February 13, 2009

Contact: Chris Franson or Howard W. Voigt / MSHSL




State One Act Play Festival Results

Four Class A troupes earn ‘starred performance’ ratings


After watching, listening, and then individually critiquing eight Class A dramatic productions, a panel of judges rated four of them “starred performances” on Friday, Feb. 13, during the 2009 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 College of St. Catherine campus in St. Paul. Eight productions by Class AA schools were staged Thursday, Feb. 12.


The top eight Class A productions from across the state took the stage throughout the day. The four schools whose performances were cited for “starred performances” were (in order of performance) Milaca for The Ice Fishing Play, Morris Area for Lysistrata Interruptae, Park Rapids Area for Said and Meant – Short Plays About Language and Misunderstandings, and Belle Plaine for Orphan Trains. The other participating Class A schools were Pipestone Area, Roseau, St. Charles, and Cook County of Grand Marais.


Representing Section 4, Milaca’s “starred performance” of The Ice Fishing Play by Kevin Kling was directed by Audrey French. This was the school’s fifth appearance and fourth “starred performance” rating. The school earned its other top ratings in 1985, 1991, and 1993.


In this play, Ron seeks solace in his quest to catch “the big one” out on a frozen lake in northern Minnesota. He is soon overrun with memories, miracles, and moments of clarity about life, love and loneliness.


Cast members were Austin Bauer, Carl Cronin, Tyler Haugen, Deanna Christianson, Elle Golden, Bronte Dohm, Caitlin Drayna, Dustin Beehler, David Farmer, and Spencer Slade. Support personnel included Amber Dorr, Reice Golden, and Jonah Ellison.


Representing Section 5, Morris Area’s “starred performance” of Lysistrata Interruptae was directed by David Johnson. The play was written by the cast, Athena Kildegaard and David Johnson. This was the school’s 12th festival appearance and it’s sixth “starred performance” rating. The school earned previous top ratings in 1963, 1978, 1999, 2000, and 2004.


Lysistrata Interruptae is an original production based on actual events surrounding another Minnesota high school’s production of Lysistrata for last year's one act contest. The production was met with some controversy within the community. This is their story.


Cast members were Anika Kildegaard, Thomas Roberts, Otto Kildegaard, Olivia Pilarski, Ashley Karst, Johanna Luetmer, Jen Buchanan, Tabitha Klages, Laura Lou Delehanty, Krista Matthews-Saugstad, Kelsey Mitteness, Bess Boever, Alex McIntosh, Timm Uhlmann, Thomas McPhee, and Katie Monroe. Support personnel were Fiona O'Halloran-Johnson and Zach Stahmann.


Representing Section 6, Park Rapids Area’s “starred performance” of Said And Meant - Short Plays About Language and Misunderstandings earned the school its 11th “starred performance” rating in its 24th appearance. Park Rapids Area earned its previous top ratings in 1972, 1975, 1976, 1978, 1979, 1982, 1991, 1993, 1994, and 2000. The play was written by Randy Wyatt and was directed by Juliann Kjenaas.


The production is a series of short plays exploring how we use the same language to mean all kinds of different things and the dangers therein.


Cast members were Carson Christenson, Jason Dennis, Jacob Froelich, Nathan Gebhard, Maira German, Jake Grimes, Megan Larson, Alana McKeever, Ben Pilkey, and Luke Swenson. Support personnel were Shannon Harris, Dan Hahn, Samantha Workman, Andrew Stewart, Emily Schwartz, Nicole Petersen, Sarah Bugge, Caroline Zwetsloot, Tony Schmid, and Matthew Walker.


Representing Section 2, Belle Plaine’s “starred performance” of Orphan Trains by Deborah Craig was directed by Tony Hartmann and Peter Jacobson. The school was making its eighth appearance and earned its seventh “starred performance” rating. The school earned previous “starred” ratings in 1993, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2007, and 2008.


The play tells the story of an estimated 200,000 orphaned, abandoned, and homeless children who were placed in Midwestern and Southern states from 1854-1929. It became know as the Orphan Train Movement. The Children’s Aid Society and New York Founding Hospital were determined to help children in New York City find permanent homes. “Agents” took the children aboard trains and at selected stopping points the children were taken by families in that area.


Cast members were Jake Hartmann, Ellen Schneider, Alex Vechinski, Laura Schaefer, Danielle Hron, Kelly Morrison, Joshua Phillips, Lindy Jackson, Sam Farmer-Lies, Kate Effertz, Jeremy Winders, Andrew Orvick, Kelly Soller, Shelby Witt, Ashley Boecker, Michelle Malecha, Casey Schneider, and Chase Grieves. Adam Ludvik and Casey Mueller provided support.


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-three teams participated in One Act Play this season -- 206 in Class A and 87 in Class AA.


Each cast and crew member involved with these four 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.


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