Ready? Set… Action! at Madison & Cathedral

(Lê Minh via Pexels)

Students at Baltimore School for the Arts (BSA) are hard at work capturing the untold story of their school spirit.

“Madison & Cathedral,” will capture a year in the life of the public arts high school, from drama to music, dance and visual arts—on film, portraying pivotal moments in the school’s 44-year history with guest appearances from alumni including Jada Pinkett Smith (’89).

The six-part docuseries, named for the streets around the school’s Mount Vernon campus, will show the behind-the-scenes work that goes into school productions, offering a glimpse of the soul of the school.

Beatriz Bufrahi, the chair of the Charles C. Baum Film and Visual Storytelling program at BSA, and Tom Ventimiglia, who teaches screenwriting for the department, are particularly interested in where the series will go—because they aren’t directing it. The docuseries is entirely produced and directed by students in the department.

Mark K. Joseph, a founder who helped launch the department in 2017, proposed the idea for the series, along with significant funding for the projecth“I believe in the power of young storytellers and their ability to capture their generation…This school is set apart—it nurtures the artistic, academic, and professional growth of students like no other, all the while impacting the local community in the process,” he says in a news release.

The largest student-led professional development project the school has ever undertaken, using candid footage and confession-style filming, it’s been in the works since last September.

Sophomore student producer Jude Harvey says the series will showcase experiences that represent BSA, such as the school’s acclaimed production of “The Nutcracker.” “It’s kind of like a staple in the BSA life,” she says.

Being able to film the production for a year gives viewers a lens into the rigor of BSA. “I think no one fully ever understands the lengths, and like what people give up, to be in performances here and work here, and like the level of professionalism,”
she says.

A first trailer released in the spring coincided with a 100-years celebration of the school’s historic building. The completed series is scheduled to debut this fall and be a contender for film festivals.


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