Junior Jam 2022


The senior cast of Junior Jam. Photo credit: Rachel Ledoux

Rachel Ledoux, Writer

On May 26, dozens of Bellows Free Academy students gathered for a night of competitive theatre. 

According to BFA’s drama teacher, Susan Palmer, this event, known as Junior Jam, is a staple in the BFA Theatre Department. Each year, BFA students compete class vs. class in a one-act play competition. Freshmen compete against sophomores, and juniors compete against seniors. 

Palmer explained that student directors are elected in each grade, then the directors cast other students as cast and crew members in their productions. The plays are then performed live and judged based on acting, directing and tech. 

Palmer said that after taking a year off due to Covid, Junior Jam returned last year. BFA students and staff were encouraged to attend and support their classes, and the show was recorded and put online for the community to view as well. This year, however, students were able to perform their shows live for both their families and friends.

This year, the shows and directors were as follows:

Emma Gibson (‘25) and Grey Bruley (‘25) directed the freshmen show “Betweenity.” 

Penelope Noza (‘24) and Rachel Ledoux (‘24) directed the sophomore show, “How to Succeed in High School Without Really Trying.” 

Rebekah Dalmer (‘23) directed the junior show, “It’s Not You, It’s Me.”

Yukina Benjamin (‘22) directed the senior show, “So You Want to be a Cheerleader.”

After all of the shows had been performed, the judges took a few minutes to decide on the winners. This year, the sophomore and junior classes won.

Student participants noted that the event also included a bake sale during the brief intermission. The items were donated by members of the theatre department, and funds will go towards future theatrical productions.

According to audience member Taro Ditch (‘23), the event was a fun experience.

“Everyone did such a great job. It was a really awesome experience,” Ditch said.

This was seconded by students who participated in Junior Jam.

“Junior Jam is always my favorite theater event,” Lydia Tomlinson (‘23) said. She added, “It’s so fun getting to act with my [friends], and it was really cool to win this year.”

Emma Gibson (‘25), during a speech about Junior Jam at this year’s Theater Awards ceremony, supported this from a director standpoint.

“We made new connections, gained new skills, learned new things and had the most fun while doing it,” Gibson said. She added, “Junior Jam is an amazing experience that I’m so glad I got to enjoy.”

If you were unable to attend the live performance, but are interested in viewing it, a recording of the plays will be available online shortly.