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Duluth East theater students attend state festival

The Duluth East 2014 One Act teams: (front row, from left): Meghan Jarecki, Kier Zimmeran, Thomas Landgren and Noah Cornwell; (middle row) Taylor Vezina, Jenna Pitoscia, Paul Manning, Eric Sampson, Maddison Nachtsheim and Kalise DeRoche; and (back row) Marianne Peterson, Zane Biles, Graham Godfrey, Barry Toland and Sanna Berdahl.

Duluth East High School theater students performed at state Feb. 13, staging “My Client Curley,” a 1940s-era comedic tale of a kid, a dancing caterpillar and their talent agent.

The team advanced to the Minnesota State High School League One Act Play Festival by placing first at the sectional competition in Duluth on Jan. 25. This win placed Duluth East among the top eight teams in the state in Class AA.

The festival is not a direct competition, but judges rate the plays according to specific criteria, including pace, blocking, costuming and projection of the play’s meaning. Each production is limited to 10 minutes of stage preparation and 35 minutes of performance. The judges consult after each production and then critique each performance in front of the cast, crew and audience.

This season, 298 Minnesota teams participated in One Act, 206 in Class A and 92 in Class AA. The two-day state festival was conducted at O’Shaughnessy Auditorium on the St. Catherine University campus in St. Paul. The Duluth East team was directed by Jerome Upton and Liz Larson.