As society continues to push forward in a world fueled by social networking and YouTube, Brooke High School's Drama Club is jumping on board with the premiere of its first student-run talk show, "Ohio Valley Tonite with Nathan Marshall," which will air at 10 p.m. Thursday, April 7. The student's first guest will be area singer Katie Orlofske.
Inspired by projects with his former students at Northern Garrett High School in Maryland, Brooke High School English teacher Nathan Marshall decided to produce a completely student-directed news production.
With collaboration from broadcasters, Brooke principal Toni Shute and John Zumpetta, science and video photography instructor at Brooke High, Marshall fabricated a talk show that not only would be fun, but also would be an educational experience for students.
In a Johnny Carson-style late-night talk show segment airing on WTRF-TV's Fox News, the students will be adding a humorous twist to the news. "I really wanted to bring something original to Brooke High," Marshall said.
With assistance from fellow Brooke High teacher Ralph Smith and his construction crew, the students designed and assembled the set. "This is completely student-run," Marshall said. "Even though I will be advising and conducting interviews, the students will be handling everything els. The students will be interviewing, filming, directing and editing each news segment."
"It's been neat to see this whole thing develop, to see the students develop and mature in this field," Zumpetta said. "They have a wide spectrum of guests planned, and hopefully this will spark students' interest in the communication field."
"Generally, we will be focusing on the Ohio Valley," junior Ares Ensell said. "We will be interviewing local bands, politicians and comedians. However, we're hoping to focus on the stories and people that you don't hear about, such as writers, artists and musicians."
However, what makes Brooke High's talk show stand out is the instruction and guidance from individuals who have the work experience. "We're in a competitive world," Marshall said. "With this project, the students are getting ahead of the competition and preparing for the future, which is what a teacher and a school system does for their students. Not every school has this opportunity."
"It's a great learning experience," senior Brandon Yost said.
"With Mr. Marshall's knowledge and real-life experience, he's moving us forward, not backward," sophomore Joe Douglas said. "We're a step ahead of the competition. If we decide to do this in college. we will be prepared for what is expected from us."
"This is the perfect opportunity for students who are considering a career in communications, whether it's journalism or broadcasting," Marshall said. "For example, Brandon already has a lot for his portfolio and resume, such as films he's directed and edited, which is what an individual needs in the broadcasting business."
"Hopefully this will make students more open to broadcasting as a career," Lizz Kyanko said. "Interested students can talk to one of us, and we can show them how it's done, and even though it's a lot of work, it's fun too."
"Also, we hope to continue this every year, Kyanko added. "With new people and new ideas every year, this project could really expand into something great."
"Every show we want to take this to the next level," Ensell said.
Other crew members include students senior April Baumgartner, freshman Sarah Young, junior Megan Salatino and junior Shannon Reardon.