It was a triumph Thursday for Fridley High School students at the State One Act Play Festival: Their staging of The Yellow Boat earned FHS its first starred rating in state competition in 34 years.
Here's how the Minnesota State High School League described it on Facebook:
A panel of judges, after watching, listening, and then individually critiquing eight Class AA dramatic productions, rated four of them “starred performances” on Thursday during the 2013 State One Act Play Festival sponsored by the Minnesota State High School League. The two-day festival was conducted at O’Shaughnessy Auditorium on the St. Catherine University campus in St. Paul. Eight productions by Class A schools will be staged on Friday.
The top eight Class AA productions from across the state took the stage throughout the day. The four schools whose performances were cited for “starred performances” were (in order of performance): Eastview of Apple Valley for The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged), Park of Cottage Grove for Antigone, Minnetonka for Wit, and Fridley for The Yellow Boat. The other participating schools were Little Falls, Cambridge-Isanti, Coon Rapids, and New Prague. Congratulations to all!
It's the third time FHS has won a starred rating, but the other two times were long ago, according to the Fridley School District:
Fridley’s “starred performance” of The Yellow Boat by David Saar was directed by Kevin Dutcher and Dan Wold. This was Fridley’s eighth appearance at the festival. This is the true story of Benjamin Saar, an eight-year-old hemophiliac who contracted AIDS via a blood transfusion in the 1980's. Benjamin used his vivid imagination and artistic talent to help both himself and his family cope with the challenges and pain that his illness gave him. Cast members were Evan VonDeLinde, Drew Bergman, Sarah Peterson, Sarah Berry, Jordan Olson, Maddy Earley, Josiah Bender, Kati Stevenson, Amy Walus, and Joe Herder. Support personnel were Will Reinisch, Erin Gorman, Elizabeth Bender, Erin Larson, and Noah Cameron. This was the third “starred” rating for the Tigers; they earned previous top ratings in 1977 and 1979.
There were 297 teams participating in One Act Plays in Minnesota this season, the district's website said, with 208 in Class A and 89 in Class AA.