Hettinger High School drama team preparing for Region 10 contest

The Hettinger High School drama team is ready with their choice of one-act play for the Region X Contest on Nov. 9 at Dickinson State University.  They will be performing “Highly Theatrical Terms” by C. P. Stancich, which is a comedic/educational/dramatic selection that has fourteen scenes in which an ensemble group of actors portray and explain drama terms.  These terms include: “farce,” “prop, “chorus,” “blackout,” “tableau,” “mob scene,” and many others with which theater-goers would be familiar.

By Jeri Dunn
HHS Drama Coach

Some scenes include Shakespearean characters and excerpts from his comedy “Much Ado About Nothing” and prologues and epilogues from “Midsummer Night’s Dream,” Henry V, and “Troilus and Cressida.”  Some of the comedy reflects pratfalls, the Three Stooges, and a scene reminiscent of “Who’s on First?”  These students are learning what it means to be a team that relies on each other for material and interaction.  It is a fast-paced selection and we have to have it completed in forty minutes for competition.

When the author, Chris Stancich, was asked to come up with a performance piece for young actors, he put aside his mysteries (especially Sherlock Holmes ones), and wrote this.  He said it would be “something different for actors to act, different for teaching directors to direct, and different for parents to watch.  Oh, and if it could be funny, that would be good, too.” Chris framed the play to use “the exploration of theatrical terms to provide a framework for exercises in pace and timing, rhythm and ensemble work, and meeting challenges as a company.”

We will have public performances on  Wednesday, Nov. 8, as we can’t have them earlier that week because of regional volleyball tournaments.  The school performance will be at 12:45 p.m, and the community public performance will be at 5:30 p.m. because of having to be finished before the local church’s midweek activities.  Then, the students will perform the next day on the Dickinson State University stage, competing against other schools and having the privilege of watching all of their performances, too.  It is an extremely educational day in an extremely dedicated activity to promote the performance arts.

Our only seniors this year are Ethan Dupper as our student director and Henry Hanson, our technical director.  Juniors in the cast are Benjamin Gonder, Anna Kludt, and Kalyn Schalesky.  Sophomores are Mason DeFoe, Madelyn Larson, Sam Munoz, Miami Pekas, Kelby Pemberton, Carolyn Schulz, Emily Shirek, Gryphon Smith, and Ty Warbis.  Freshmen include Tatum Fitch, Katrina Poss, Sidra Sadowsky, and Kaden Schauer.  North Dakota High School Activities Association does allow us to have eighth graders in this very worthwhile activity so as to “start them out at the varsity level” to keep our play contests going into the future.  So, we are grateful to the following eighth graders who have joined this big cast: Anna Havelka, Naomi Salazar, Peyton Tuhy, and Grace Wolff.  Yes, count them—that is 20 cast members!  Rounding out the technical crew is intern Nick Berry.

If you know any of these kids, please show them your support and join our school in wishing that they all “break a leg”!

The cost of admission will be $1 for students in grades K-12 and $2 for adults.  Because of there being royalty charges, we need cash admission so no activity tickets will be honored.  Come and enjoy a good time!