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Park High School stages Greek revival for one-act play

Elizabeth Rossow (left) plays the role of Ismerne in "Antigone," while Lexi Kleinschmidt is the namesake character in Park High School's One-Act Play production. Bulletin photo by Judy Spooner

Park High School nearly won the 3AA Section One-Act Play final last year with the emotional performance "Holocaust."

Directors Steve Estenson and Denise Atkinson hope this year's play will tip the scales in favor of Park's drama department.

In a touch of irony, "Antigone," this year's entry, was the first play "A and E," as the students call their directors, directed together.

"Antigone" was adapted to the required 35-minute length by Estenson, with Atkinson specializing in costuming and set design. The directors are in their 19th year of One-Act Play competition.

One of the few surviving complete scripts by Greek tragedy writer Sophocles, "Antigone" relates the tale of the fate of the family of Oedipus, king of Thebes, after his death. The somber play pits Antigone's defiant principles against those of Creon, her uncle and king of Thebes.

Lizzy Rossow is in her first one-act competition. She was told it would be an intense experience and, while she's enjoying it, it's lived up to the billing, she said.

Lexi Kleinschmidt, in her third one-act, said it's really difficult and trying. "It's also rewarding," she said.

"We're a family," added Troy Lowry. "It was so much fun last year, I wanted to come back."

Ben Jemie also performed in the school's chamber play last fall. Like other students, he enjoyed the experience and wanted to return in another play.

Victoria Lennartson couldn't wait to get to Park and join the theater program and it's helped her decide her future. "I've made a lot of good friends," she said. "I've decided I want to do this the rest of my life."

The One-Act Play, under the rules of the Minnesota State High School League that oversees competition for top honors in a state performance of section winners, has a set of rules that includes that plays must be 35 minutes long and each cast is limited to 22 members, including the technical crew. All members participate in putting up sets and taking them down.

Unlike practices for a school play or musical performance that are done over four to six weeks, one-act casts have three weeks of intense practices to bring their play to subsections.

Park enters competition in Subsection 3AA at East Ridge High School today, Wednesday, Jan. 23, with five plays competing. The first performance will be at 3:30 p.m. with Park in the fourth slot with curtain time at approximately 6:15 p.m.

If Park is one of the two winners, it will compete in section finals Wednesday, Jan. 30, at East Ridge with the order of shows to be determined.

If You Go> Park, Woodbury and East Ridge high schools will all perform their one-act plays beginning at 6:15 p.m. Friday, Jan. 25, at East Ridge. Performances are open to the public and general admission is $5.

Judy Spooner
Judy Spooner is the longest-serving staff writer at the South Washington County Bulletin. Spooner, who covers education and features in addition to writing a weekly column, has been with the newspaper for over 30 years.
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