The Belle Plaine High School one-act play ensemble earned a coveted starred performance Thursday evening, Feb. 6, at the state one-act play festival held at St. Catherine University’s O’Shaughnessy Theater.
Belle Plaine joined fellow Class A starred performance recipients Eveleth-Gilbert/Virginia and Nova Classical Academy.
The award marks the 15th time Belle Plaine has come home from the state festival with a starred performance.
For Belle Plaine senior Kimberly Teal, earning a star performance offers a sense of relief.
“The fears you had in the beginning in your brain don’t matter anymore compared to anything else. There’s definitely a reputation to uphold,” Teal said.
About a month ago, the Belle Plaine ensemble was forced to practice without several of their key cast members, who were away at a school music festival. So director Tony Hartmann stepped into multiple roles during a dress rehearsal. Since then, the group’s performance has evolved, improved and, according to the judges at the state festival, grown to become “...right on so many levels,” as one judge wrote in critique notes.
Senior Mike Ritsch said that the long hours before and after the aforementioned dress rehearsal were worth it.
“[Earning a star performance] is really rewarding and makes you feel like all the work you put into the production paid off,” Ritsch said.
Other seniors encouraged those loosely considering joining one-act to do so as soon as possible and not wait.
Senior Dylan May said that he knows of a pair of actors who wish they would have joined sooner.
Co-director Chris Moore noted that the performance didn’t fully hit its stride until just before the sub-section competition, but he added that he was more confident about this year’s performance than about past performances.
Walking into Thursday’s performance, Moore hoped the judges would recognize how much effort the ensemble put into the show.
Reflecting on his work as a director, Moore said that he gets a sense of satisfaction when he sees past students carrying out roles he thinks he may have had a part in shaping.
“There’s a reward when people come back,” Moore said. “You’d like to think you had some sort of impact on these people.”