NDSS’ drama club will hit the big screen this summer as its members star in a series of short public service videos that warn their peers of the consequences of getting into mischief.
Napanee OPP teamed with the high school drama club and local filmmaker Dale Morrisey of Wandering Journalist Productions to create the shorts, which will air during the previews at Napanee’s Bouler House Cinema.
Prior to filming, Const. Shannon Cork met with the students and gave them a basic guideline for the messages she’d like the skits to convey.
“We took what we learned from (Cork), started to do some brainstorming, character ideas, some scenario ideas,” said Sue Marriott, a teacher at NDSS who runs the drama club. “(The students) came up with the ideas, we wrote it down, worked on scripts.”
All told, nine students acted in three different scenarios, each about two minutes long. They touch upon spur of the moment mischief, peer pressure and domestic mischief. All of which are inspired by real life issues the local OPP detachment has witnessed.
Each scenario depicts an incident where a teen breaks the law-such as smashing a mailbox or egging a house, and then is promptly arrested. At the end of each scene the characters explain how having a criminal record has affected them, whether it’s limiting their ability to travel, volunteer to get work experience or how they’re viewed by friends and family.
While intend to teach their peers a lesson, the student actors learned from it as well.
“I learned you could go to jail (for some of the actions portrayed in the short videos),” said Angela Meise, one of the student actresses. “I thought you just got fined for it.”
The OPP is hoping by showing these videos before movies at the theatre, they’ll be reaching their target teen audience. Getting the word out may deter them from making the wrong choice later on and earning themselves a criminal record. They also hope by creating more community engagement, teens won’t be afraid to go to a police officer in an emergency situation.
The OPP thanked Bouler House Cinema which agreed to show the videos during their previews. A special screening for the actors, actresses and their families was held at the theatre last week where they were able to see the finished product for the first time. Filming was done last spring. Production for the videos were funded through a grant to the OPP.