February 12, 2009

Contact: Chris Franson or Howard W. Voigt / MSHSL




State One Act Play Festival Results:

Three Class AA plays receive top rating


A panel of judges, after watching, listening, and then individually critiquing eight Class AA dramatic productions, rated three of them “starred performances” on Thursday, February 12, during the 2009 State One Act Play Festival sponsored by the Minnesota State High School League. The two-day festival was conducted at O’Shaughnessy Auditorium on the College of St. Catherine campus in St. Paul.


The top eight Class AA 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): Eastview of Apple Valley for ‘night, Mother, Lakeville South for The Bald Soprano, and Minnetonka for Twilight of the Golds. The other participating schools were Brainerd, Hill-Murray of Maplewood, Anoka, Hermantown and Dassel-Cokato.


Representing Section 3, Eastview’s “starred performance” of ‘night, Mother by Marsha Norman was directed by Scott Durocher and Rob Rachow. Eastview, which is located in Apple Valley, made its fifth appearance and earned its fifth “starred” rating. The Lightning earned previous “starred” ratings in 1998, 2002, 2003, and 2007.


Winner of both the Pulitzer and Susan Smith Blackburn Prizes, ‘night, Mother is the eloquent, enthralling, and emotionally shattering story of a disturbing evening between a mother and her adult daughter. As the play begins, Jessie asks for her father’s revolver, calmly announcing that she intends to kill herself. Her mother refuses to take her seriously — at first. What follows is what critics have termed THE American Tragedy.


Cast members were Taylor Misiak and Sarah Cartwright. Support personnel were Aria Stiles, Sonja Burke, Jacob Chicos, Brittany Eng, Daniel Flohr, Marcus Hanson, Shannon Hanson, Theresa Harrah, Kyle Jakubowski, Brock Knutson, Reed Larsen, Brian Patten, Kelley Pollum, Caitlin Ross, Ernestine Russell, Siiri Russell, Madeline Settle, and Ailee Velazquez.


Representing Section 1, Lakeville South’s “starred performance” of The Bald Soprano by Eugene Ionesco was directed by Dennis Swanson. This was Lakeville South’s second appearance and second “starred” rating. The Cougars earned their first “starred” rating in 2007. Lakeville also made one additional appearance in 2004.


The Bald Soprano is an absurdist “anti-play” concerning the lack of communication. The characters are beyond dysfunctional. All of them speak the same interchangeable language, and thus are all leveled to one-dimensional insignificance. There is no protagonist, no antagonist, and the characters lack self-consciousness: Language alone is on heightened display.


Cast members were Allie Daniels, CJ Holmes, Alex Burniece, Tyler Davis, Emily Schwegman, and Sebastian Bergeron. Support personnel were Rachel Lantow, Catherine Bohr, PJ Crowley, Anna Field, Elaina Holmes, Cora Huss, Alex Jehle, Christine Kawalek, Ryan Linne, Tyler Munson, Missy Nelson, Katie Stangl, Jeff Steinkamp, and Bailey True.


Representing Section 6, Minnetonka’s “starred performance” of Twilight of the Golds by Johnathan Tolins was directed by R. Kent Knutson. Minnetonka made its fifth appearance and earned its fifth “starred” rating.


In Twilight of the Golds the Gold family must make a difficult life-changing decision when faced with new genetic information. The future of their world, as well as ours, may rest in the balance. But after all, it is only information.


Cast members were Nate Irvin, Kelsey Peterjohn, Ryan McCartan, Lauren Harvey, Shawn Gaebel, Jacob Fossing, Kari Strohmaier, Devan Barlow, David Frankenfield, and Ryan Fargo. Support personnel were Laura Grossmann, Claire Pieper, Phil Holt, Troy Goemer, Ari Koehnen, Emily Jordano, Josh Swanson, and Griffin Dooling. Minnetonka earned previous top ratings in1969, 2003, 2006, and 2008. 


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-six teams participated in One Act Play this season, 208 in Class A and 88 in Class AA.


Each cast and crew member involved with these three “starred performance” 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. Each cast and crew was also awarded a handsome acrylic trophy incorporating the Spotlight on the Arts logo.


Eight Class A one act plays are scheduled on Friday, February 13.


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