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CHS one-act play holds only local performance tonight

Cloquet High School Theater students are gearing up for the Minnesota State High School One-Act Play Competition and the entire community is invited to attend a sneak peak performance of the show at 7 p.m. tonight (Jan. 26) in the CHS auditorium....

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Cloquet High School Theater students are gearing up for the Minnesota State High School One-Act Play Competition and the entire community is invited to attend a sneak peak performance of the show at 7 p.m. tonight (Jan. 26) in the CHS auditorium. Tickets are free, but donations will be accepted to offset production costs and the public is encouraged to attend.

Last year, Cloquet High School resurrected the one-act play after going years without taking part in the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) annual One Act competition. This year, the competitive play returns, with a fun-filled comedy titled, “How to Kiss a Girl,” written by Wade Bradford.

Dan Stein and Jodi Hodgson return as directors with a cast and crew of 18 students.

“We’ve got a great group this year,” Stein said. “We feel very fortunate that the school district is supporting the one-act play for a second year.”

The storyline follows young Ken Beardsley (played by Ryan Badger), as he gets ready for his first date with his high school crush, Steph (played by Kate Elwood). His preparations involve accessing various apps on his smartphone. Each app gives him different advice and the date quickly spirals out of control as he tries to follow dating tips from a communist-fearing nationalist, a swashbuckling pirate, a sweet southern belle and a puritanical pilgrim, leaving poor Steph completely confused. Ken finally realizes that if he wants to win Steph’s heart, he’ll need to tune out his smartphone and tune into his own instincts before it’s too late.

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“The one-act play is a different theater experience for students,” said Stein. “There is a competitive aspect that pushes students and really adds to the performance.”

Plays are judged according to Minnesota State High School League rules based on physical characterizations, vocal characterizations, technical elements, educational value and overall effectiveness of the ensemble. Maximum performance length is 35 minutes with an additional 10 minutes set-up time restriction.

Official competition begins Jan. 28 at Duluth East High School. Section 7AA finals will be Feb. 4 at Hermantown High School, and the MN One-Act Festival will be held Feb. 9-10 at O’Shaughnessy Auditorium in St. Paul.

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