Student Work Featured at Be Original Theater Festival

Montverde Academy is proud to announce that Molly Smith, senior, has been accepted into the inaugural Be Original Theater Festival, sponsored by New Generation Theatrical Inc. with productions hosted at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. Molly’s play, “God Bless America,” is one of eight plays selected for a staged reading this coming weekend and she is the only high school student with a submission that earned a staged show.
"God Bless America" was written for the thespian competition at MVA in the playwriting category. The story, based in a post-war America now called the United Republic, follows Captain Jack Miller and his choices throughout life which led him to the present. This show deals with themes of patriotism, nationalism, violence, love, and the possibilities of what could happen in a nation that fights violence with violence. Themes that are consistent with Molly’s passion for creating artistic works that raise awareness and give a voice to her generation.
“I applied to this festival thinking it would be a long shot,” said Molly. “When I received the acceptance, I was thrilled, but I knew it would take lots of hard work to make this show the best it can be. My show is alongside some very accomplished Florida writers, and I am the only high school student to earn a staged show.”
There is a large student ensemble for the staging, and Molly is proud to have cast the roles and the lead female role from MVA's Theatre Conservatory program. Ambria Benjamin plays lead Hailey Nelson, who delivers an incredible performance. Additional students in the production include Sydney Barker, CJ Rosado, Ashton Appadu, Josh Brown, Lucas Brown, Alexa Cazenave, Belle France, and Lucy Hartmann.
No stranger to theatrical competition, Molly has earned numerous awards for her creative ability in writing and film-making. Most recently, she earned a Scholastic Art & Writing Award Gold Medal in the Dramatic Script category for the “God Bless America” play and a Suncoast Student Production Award for her short film, “Dear America.”
"I invite you to see the world through our eyes, and contemplate the choices we make as a society to protect those we love. I would also like to thank my theatre troupe 3977, Ms. Roberta Emerson, Ms. Kathy Wiebe and Mr. Dean Bell for supporting me in this endeavor," said Molly.
Come support Molly and see one of two performances at the Dr. Phillips Center for Performing Arts in the Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater on October 4 at 3:15 p.m. or on October 5 at 6:30 p.m. The runtime of this play is 30 minutes, and tickets are $12 each – available HERE. Please note that this play is for recommended ages 16 and older due to simulated terrorism and gun violence.