Theater students go on to state competition

By Jeff Smith

Students who performed “Hush” during the One-Act regionals on Jan. 24. Front: Maddy Hohn, Jada Bell, Carter Sandven, Mercedes Reed. Back: Director Lori Jones, Jaydon Rogers, Rebecca Cutler, Brandy Straw, Tori Lind, Hunter Schroeder, Michael Patton, Jessica Welu, Director Bryon Christia with their trophy for Region VI.

Eleven Hill City High School students competed against six other schools in their region on Jan. 24.  Hill City advanced to the state competition.

Bryon Christian, director for the the theater program, said it’s an interesting competition. The students are judged on the strength of the acting, including voice, diction, pitch adjustment, and suitability of portrayal.  Plays are judged on overall effect and strength of actors. The following students received superior acting awards:  Madeline Hohn, Jessica Welu, Rebecca Cutler and Carter Sandven.

There were three judges at regionals who are professional or in university theatre groups.

The play has to be a drama and be done in a maximum of 45 minutes. This includes the set up, performance and striking of the show.

The HCHS theatre department has advanced to the state competition several times. Last time when they went they received a superior rating.

“We’re hoping for another one this year,” Christian said.

The play they performed was also new to the high school. It is called “Hush” and was written by Christian. The play centers on how people argue with one another without listening.

“The idea for the play came about as I was thinking about how we tend to fight about our beliefs without listening to differing viewpoints,” Christian said.

He went on to say that most arguments (political, cultural, even personal)  are not about solving problems or engaging in meaningful discussion, they’re really just treated as an opportunity to be “right”.

Tori Lind, senior at HCHS, said Kate is the main character played by junior Jessica Welu who has a new job in an office where everyone is not nice to each other. Kate takes it upon herself to get everyone to stop being angry at one another.

Christian said sometimes it seems that people have become less important and believing that we are right is all that matters. 

Lind said that all of the students were thrilled that they are going back to state competition.

“Last year we were pretty excited. This year we are more excited,” Lind said.

It was the first time time that the theatre department has gone back to the State One-Act Festival twice in a row.

Lind has been part of every theater production Hill City has done. She said theater allows her to express herself in several ways. She has also made a lot of of friends in theater.

On Feb. 1, the student actors are going to compete at the State One-Act Festival in Brandon, S.D.