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Theater students slam BRILLIANT original poems

Congratulations to freshmen Amanda Braig and Taylor Ferenc and junior Shannon Whitely, winners of the Poetry Slam contest.

Students in Ms. Teresa De Zarn’s theater classes wrote original poems and practiced performing them on the “small screen” during remote learning days. On Thursday, Jan. 21, students slammed their poems on stage for their classmates who voted for their favorites. The top ten then lit up the stage for faculty judges on Monday, Jan. 25.

Faculty judge and English teacher Mrs. Laura Rupp said, "Amanda's performance was both moving and surprising. The audience was originally lulled into complacency, assuming that her poem was a refreshingly sweet retelling of the experience of playing 'The Game of Life', a game we have all enjoyed playing with our families and friends, only to be shocked to realize her true topic is the disparity of class and opportunity that is plaguing our society. It was a truly brilliant performance."

English teacher, Mr. Jeff Mulvey, said, “I was reminded of the depth of our students, both artistically and emotionally. Each student created a poem that not only gave us a view into their hopes, struggles, and triumphs, but also gave voice to the passion with which our students live - passion for life, passion for connection, passion for understanding.”

Mrs. Rupp agreed, "The students were not afraid to tackle controversial, relevant and deeply personal topics and to share their true emotions regarding them. You do not often see young adults, especially freshmen, with the poise, maturity and willingness to give us a peek into what really matters to them. We wear masks on a daily basis, both literally and figuratively this year, and it was a pleasure to see those masks come down."

Mulvey added, “I was reminded through their poetry how proud I am to teach at a school where compelled students feel free to speak about their lives and their views on the world around them…It is a credit to everyone in the McNicholas community when our students find the strength to speak their hearts and minds because all of us have created the environment where such honesty is encouraged and valued - that environment is one of the ways in which we are brilliant.”

Slam Poetry Winners
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