Students in Archbishop Bergan’s One-Act group earned their first District plaque under new director Chris Kabes by finishing as the C2-2 District Runner-Up last week.
At the district competition, held at Cross County High School in Stromsburg, Bergan earned the second place plaque and missed out on the NSAA Play Production State Championships by just one point.
“We chose a challenging script this year, and both the cast and crew worked hard to perfect as many details as we could,” Kabes said. “When you have high schoolers who are willing to come to rehearsal at 6 a.m. on school days, you know you have a special group. Their dedication throughout the season was the key to our success.
Bergan finished with a score of 177 after each of the three district judges awarded the performance 59 out of 60 points possible. The production was beat out by a single point as District Champion Cross County finished with 178 points to qualify for the State Championships in Norfolk.
The students performed the play “This Is Not a Pipe Dream” written by Barry Kornhauser which centers on the life and works of painter Rene Magritte.
The production focuses on the story of young Rene who wants to be an artist, a notion dismissed by his father as “a pipe dream.” Encouraged by his mother, before her untimely death, the boy begins his quest to become a famous painter.
The show takes on an abstract feel just as many of Magritte’s paintings did—the whole thing has a dream-like feel to it,” Kabes said. “The author has tried to lend an explanation to some of Magritte’s works by re-imagining moments from the artist’s young life.”
Along with earning District Runner-Up, individual performers were recognized as outstanding performers by the judges. Those honors were given to freshman Angelee Rump, sophomore Brandon Wiesen, and junior Garrison Mendlik.
In the production Rump played the part of the narrator, Wiesen played Young Rene, and Mendlik played Magritte’s father.
According to Kabes, the judges were also impressed with the performances by seniors Brett Hilbers and Bryanna Hapke and remarked that the school’s technical crew hit a home run.
“There was a line in the show that bears repeating—‘Theatre is collaborative, it takes the hard work of many.’ And that’s so true this year,” Kabes said. “From the 24 students involved, to the efforts of our assistant Joy Clements, to the many parents who were willing to help us out along the way, it was truly a team effort.”
Bergan beat out six other schools to earn the District Runner-Up honor, which included McCool Junction who finished in third place for their production of “the Velveteen Rabbit Returns,” as well as Cedar Bluffs who performed “Oz” and finished in eighth place.
The team will now turn their focus to Speech season as they will begin attending competitions in January.
“We have a strong core coming back for Speech, including two returning state qualifiers, and one student who competed at nationals last May,” Kabes said. “So we’re excited to get back to work and see where we can take this program.”