State bound, the awards-winning Fillmore Central High School cast and crew of "The Importance of Being Earnest," with their director Mrs. Jackie Whi-tacre (far left), are shown on the stage of Page Thea-tre with their Minnesota State High School League Section 1-A Drama Trophy, blue ribbons and first-place medals.
State bound, the awards-winning Fillmore Central High School cast and crew of "The Importance of Being Earnest," with their director Mrs. Jackie Whi-tacre (far left), are shown on the stage of Page Thea-tre with their Minnesota State High School League Section 1-A Drama Trophy, blue ribbons and first-place medals.
An engaging cutting of Oscar Wilde's classic three-act farce "The Importance of Being Earnest" found critical favor last Saturday in Winona with Section 1-A one-act play judges and fans, alike.

The stylish entry from Fillmore Central High School, directed by Mrs. Jackie Whitacre, won top honors at the Jan. 26, Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) sponsored Section 1-A competition.

The winning FC cast and crew members include Lee Dyreson as Algernon Moncrieff; Kirby O'Connor as Lane, the butler, and Merriman; Matt Guttormson as Jack Worthing; Ruth Delano as Lady Bracknell; Danielle Zinsmaster as Gwendolyn; Lindsey Weiss as Miss Prism; Sydnie Huffman as Cecily Cardew; and Mitch Gibson as the Rev. Dr. Chasuble.

Sarah Reicks is the student director. Crew head Cody Hendrickson is in charge of lights and sound. Crew head Braden Hahn is in charge of set and props. Crew head Keeley Todd is in charge of make-up and costumes. Members of the traveling crew include Will Nolan, Bailey Soma, Christian Harrison, Helen Delano, Taylor Willford and Megan Hendrickson.

Last Saturday, eight Section 1-A high schools competed in the Page Theatre at the Performing Arts Center on the campus of St. Mary's University in Winona for the honor of representing Section 1-A at the upcoming MSHSL State One Act Play Festival.

A large, enthusiastic delegation of F-C fans were among the assembled audience.

Runner-up honors were won by the eye-arresting entry "Freak" from Rushford-Peterson High School, directed by Forrest Musselman. Both schools received engraved MSHSL trophies, ribbons and medals.

Other competing Section 1-A schools in attendance were from Wabasha-Kellogg, "Louder, I Can't Hear You," directed by Cris Medina; Grand Meadow, "The Excuser," directed by Karen Huff; Lewiston-Altura, "Greater Tuna," directed by Anne Schreiber; Pine Island, "Caution Politricks," directed by Patrick Smith; Blooming Prairie, "Crushed," directed by Ross Reisbus; and Triton, "John Brown's Body," directed by John Schreiber.

Contest judges were James Douglass, Theresa Luther-Dolan and Patricia Sween.

Eight Class AA plays will perform at the state competition on Thursday, Feb. 7, starting at 9:15 a.m. Eight Class A plays will be performed on Friday, Feb. 8.

Fillmore Central High School's "The Importance of Being Earnest" will now advance into state competition on Friday, Feb. 8, at 9:15 a.m.

The 65th annual MSHSL State One-Act Play Festival will be hosted in the spacious O'Shaughnessy Auditorium on the St. Paul campus of the University of St. Catherine.

The 1,740-seat O'Shaughnessy Auditorium was donated in 1970 by the late oil billionaire I.A. O'Shaughnessy of St. Paul.

Unlike at sub-section and section MSHSL competitions for one-act plays, there is an admission charge at state. A $10 ticket is available each day for the four morning plays and then another $10 ticket for the four afternoon shows or one may purchase a $15 ticket for the full day of eight plays.

At state, a panel of three judges will evaluate each of the eight entries. A starred-performance rating will be awarded to those plays that receive a star from at least two of the three judges.

The plays are judged for effectiveness (which includes audience appeal), stage picture, characterization, stage business, tempo, interpretation and other points which the theatre judges might wish to include.

All MSHSL on-act play competitions are open to the general public with admission being charged only at the state level.