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Tri-County One-Act Play wins sub-section


Cast members for “Online Breakups Gone Wrong” removed their masks for a quick photo: Seniors, Trey Taylor, Tori Peterson, Anton Budziszewski; Junior, Paulina Berggren; Sophomore, Jaxon Klegstad; 9th Ella Kasprowicz; 8th Lydia Hanson, Carter Thompson, Ari Kuznia; 7th Leah Levenhagen.

When Tri-County senior Trey Taylor heard that One-Act Play was going to happen this year he wondered how exactly it was going to work.

“I thought this will be interesting to see how this works, but I’m glad it’s happening at the very least,” Taylor said. “And I thought, ‘How are they going to judge this very well for it not being in person?”

A total of 10 Tri-County students participated in one-act this year, witnessing how exactly this year’s one-act contests would go and how they would be judged. Based on their efforts and that judging, Tri-County would win the Sub-Section 32 One-Act Play Contest, earning them one of eight spots to the Section 8A One-Act Play Contest with their play, “Online Breakups Gone Wrong.”

The teams had until January 26 at 8 pm to upload their sub-section video and received word of the sub-section results on January 29— a few hours after their interview with the North Star News. Greenbush-Middle River would finish second in the section to also advance on the section level. Warroad and Roseau were the other Sub-Section 32 teams. The advancing teams have until 8 pm on February 3 to submit their section performance videos.

Before finding out the results, Tri-County One-Act Play Director Melissa Thompson, Assistant Director Keegan Krantz, and the three Tri-County One-Act Play seniors (Taylor, Tori Peterson, and Anton Budziszewski) discussed their thoughts on one-act play still happening, the importance of providing such an opportunity, the play itself, rehearsals—including the difficulties and the responses to those difficulties— its recorded performance, and what they enjoy most about participating in this activity.

Peterson and Budziszewski looked forward to this opportunity when they heard it was a reality, regardless of how different it would be.

“I was excited that it was going to happen, even though it wasn’t in-person, and we didn’t get to perform like we normally would,” Peterson said. “It was still fun. It was still a growing, new learning experience.”

Knowing One-Act was going more online but also wondering how it was all going to work, Director Thompson was thankful to have Keegan Krantz on board this year as her assistant director, considering he is the school’s technology coordinator.

“I was very thankful I had some help, because I needed help with the vision,” Thompson said.

These directors saw this as an opportunity worth providing— to allow students to grow.

“For me, I always look at drama for the students not as just an opportunity for now,” Krantz said, “but as a way of improving your public speaking skills going forward for the rest of your life.”

Doing One-Act through Zoom— an online meeting platform— wasn’t ideal, Krantz said. He would have loved to have had students onstage like normal, but he still appreciated the experience these students would get from it this year.

“To me, I’m like, ‘Well, this is awesome.’ They’re going to get more comfortable speaking via Zoom,” Krantz said, “and improve their speaking and interacting skills online.”

Seconding Krantz, Thompson also saw this as an important activity to provide due to the confidence it builds within students, forcing them outside their comfort zones.

“Their confidence kind of shoots through the roof when they’re on that stage,” Thompson said. “And it’s so fun to watch them develop and do things they maybe didn’t think they could before.”

For Taylor, he appreciated the opportunity during a unique time.

“I enjoy the fact that we can just do it this year,” Taylor said. “I thought for a moment we weren’t going to be able to.”

This once unknown opportunity eventually became a reality. For Tri-County students, this reality led to not just a sub-section first place finish, but also a chance to enjoy themselves and improve as people along the way.

To see the complete story, read the February 4 issue of the North Star News in print or online.

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