The halls of NP Moss were buzzing with life on a recent Sunday afternoon. A junior and senior were in one class with a chess board ready for battle, both full of that sort of bubbling banter that gets lost somewhere after the days spent among lockers. But these are not students of Lafayette Parish, and this classroom is merely a makeshift spot for touchups as actors Laura Marano, Kat McNamara and Parker Mack wait for their next round of shooting.
The indie film A Sort of Homecoming is a homecoming for screenwriter Lynn Reed, who graduated from STM 25 years ago. Reed lives in Maine these days and brought the project to the bayou thanks to the help of supporters, like co-producer Marcus Brown and his wife Yvette (among others who backed the film). Marcus, who also has a part in the film, was a classmate and fellow speech and debater with Reed, which is a beautiful segueway into the film’s plot: the story of a woman who left her small hometown 20 years ago after a life-altering event surrounding her high school debate partner.
In the script, the lead character returns home while we see flashbacks of her life competing in debate. While Reed says the script is certainly not autobiographical, it is a reflection of the power of debate on her life.
“I can’t overstate what it prepared me for,” Reed says, overlooking the beautifully restored NP Moss auditorium.
While Lafayette has garnered a fair share of productions, efforts to create a healthy stock of amenities and available crew and resources that are competitive to nearby New Orleans is an ongoing effort. One this sort of homecoming will no doubt boost.