Students from Coon Rapids High School and from Legacy Christian Academy competed Feb. 8 in region finals one-act play competition and finished in second and third place, respectively.
For the third consecutive year Coon Rapids High School theatre students advanced to region 5AA finals, this year taking home second place.
Competing with Andover, Buffalo and Rogers high schools at St. Michael-Albertville High School for the region 5AA finals, Coon Rapids students performed “Women and War,” a one-act play written by Jack Hilton Cunningham.
Based on historical facts, the play is presented through a collection of stories told in letters and monologues by generations of Americans impacted by conflicts, from the Great War to the war in Afghanistan.
Following women’s journeys from housewife to worker, young bride to nurse, mother to widow, young woman to soldier, tales of sacrifice, love, resolution, and hope are told by those who persevered on the home front and on the battlefield.
Coon Rapids theater students’ portrayal of those characters and dramatic presentation of those themes earned them the second-place finish at region finals.
Meanwhile, 13 students from Legacy Christian Academy’s advanced drama class competed in the region 4A final competition in Milaca and placed third.
“Congratulations to the advanced drama students. The hard work, rehearsing and dedication paid off,” said Kristi Winkes, theater director at Legacy.
Legacy’s young thespians performed “Among Friends and Clutter,” a one-act play consisting of short scenes from each character’s life. Each scene ties back to themes of friends, family, and love.
“Some of the actors had the challenging role of portraying their characters as second-graders, then switching to the grown-up version of the character in a different scene. This greatly impressed and pleased the judges,” Winkes said. “As one judge said on his critique sheet, ‘This was just well, well, well done. Bravo!’”
Winkes said the cast was judged on appropriate and authentic movement for character development, vocal characterizations (which include projection, diction, articulation, voice quality and style), and authentic emotion.
In addition, students were judged on the technical elements of the play, the educational value and interpretation, and the overall effectiveness of the ensemble – all while performances and set-up are being timed.
“So much rehearsal and planning has to happen to perform an authentic, moving play as well as beat the clock,” Winkes said.
Sue Austreng is at