|Matt Hinshaw/The Daily Courier|
From left, Rachel Long, Lynn Cline, Dennis Mixson, Seamus Vanest, and english teacher Suzanne Johnson rehearse the Edgar Allen Poe story, “A Cask of Amontillado,” before filming, Tuesday morning
at Kestrel High School in Prescott.
The Daily Courier
After Kestrel High School sophomore Seamus Vanest, playing Montressor, forced struggling freshman Dennis Mixson, portraying Fortunato, into chains, Vanest mortared the wall in front of Mixson as the bells on Mixson's jester hat jingled and he began to scream.
"I liked actually getting to do some drama," said Rachel Long, a freshman. "I play an extra during the first scene, and I helped with the scenes and script writing."
Kestrel film and English students collaborated to create a movie of Edgar Allan Poe's short story "A Cask of Amontillado" that will be shown at their Mardi Gras Night from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 11 at the school at 325 N. Washington Street.
"The story, as so many Poe works, has a dark theme, which has a real appeal for teenagers," said Suzanne Johnson, English teacher.
The Mardi Gras Night will feature the film, a dinner of gumbo and jambalaya, live music, a student art show, a presentation about the school, and visits with students, parents, and teachers.
"The teachers here are really helpful, they really give you one-on-one support to make sure you're learning," Dennis said.
The cost for Mardi Gras Night is $3 for students, $5 for adults, and potential students eat free. For more information, call 928-541-1090.
"I'm excited about our first Mardi Gras night, and how students created a film from what they learned in class," said Jana Truman, director of Kestrel.
In the fall, students read the Poe story about an Italian nobleman who kills a friend who insulted him by chaining him in a wine cellar and walling him in, Johnson said.
Then film class teacher Dale Young asked Johnson about a project film and English students could work on together.
"The setting for the Poe story is during Carnival/Mardi Gras time in Italy, so I thought it would be a good story for students to interpret," Johnson said. "Everyone worked on the project."
Lynn Cline, a freshman, created the costumes after looking "online at what people wore then, and finding it at Goodwill."
Students Chanse Prokopich, Keeyin Castro, Bonnie Bachmeyer, and Alex Mangelsdorf worked on scenery and props including creating bricks from foam.
Cameron Lancaster, a junior who held the boom microphone for filming, said it was "a pretty fun job to do especially when we do the close ups, because you get to actually be part of the film as the actors stand close to you and hand you stuff."
The students said they hope other teens will come to Mardi Gras Night, like what they see and attend Kestrel.
"It's smaller here, there's not too many people," Bonnie said.
Teachers can sit down and really help with your work, Seamus said.
"It's a more personal experience and you tend to learn more that way," Rachel said. "You can go at your own pace."
For Cameron, what makes Kestrel special is that "Everyone at this school actually cares."
"Everyone here is accepted for who they are," Lynn said.