FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Three Class A troupes earn ‘starred performance’ ratings
After watching, listening, and then individually critiquing eight Class A dramatic productions, a panel of judges rated three of them “starred performances” on Friday, Feb. 14, during the 2014 State One Act Play Festival sponsored by the Minnesota State High School League. The two-day festival is conducted at O’Shaughnessy Auditorium on the St. Catherine University campus in St. Paul.
The top eight Class A productions from across the state took the stage throughout the day. The three schools whose performances were cited for “starred performances” were (in order of performance) Nova Classical Academy of St. Paul for Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Park Rapids Area for FREAK, and Belle Plaine for The Drowsy Professor. This was the first appearance for Nova Classical Academy. This was the 27th appearance for Park Rapids Area and 14th “starred performance rating. This was the 12th appearance for Belle Plaine and 11th “starred performance” rating.
The other participating Class A high schools were East Central of Sandstone, Rushford-Peterson, Sauk Centre, Russell-Tyler-Ruthton, and Ada-Borup.
Representing Section 6, Park Rapids Area’s “starred performance” of FREAK earned the school its 14th “starred” rating in its 26th appearance. The play, written by Angela Hill, was directed by Juliann Kjenaas and Jonathan Harrison. This production starts with the questions of “Who am I? How did I get here, and where am I going?” FREAK is a fantasy/social drama that examines the process of self-exploration, identity formation, and self-reconciliation. The play considers the power of individual choices, the extreme consequences they can lead to, and the redemptive power of hope. Cast members were Bobby Bruce, Jada Current, Paige Hill, Lewis Johnson, Danielle Lockrem, Noah Schulz, Jimmy Farmer, Myah Schultz, Katelynn Warmbold, Jena Stewart, Brandon Haller, Kate Westphal, Katy Spears, Madison Griffith, Madi Malzahn, and Marcus McKeever. Support personnel were Lisha Guisinger, Andrew Baldwin, and Joseph Bannerman. Park Rapids Area earned its previous top ratings in 1972, 1975, 1976, 1978, 1979, 1982, 1991, 1993, 1994, 2000, 2009, 2010, and 2011.
Representing Section 2, Belle Plaine’s “starred performance” of The Drowsy Professor by B. Dwayne Craft was directed by Tony Hartmann and Peter Jacobson. On the verge of uncovering the greatest discovery of mankind, a narcoleptic professor and his overly devoted assistant, Marisol, decide to go public with his findings. Unfortunately, discovery has its costs, risks, and rewards. The school was making its 12th appearance and earned its 11th “starred” rating. The school earned previous “starred” ratings in 1993, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2013. Cast members Nick Johnson, Felicity Mecredy, Jake Hartmann, Alec Lorenz, Mikhayla Clausen, Hannah Burmeister, Raina Busch, Patrick Schaefer, Patrick Selly, Jennifer He, Max Hughes, Aiden Winterfeldt, Rylee Pumper, Kali Gorman, Stephen LaJeunesse, Catherine Littlepage, Megan Littlepage, Katelyn Schmit, Jonah Meyer, Dylan O'Brien. Crew members were also part of the ensemble.
The Minnesota State High School League State One Act Play Festival does not involve direct competition. Judges rate the plays according to specific criteria, including pace, blocking, costuming, and projection of the play’s meaning. Each production is limited to 10 minutes of stage preparation and 35 minutes of actual performance.
The judges consult after each production and then openly critique each in front of the cast, crew, and audience. “Starred performance” ratings are determined by private balloting of the judges. One school from each of eight sections in each class gets to perform at the state level. Two hundred and ninety-eight teams participated in One Act Play this season, 206 in Class A and 92 in Class AA
Each cast and crew member involved with these three productions was also presented a Spotlight on the Arts Award of Excellence recognition pin. This is a fine arts recognition award created by Wells Fargo, the League’s premier sponsor, in cooperation with the League. The casts and crews were also awarded a handsome acrylic trophy incorporating the Spotlight on the Arts logo.
Four of eight Class AA troupes earned “starred performances” on Thursday, February 13: Eastview of Apple Valley for Frozen, Buffalo for The Triangle Factory Fire Project, Eagan for The Diviners, and Irondale of New Brighton for The Actor’s Nightmare. The other participating schools were New Prague, Duluth East, Little Falls, and Robbinsdale Cooper.
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