Fridley receives State One Act Play Class AA top rating, first time in 34 years

Fridley High School’s One-Act Play performance of “The Yellow Boat,” written by David Saar, was one of the four plays to receive a top rating during the state championships held Feb. 7, 2013, at O’Shaughnessy Auditorium on the St. Catherine University campus in St. Paul.

A panel of judges, after watching, listening and individually critiquing eight Class AA dramatic productions, rated four of them “starred performances” during the two-day festival. The four schools whose performances (out of the top eight Class AA regional winners from across the state) were cited for “starred performances” are (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.

(Photo by Rick Orndorf)

(Photo by Rick Orndorf)

Fridley’s “starred performance” of “The Yellow Boat” 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 1980s. 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.

The Minnesota State High School League State One Act Play Festival does not involve direct competition. 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 actual performance. Teams participating statewide this season totaled 208 in Class A and 89 in Class AA.


– Compiled by Sarah Peterson, Sun Focus Newspapers. Contact Sarah Peterson at [email protected]

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