Anoka County high schools will soon compete in the 2020 Minnesota State High School League One Act Play Festival.
The preliminaries and subsections will run Jan. 21-25, and the finals will take place Saturday, Feb. 1, at various high schools across Minnesota.
The state tournament will be Feb. 6-7 at O’Shaughnessy Auditorium at St. Catherine University located at 2004 Randolph Ave., St Paul. Tickets are $12 for a single session and $19 for a daily pass.
To learn more about the 2020 Minnesota State High School League One Act Play Festival, visit bit.Ly/2NlmkDC.
Anoka County high schools will also be doing sneak previews throughout January in preparation for the festival. Here’s a list of local performances.
Andover High School
Andover High School is producing two one-act plays; one is for the state competition, and one is non-competitive.
“Radium Girls” by D.W. Gregory is Andover’s competitive play. It is set in 1926 as Madame Curie becomes famous after the discovery of radium and its ability to shrink tumors. Radium was also used in making glow-in-the-dark watch faces, and the story follows Grace Fryer, a dial painter, as she fights her employer, Arthur Roeder, and the U.S. Radium Corporation after a rash of illnesses among her co-workers.
Andover’s non-competitive one-act is “Game of Tiaras” by Don Zolidis. The play is a comedic adaptation of “King Lear.” In it, the king of a magical England splits his kingdom among his daughters: Cinderella, Belle and the Snow Queen. The story combines plot twists akin to hit TV series “Game of Thrones” with Shakespearean tragedy, according to the Andover Theatre website.
Both shows will be performed at 7 p.m. Jan. 24, and tickets are $3. More information is available at andovertheatre.org.
Anoka High School
Anoka High School presents and evening of one-acts at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 23. In addition to the competition piece, there will be two student-directed one-acts and three student-directed scenes.
Admission is free, but a $5 donation is suggested.
The high school is at 3939 Seventh Ave., Anoka.
Blaine High School
Blaine High School is performing an original work by Theater Director Andrew Rakerd, “You, From the Future,” at 7 p.m. Feb. 6-8 in the high school auditorium.
Tickets are available at the door. Prices are $5 for students and $7 for adults. The high school is located 12555 University Ave. NE, Blaine.
For the state competition, Blaine High School will compete in the 5AA section with preliminaries Saturday, Jan. 25, at St. Michael-Albertville High School located at 5800 Jamison Ave. NE, St. Michael; and finals (if they advance) Saturday, Feb. 1, at Buffalo High School located at 877 Bison Blvd., Buffalo.
The one-act play, “You, From the Future,” is about a high school boy whose future self shows up (as a girl) to tell him not to go to the school dance with a girl he has had a crush on for years.
Mayhem and humor ensues, as well as a little truth about taking chances and learning from your mistakes.
Sixteen students are participating in the competition. The one-act play is being directed by Meckenna Woetzel.
Columbia Heights High School
Columbia Heights High School will perform "Speed Date" Jan. 31-Feb. 2 at Highland Elementary School, 1500 49th Ave NE.
Fridley High School
Fridley High School will perform D. W. Gregory’s “Radium Girls” at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 22, in the Fridley High School auditorium, 6000 West Moore Lake Drive NE.
The performance is free and open to the public.
“Radium Girls,” directed by Lydia Thoreen, is a humorous, fast-paced play based on the true story of girls who painted watches becoming ill with an unknown disease. Grace Fryer, a dial painter, tries to get her day in court for the rash caused by radium.
Spring Lake Park
Spring Lake Park High School is performing Kevin Kling’s “21A” at 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 17, and at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18, in the high school’s Fine Arts Center.
Tickets are available for purchase online or at the door. Prices are $7 for adults and $5 for students. The high school is located at 1100 81st Ave. NE, Spring Lake Park.
For the state competition, Spring Lake Park High School will compete in the 4AA section with preliminaries Thursday, Jan. 23, at White Bear Lake Area High School located at 5045 Division Ave,, White Bear Lake; and the finals (if they advance) will be Saturday, Feb. 1, at Stillwater Area High School located at 5701 Stillwater Blvd. N., Oak Park Heights.
The one-act play follows a bus that travels Lake Street from Minneapolis to St. Paul, where the driver swings the door wide open and invites the audience to get on board in what can best be described as a bus ride that won’t soon be forgotten.
In “21A,” Kling gives the audience an invitation into this world where the curious becomes familiar and the mundane gets the spotlight, as introductions are made to an eclectic assortment of characters one can find in any town, city or village across the country.
The show was originally written as a one-person performance, but the one-act was turned into a nine-person play with the blessing of Kling, who is working with the students on the show. The one-act is being directed by Theater Director Kevin Dutcher.
St. Francis High School
St. Francis High School will perform “The Hanging Girl,” a ghost story by Aleks Merilo in the state competition. The public performance is at 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 24, at the high school, located at 3325 Bridge St. NW, St. Francis.
Newly expelled and seemingly futureless, Sonny and his friends engage in a final night of revelry that will end with one of them going missing. Eighteen years earlier, Sonny’s parents were involved in a crime that would never be reported. The two stories collide in the present day in the play.
The school will perform Jan. 18, 25 and Feb. 1 (if it advances).
Learn more at sfhstheatre.org/the-hanging-girl.
This story has been updated to include Columbia Heights High School's One Act performances.