The side entrance to the Fine Arts building at SF State on May 4, 2021. Due to the pandemic, classes were moved from in-person to online which made it impossible for students in the Master’s of Fine Arts to see their work on a physical stage. (Samantha Laurey / Golden Gate Xpress) (Samantha Laurey)
The side entrance to the Fine Arts building at SF State on May 4, 2021. Due to the pandemic, classes were moved from in-person to online which made it impossible for students in the Master’s of Fine Arts to see their work on a physical stage. (Samantha Laurey / Golden Gate Xpress)

Samantha Laurey

Unmuted: A Virtual Theater DigiFest

May 10, 2021

The Creative Writing Department hosted Unmuted: A Virtual Theater DigiFest, a two-day virtual film festival this weekend for students to showcase original work for the online audience. 

The participants were graduate students enrolled in the department’s Playwright’s Theatre Workshop. Though theater typically plays out on the stage, this semester, the class took to film. 

With classes having been moved from in-person to online, students in the Master’s of Fine Arts program have not been able to see their work presented on the stage. Unmuted was an effort to get more eyes on their creations. 

“I feel like I really learned a lot about what a class in creative arts can give people, even with all the limitations we faced,” Unmuted organizer and creative writing professor Michelle Carter said.

Students presented videos that were inspired by various assignments they were given throughout the semester. Some of the assignments included the use of a diverse set of costumes, settings and character reveals. Some had stories surrounding long-distance relationships, cancel culture, new roommates and even a Dungeons and Dragons tutorial. 

Carter complimented her students on their ability to adjust from writing plays to writing short films.

An opening slide from the “Unmuted: A Virtual Theater DigiFest” event hosted through the Creative Writing Department.

“We wanted to give students an opportunity to learn to use video and video editing techniques and to create their own work that would be viewed on screens in this festival,” Carter said.

The Playwright’s Theatre Workshop course had twice as many seats as it did the previous semester, going from six to 12, and was able to produce enough art to put on an event like Unmuted.

If you would like to watch all videos presented in Unmuted: A Virtual Theater DigiFest, you can go to the College of Liberal & Creative Arts at SF State’s YouTube channel.

About the Contributors
Photo of Samantha Laurey
Samantha Laurey, Visuals Editor

Writer, Photographer, Photojournalist. Samantha started journalism at Diablo Valley College where she started writing and photographing breaking news and...

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