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Rushford-Peterson One-Act Play state bound again

By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, Feb 7th, 2014
Posted in Rushford Village Education

Front Row (L to R) Ashley Brown, Kallie Carlson, Kate Klungtvedt, Brittany Kuss, April Stone, Bailey Bestul, Nell Himlie, Brook Bestul, Ethan Bergen, Mary Kate Buege, Tovah Schroeder. Back Row (L to R) Forrest Musselman, Taylor Williams, Lauren Hadley, Hannah Kopperud, Luke Eide, Kate Mackenzie, Elizabeth Wick, Emma Malone, Hannah Boyum, Salinah Ritter. Photo submitted

Picture this: An egotistical high school drama director forces his students to do a cutting from the play “Equus”, the 1973 play by Peter Shaffer, for the Minnesota State High School League competition. Rebellious at this insistence, the students buck his direction, deciding instead to attempt to disqualify themselves in the first level of competition. Doesn’t that just sound like the most intriguing play ever?

Following an impressive ride over the years, the Rushford-Peterson One-Act team is back up on top and headed to the big competition again after taking first place in section competition February 1. This year’s production, “Anti-Play”, was written and directed by Forrest Musselman, R-P theatre and English teacher. Musselman has published 19 plays professionally and has seen three original productions head to state competition. The most recent was “A Deep, Poetic Journey Into Something” in 2011 and “Chipped in 1998”.

“This play is fun for myself and the other veterans in the cast because it is something we’ve joked about doing for years,” notes senior Kate Mackenzie, a six-year one-act veteran who plays the role of ‘Barb.’ “Pretending to break all the rules is a treat to all who are aware of some of the absurd rules in the one-act play competitions.”

“I’ve been doing one-act plays since 7th grade and I think we all became more emotionally connected to the play this year because Mr. Musselman wrote it,” adds junior Hannah Kopperud, a five-year veteran playing the narrator, ‘Marcie.’ “This experience is definitely something we’ll never forget.”

Freshman Bailey Bestul takes on the role of the pompous director. The talented cast also includes Ashley Brown, Kallie Carlson, Kate Klungtvedt, Brittany Kuss, April Stone, Nell Himlie, Brook Bestul, Ethan Bergen, Mary Kate Buege, Tovah Schroeder, Taylor Williams, Lauren Hadley, Luke Eide, Elizabeth Wick, Emma Malone, Hannah Boyum, and Salinah Ritter.

R-P has been successful in One-Act competition and Musselman attributes it to his students’ work ethics and putting forth the best show they can. “They are a very competitive group and they’ve been at it long enough to know each year is a new year and they have to put in 110 percent to make good things happen. The older students are great about passing this work ethic on to the younger kids coming into the program.”

“Being in the one-act play is one of the best decisions I’ve made for my high school career,” adds junior Wick, a five-year veteran who plays the role of ‘Olivia.’ “Not only have I become a better public speaker, but I’ve gained another family. I love every person in this play and I am so incredibly proud of what we’ve accomplished.”

“We are excited to have our OAP (One Act Play) participants qualify for the State Festival this year,” adds R-P Superintendent Chuck Ehler and High School Principal Jake Timm collectively. “It’s an awesome accomplishment and a thrill for our students and Mr. Musselman to achieve this level of success. They have instilled in one another a tradition and expectation of success in our program. Mr. Musselman has done an outstanding job of building a culture of high expectations of success, not only of the students, but of himself as well. Mr. Musselman is a very gifted writer and playwright and we commend him for the work he puts in the writing, directing and performances.”

“We are grateful that our students have and continue to embrace our school motto; “Always Our Best!” They are great ambassadors for the world of drama and our school district,” they continue.

The team will compete February 14 at 11 a.m. at St. Catherine’s University, in St. Paul, Minn. Scheduled third out of the competing eight schools, R-P will perform for the chance to earn a starred production. If they receive the rating from two of the three judges, the highest honor, an additional trophy will be awarded.

A free public showing of Anti-Play will be held Tuesday, February 11 at 6:30 p.m. in the Rushford-Peterson High School Theater.


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8:35:40, Feb 14th 2014

Anonymous says:
I wish I was there to see them make it to the top again. I miss seeing Musselman's plays; watching the excitement in the crowd when the lights go down and the curtains open. Good luck to them all.

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