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Taylor Capers and Michela Speller Win First at STANJ Event

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Brianna Rodriguez '20
25 January 2019

STANJ Trophy; property of Taylor Capers On Saturday, January 12th, about 15 PV students attended the annual Speech and Theater Association of New Jersey (STANJ) at Montclair State University. Numerous other schools from the area gather to MSU every year to compete in various artistic categories, such as dramatic monologue, comedic monologue, monologues performed in groups or pairs, etc. This year a new category was added for the competitors to explore. This new category is called Communications and Media and the goal for this category is to portray a message through videos and pictures. The first ever prize for this category went to PV students Taylor Capers '20 and Michela Speller '19.

Students picked their categories about two months prior to the event. Capers and Speller paired up to create an inspiring, powerful video that was submitted into the Communications and Media category. They came up with the idea to portray a deep, empowering film based on women of color.

“Our goal was to portray the spiritual, intellectual and overall growth of women of color,” Capers explained. Speller with Trophy; property of Taylor Capers Taylor Capers '20 holding STANJ trophy

STANJ required that each video be four minutes long. Michela and Taylor both decided to start the first 30 - 40 seconds of the video by showing the dark moments that women of color faced throughout history. As the video continued, it showed how these women overcame such traumatic experiences and the accomplishments they made over time.

“The most heartwarming moment was seeing how intrigued and involved the crowd was as the video played,” Speller explained. 

The video earned a first-place award from the STANJ judges. It was a proud moment for the two of them, along with the other PV students who attended the event.