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Quality Educational Theatre

This past Saturday ended a most marvelous run of the One-Act Play production in which my 7th grader was cast. I'm deliberately not going into any details regarding the production, because it doesn't matter what production was in scope, but how the production went.

It. Was. Fantastic.

The subject of One-Act Play is near and dear to my heart. I participated for a number of years, including the only run of our high school to make to the state festival, an accomplishment that stands today. We also 'starred' at state that year. I also produced/directed/taught One-Act at that very school for a number of years in college and beyond. Interestingly enough, until the 7th grader was born.

One-Act is an annual beast of rigorous educational theatre...with the added complexity of competition sprinkled in. There are two qualifying rounds to make the state festival, and the second qualifier is arguably far more difficult than the state festival. By the time of the second qualifier (section competition), most all of the productions are honed to a point of excellence and quality.

Back In The Saddle

Though this time as a supportive parent, it was good to be involved with (in a most auxiliary way) One-Act again. I was pleasantly surprised when the 7th grader told me she intended to audition...and more so when she informed me she was cast. I was reminded of all the work involved to pull such a production together, mostly in the 'I'm glad I am not doing this year over year anymore...' sense. But seeing the show come together, the set and technical work, and the evolution of the show's nuances (fine tuning), I am super proud of the entire group for their effort this year.

These kids did an incredible job with difficult material, and really made it look seamless. That is not an easy job with dramatic work.


Their first round of competition was impressive, resulting in a first place ranking. They were super poised to move on well in the section competition...alas ranked in the middle of the pack and didn't earn that coveted state festival trip.

The tricky part about One-Act competition is that as good a show as you might have, no matter how polished and ready it is, just might not stack up against the quality of other shows at the same competition. While each show is judged on its own merit, at the end of the day rankings must be placed...and if multiple productions are at a high-performing level, the ultimate ranking (result) isn't necessarily representative of the overall quality. And that's what happened this year.

Judges ranking is like a crystal ball...and while I personally don't agree with how things turned out on Saturday, the reality is multiple schools had great performances. This is really high quality educational theatre at its best. These kids are super proud of their accomplishments, as they should be. If you ever have a chance to spend some time at a competition, you might be pleasantly surprised by the youth training and quality right in your own region.

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