Davis thought of an idea and went to Jacqui Sheehan, her friends and coworker. The idea of FEST started out with an easy, “no,” but ultimately became something that is celebrated today. 

At the very beginning, there were hundreds of stories written to be chosen as one of the plays. This year, the lack of quality and quantity was somewhat of an issue that struck an idea. This idea was to bring back two of the best plays and keep two written by students this year.

Romans wrote the story, “That’s the Funny Thing,” the second show of the entire production. The director of this show, Audrey McDuffee, had a different thoughts about her show than the audience. There was a disconnecting feeling between McDuffee and her show. 

“I never really connected to it as I probably should have. I felt disconnected because I watched it over and over again in rehearsal, and then seeing the audience cry made me realize that this show was actually sad,” McDuffee said.

There were not just disconnecting feelings between a director and their show. Ari Rawlins, the director of the fourth show, “A Rogue Happily Ever After,” written by two previous students at PMHS, felt very proud about their show. This comedy was full of an energetic cast, and the pressure was on for Rawlins, considering their show followed two depressing shows and one dramatic show.

“My show was so funny and it was such a comic relief, so I knew I had to make it good and funny, but that also intimidated me so much,” Rawlins said.

The most intense show out of all the shows was “Diamonds,” directed by Nash. Not only did she write a show, she also had a previous show in the palm of her hands. The show dealt with the life of Marilyn Monroe and contained a vast amount of struggles throughout the late icons life. The physical and emotional abuse, drug and alcohol abuse and her on-stage suicide was something that Sheehan and Davis warned the audience about. Nash was also the writer of the first story performed on stage, “As Time Goes By,” based on a true story about her great grandparents.

“I kind of did no preparation to be a director,” Nash said. “I was just like, ‘oh this is going to happen, and it’s going to happen the way it’s meant to be.’”

FEST has had 10 years of numerous shows, and it has many more years ahead of it. It is not only something for theatre kids, but also for everyone else, regardless of their background.