Purple Dreams

This year, I was fortunately accepted to attend the Full Frame Seminar again. It’s an amazing opportunity, and I enjoyed every moment of it. I saw five films this year, and while all are wonderful, Purple Dreams was one that stood out to me the most. Purple Dreams is about Northwest School of the Arts in Charlotte, North Carolina and how they were the first high school to receive the rights to put on the play, The Color Purple. While there was a tremendous amount of people working on this play, the film followed a handful of student-actors and the play’s director. Many of the students at this school must deal with family and financial problems. One student was forced to live in a small hotel room with her mom, her mom’s boyfriend, and her siblings. Another student and his family had to live in someone else’s garage. Theatre was their way to escape from or cope with their issues. They loved their director, Corey Mitchell, like a father, and they loved their fellow cast and crew mates like siblings. I, along with I’m sure all the other viewers, grew very fond of all the students and wanted them to succeed in the play as well as life (we liked Corey Mitchell, too). We all clapped when things worked out for the students, and we gasped and sighed with sadness when a student’s brother was killed due to gun violence. In the end, the play went very well. Judges of high school theatre attended their last performance and thought they were good enough to go to Nebraska to attend workshops and perform in front of critiques, which is a huge honor. During this trip, the students also got to audition for many colleges and universities of the arts. Many of them got accepted, and some even received scholarships, including the films’ protagonists. In addition to all of these wonderful privileges and opportunities they earned, Corey Mitchell received a Tony Award for his many years of excellent work in high school arts! After the film ended, some of the documentary’s crew, Corey Mitchell, and two of the students featured in the film came out to answer questions and engage in discussion! It was so great to see them, and to learn that they are thriving in college and making a career in the arts. Over all, this documentary was absolutely incredible, and it promoted arts programs in schools. They are underfunded and deserve to be treated as the crucial part of the school system that they are. I would definitely recommend this film to everyone! Thanks so much to Ms. Bessias, Mr. Haynes, and Durham Academy for this wonderful opportunity!!

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