(undated) -- In their seventh consecutive advancement to the Minnesota State High School League's Class AA State One Act Play Festival, the Alexandria Area High School One Act Play has come away with the state's top award, the "star" award.
The play, rehearsed and recorded via Zoom, was Machinal, a play by Sophie Treadwell. Set in 1920s New York City, Machinal follows a young woman who is entrapped by society's expectations and makes a decision to free herself of its machine.
The Machinal performance that captured the "star" rating includes sophomore Parker Zwach as Young Woman. The cast also features senior Aubrey Kosters as Young Woman Dancer/Mother, junior Jeryn Drewes as Nurse/Stenographer, freshman Zachary Fredericksen as Doctor, sophomore Tai Auran as the Defense Attorney, senior Noah Capouch as Husband, and senior Regan Peterson as First Man. Rounding out the cast are Nick Nelson as Prosecuting Attorney, senior Hayden Peterson as Bartender/Priest, and freshman Leah Zenner as Filing Clerk.
Machinal is directed by Jessica Chipman and assistant directed by Georgia Snider. Stage management and movement by Jackson Grove, with set design by Jay Chipman. The assistant stage manager is Ryla Johnson, with hair/make-up by Kylee Dummer, costume assistance by Aubrey Minnerath and Grace Schmidt, and all-purpose crew assistance by Lauren Fiecke, Olivia Reilly, Diora Hansen, Marissa Mellgren, Cooper Angland, and Ben Borden.
Due to Covid-19, this year the MSHSL amended their competition to require schools participating in one act play to submit a video recording of their production. Schools could choose to submit a onecamera recording of their staged, distanced production or a recording of their play in a videoconference format. AAHS chose to produce their play via Zoom, with students rehearsing and performing from their bedrooms, basements, sheds, bonus rooms, and family rooms.
The "star" award, otherwise known as the Hennepin Theatre Trust Spotlight on the Arts Award, is allotted to the "best of the best" at the state festival. Also earning a star in Class AA this year was Saint Michael-Albertville. Alexandria Area High School also earned star awards in 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020.