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One more act: Park High School one-act play prepares for state

The cast and directors of Park High School's production of "Antigone," a Greek tragedy, celebrate taking first place last Wednesday night in the Section 3AA One-Act-Play competition that was held at Park High School. Bulletin photo by Judy Spooner

Park High school actors are bound for state competition.

Park's performance of "Antigone" came out on top last week in section One-Act Play competition, ahead of Eagan High School's cast and crew that topped Park last year.

The other plays in the competition were "Othello," performed by Bloomington Kennedy; "The Big Meal," by East Ridge High School, which came in second to Park in sub-section competition; and Eagan's performance of "The Glass Menagerie."

The win sends Park's cast to the Class AA (large schools) state tournament One-Act Play Festival on Thursday, Feb. 7, at St. Catherine University's O'Shaughnessy Auditorium. Performances begin at 11 a.m.

The play is directed by longtime collaborators Steve Estenson and Denise Atkinson. Cast members include Troy Lowry, Elizabeth Rossow, Lexi Kleinschmidt, Lucas Lindstrom, Ben Jemie, Michael Harrison, Justin Hiemstra, Maddie Franz, Victoria Lennartson, Taylor Diedrich, Kadie Moberg, Hailey Klapak and Nate Jensen.

Technical crew members are Lisa Linn, Danielle Johnson, Kelsey Fox, Amber Kowalinko, Carlyn Lindstrom, Sarah Miner and David Link.

The three judges, with a ranking of one to three, with one being the highest, voted 1-1-2 for Park, giving the Wolfpack an edge over one-act rival Eagan.

"Stunning visuals," commented one judge. "Park played on all levels including diction, inflection, intensity and passion played on all levels."

Other comments noted that Park's performance is mature, disciplined and cohesive. Casts that show discipline and cohesion are qualities that judges look for at state competition.

One judge admitted to forgetting to write down comments after getting so caught up in watching Park's play. "That's a good thing," the judge wrote.

On the day following competition, Estenson said he received an e-mail from one of the judges that one of the best things about the Park production is the struggle between King Creon (played by Justin Hiemstra) and his niece, Antigone (played by Lexi Kleinschmidt). Too often, Creon is portrayed as the villain and Antigone as sympathetic. Park actors showed that the relationship is complicated and deeply conflicted, wrote the judge.

Estenson said that he appreciated the comments because "it shows that we were successful in communicating how we viewed the core conflict in the play, especially as suggested in the translation we were using."

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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