Creativity seizes the spotlight


The Mirror

After more than a year of hard work, daydreams and revisions, Ashley Burman, a sophomore at Federal Way Public Academy, saw her dream come true on Thursday.

Burman’s self-written play, “423 North D Street,” came to life during two performances by the Public Academy’s drama club.

“I had the opportunity to see an idea that I had come alive,” Burman said. “I’m really proud of it.”

The play, a story about a family battling over an inheritance, was inspired by events in Burman’s own life, she said. The play also includes a romantic twist.

Student-written, full-length plays have been a tradition at Public Academy for seven years, said Barry Linn, the teacher who advises the drama club.

“I don’t know why not, it seems like a good idea all around,” Linn said. “We’re trying to let people try things out.”

He added that with student-written plays, the school doesn’t have to pay royalties to use the script.

The script isn’t the only area money was saved in production of the play. Students, along with Linn’s wife, spent a weekend building the sets with plywood, cardboard and butcher paper. The lighting and costumes were simple.

“It didn’t cost us any money,” Linn said.

Linn seemed proud of the low budget. The emphasis was less on “making a big splash,” and more about encouraging students’ creativity, he said.

Indeed, Burman said the project inspired her creativity. She spent more than 100 hours working on the play, beginning in April last year.

She completed the work all on her own time, not for school credit, she said.

“I’ve always wanted to be a writer, but now I feel inspired to follow my dream,” Burman said.

“It’s so amazing to see everybody, the characters, come alive,” she said. “I’m so proud of everybody that’s in that cast that’s worked on this.”

Burman said her next goal is to publish a book of poetry.

Contact Margo Horner: or (253) 925-5565.

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