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Posted in Preston Arts & Culture
The cast, crew and director of “The Importance of Being Earnest.” Front Row (L to R): Taylor Willford, Helen DeLano, Megan Hendrickson, Bailey Soma, William Nolan. Second Row (L to R): Christian Harrison, Cody Hendrickson, Sarah Reicks, Keeley Todd, Braden Hahn. Third Row (L to R): Danielle Zinsmaster, Sydnie Huffman, Ruth DeLano. Back Row (L to R): Lindsey Weiss, Mitch Gibson, Matt Guttormson, Kirby O’Connor, Lee Dyreson, Director Jackie Whitacre. Photo by Barb Jeffers
Jackie Whitacre describes the play in the following way:
“The Importance of Being Earnest is a play on words - it is important to be earnest so any man with that name should be a great catch; therefore, having the name of Earnest is important. Jack (Matt Gottormson)has used the name ‘Earnest’ when he comes to town and Gwendolyn (Danielle Zinsmaster) has fallen in love with the perfect name. Algernon (Lee Dyreson) also uses the name after his friend Jack explains that having two names is a great way to woo the ladies. When Algernon goes to the country to see Jack’s young ward, Cecily (Sydnie Huffman), she too falls in love with the name, not the man. Both gentlemen ask Dr. Chausable (Mitch Gibson) to christen them with the name Earnest, but even that may not help when Lady Bracknell (Ruth DeLano) and Ms. Prism (Lindsey Weiss) lend another twist to the couples’ plans. All the while Merriman (Kirby O’Connor), the butler, is looking on and laughing at the upper crust’s attempt at love.”
The group received a large trophy for their first place finish of the performance during the sectionals. The trophy will be displayed in the Fillmore Central High School in Harmony, Minn. Each member of the One Act Team also received a medal for their accomplishment.
According to Jackie, the kids get “tons of confidence” from being involved in the One Act team as well as gaining important social skills. The students really do have fun together whether it is during rehearsals, performances, or even while taking photographs together for the Fillmore County Journal, the kids are light-hearted and thoroughly enjoy themselves. The Director, cast and crew are not acting when they say “we are family” while laughing and joking with each other.
Jackie, who teaches English at Fillmore Central High School, states that being a part of the One Act Team is “no different than a sport” because participants must stay healthy by eating right and getting enough sleep. The One Act Team is a varsity sport with grades 7-12 working together for the win. As in other sports, the team started their competition with the conference battle where they placed fifth. Then it was on to the sub-section competition where the One Act Team must place in the top two in order to advance to the section finals. Fillmore Central’s team placed second, which locked their place to compete at the section level. With the first place win at section, the team now heads to state competition. The Fillmore Central One Act Team will compete for the state title on Friday, February 8 at St. Catherine’s University in St. Paul, Minn.
Jackie Whitacre says that they perform two different plays during each school year. The One Act play and also a Spring show. This year’s Spring show will be a musical but which musical they will perform is yet to be determined.
Being in the One Act Team takes dedication as auditions are done by Thanksgiving and then the cast and crew work hard and practice through Christmas break and into January to have the performances run as smoothly as they do.
Director Jackie Whitacre and the entire cast and crew of the One Act Team have reason to be proud of their hard work. Jackie stated that “it’s imperative they do their job well” during the performance especially considering the 25-second set change that takes place during the play. Danielle Zinsmaster, who plays “Gwen” in The Importance of Being Earnest, says, “We depend on each other for everything,” and that shows through.
Jackie noted, “Becoming an ensemble is one step past teamwork. The judges felt we were an ensemble.”
There are many facets to giving such a wonderful performance from hair and make-up to set building and painting and much more. Fillmore Central’s One Act Team performs these duties together seamlessly to make the production seem effortless.