Write Night relocates at PHS

Write Night is a joint literary magazine and theater department fundraiser that began six years ago as a gathering of fewer than 100 Pelham High School students celebrating creativity. The event has exploded into an annual festival where the brave read, play and sing their creations, where the audience finds inspiration to contemplate taking the stage next year and where I stand in awe of the talent and triumph of the students — at least, when I’m not trying to locate extra toilet paper or a breaker box to flip the switch we threw by plugging in excessive lights.

Literary magazine students created this event called Write Night, and their concept has captured the imagination of the school.

Last year, Caroline Ponder and Caryle Poljacik emerged on the magazine staff as Write Night planners. They tried to convince me that too many people would attend to make our old venue, the auditorium lobby, a feasible setting.

“We’ll be human sardines in the auditorium lobby,” Poljacik said.

Ponder said, “We won’t be able to breathe.”

I said, “The auditorium lobby has always fit our crowd without a problem. We’ll be fine.”

The day after Write Night 2009, I stood before my class and said, “You were right. I was wrong. Write Night was too crowded.”

Not a single one of them said, “We told you so.”

Even with the large crowd and the tiny setting, the night was amazing. Inspired performances overshadowed the cramped conditions. Plans to relocate Write Night 2010 began immediately.

Last week, Write Night 2010 took place in the PHS cafeteria. Moving the cafeteria tables, setting up seating and stringing lights exhausted us; however, the night’s performances were worth the work.

Probably, the view of the Pelham city lights was as lovely as ever on Write Night. Honestly, I didn’t look out the windows once. The view looking in — at a crowd sharing their spoken words, written words and words set to music — captured my attention entirely.

What’s in store for Write Night 2011 as our creative crowd continues to grow? The 2011 Literary Magazine Staff will face that question.

In the meantime, the current staff has a magazine to create. They’d also like to offer their thanks to theater teacher Jamie Stephenson and her students, our parent volunteers, community businesses and everyone else who made our relocated Write Night 2010 another huge success.

Connie Nolen can be reached by e–mail at CNolen@Shelbyed.k12.al.us.