Lights, Camera, Action!

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Lights, Camera, Action!

Eamon Morris, Managing Editor

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While the proud students of Servite can choose to get involved in theatre and film  through extracurriculars, Servite also offers for-credit classes in both areas. Jeanne Nellesen, director and producer of Junior Thespian Productions for 25 years now, teaches the Fundamentals of Theatre class at Servite.

Nellesen says that the class serves “…to introduce the students to all aspects of theatre, on stage and behind the scenes.” Nellesen has long harbored a love of theatre, with a particular predilection for classic musicals. In regards to teaching, Nellesen enjoys giving her students lessons on Hamlet and advertising media. But Nellesen’s favorite aspect of her job is her students. “I am proud of the students who show enthusiasm broadening their understanding and appreciation of theatre arts,” said Nellesen.

Brian Elsing, a Servite sophomore, is a huge fan of Nellesen’s class. He describes Nellesen’s teaching style as fun, saying that “The atmosphere of all of the people in the class just make you look forward to coming to theatre class everyday.” Elsing is particularly appreciative of the project the class is currently working on. “It’s called 12 angry men and we have to act out a scene from the movie. It’s really great because no one gets left out since everybody has a part to play,” said Elsing passionately.  

The Servite film program also boasts a passionate teacher and passionate students. Jeffrey Baldo, a Servite alumni,  first got interested in teaching film when he was hired to teach math at Servite 11 years ago. Baldo regretted not being able to take film class when he went to Servite. “I thought it would be a fun class for students to take,” said Baldo.

Baldo’s love for movies is not limited to Best Picture winners.  His favorite film is Star Wars: A New Hope, a choice that illustrates how well he is able to relate to his students. According to Baldo, his students inspire him “…every they get excited about a new idea and then follow it through to the end…” As for advice for aspiring filmmakers, Baldo keeps it simple. “Work hard,” he says.

Trent Larson is a Servite senior with plenty to say on Baldo. “His teaching style is legendary,” commented Larson, “each and every day, I have the opportunity to learn something new, regardless of what it may be. I also find it exciting that every time I watch a movie I notice and pick up on things that everyone else might miss.”

Theatre isn’t the only class with exciting projects at Servite. During the first quarter, the film class had to make a silent film. “It forced us to tell a story through the actions of a subject,” noted Larson.

Whether you’re in film or in theatre, it’s clear that each program boasts a plethora of passionate pupils and excellent educators. It doesn’t matter whether you’re behind a camera or on a stage-you can be certain you’ll be satisfied with both film and theatre.


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