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2021 One Act Play State Festival Recap

Two Class A, Two Class AA productions earn ‘starred performance’ ratings

Posted: Saturday, February 13, 2021 - 4:55 PM

After watching and then individually critiquing 15 dramatic productions, a panel of judges rated four of them “starred performances” on Saturday, February 13. While normally a two-day festival conducted at O’Shaughnessy Auditorium on the St. Catherine University campus, this year’s event was conducted virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The two Class A schools whose performances were cited for “starred performances” were: Belle Plaine for The Amish Project (Ensemble) and Fillmore Central for Jack-in-the-Box. The other participating Class A schools were Central Minnesota Christian, Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted, Milaca, Hawley, Rock Ridge, and Bagley. Rock Ridge is a cooperatively-sponsored program between Eveleth-Gilbert and Virginia.

Representing Section 2, Belle Plaine’s “starred performance” of The Amish Project (Ensemble) by Jessica Dickey was directed by Tony Hartmann and Kelly Morrison-Fox. Belle Plaine was making its 17th appearance and earned its 16th “starred” rating. The school earned its other “stars” in 1993, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2018, 2019, and 2020.

Representing Section 1, Fillmore Central’s “starred performance” of Jack-in-the-Box was written by Sara L. Reily and directed by Jackie Whitacre. The Falcons were making their fifth festival appearance; they earned their only other “starred” rating in 2016.

The two Class AA productions that earned “starred” ratings were: St. Michael-Albertville for Back Cover and Alexandria Area for Machinal. Other schools participating in the Class AA festival were Rochester Mayo, Prior Lake, Irondale, Academy of Holy Angels, and North Branch Area.

Representing Section 5, St. Michael-Albertville’s “starred performance” of Back Cover by Emily Hageman was directed by Joshua Mann and Joseph Siemieniak. This was St. Michael-Albertville’s sixth “starred” rating in its seventh appearance. The Knights earned their previous “stars” in 2000, 2001, 2003, 2005, and 2006.

Representing Section 8, Alexandria Area’s “starred performance” of Machinal by Sophie Treadwell was directed by Jessica Chipman and Georgia Snider. Alexandria Area, which was making its 13th appearance, earned its sixth “starred” rating. The Cardinals earned their previous “starred” ratings in 1951, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020.

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.

“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.

Each cast and crew member involved with these five “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. The casts and crews were also awarded a handsome acrylic trophy incorporating the Spotlight on the Arts logo.


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2021 One Act Play State Festival Recap