Kiara Reichstadt and Sara Hill rehearse the Kingsland High School one act play, "Oh What a Tangled Web," last week to prepare for competition at sub-sections in Stewartville this past Saturday.
Kiara Reichstadt and Sara Hill rehearse the Kingsland High School one act play, "Oh What a Tangled Web," last week to prepare for competition at sub-sections in Stewartville this past Saturday.
Sara Hill, Kiara Reichstadt, Jordan Pokorney and their friends got into a webby game and tied.

Competition, intrigue and trouble?

They say "Bring it onstage, but don't try this at home."

"We're performing 'Oh, What a Tangled Web' by John R. Carroll," said Kingsland One Act Play director Tim Chappell, speaking of the play he chose for the high school's thespians to take to competition at the Three Rivers Conference One Act Play Competition, where the students tied for fifth place, allowing them to take their talents to sub-section competition in Stewartville this past Saturday.

Chappell explained why he chose "Tangled Web" as this year's One Act production.

"I love to entertain the audience and found that this play had a lot of play on words and 'I can't believe they said that' throughout the play - very humorous. The play shows that classic plot of how a simple lie can spiral out of control - that no matter how you spin the truth, it's still a lie and there is no way of lying your way out of a lie.

"That it doesn't take much for people to then misinterpret your story to blow it out of proportion. Just so happens that situations occur just right to keep the lie growing until it bursts. And 'don't try this at home' should be the slogan," he added.

A dozen Kingsland students comprise the cast and crew, and they've been rehearsing since October. The cast features Kiara Reichstadt, Shelby Larson, Sara Hill, Jordan Pokorney, Noah Schmidt, Laney Schwinefus, Andrew Woods and Colt Hamersma.

The crew consists of four people. Josie Hinze is stage manager, Lariah Fox is the prop master, Jordan Chinnow is on lights and sound and Kristian Pike on set construction.

Chappell added, "We welcomed some new faces to the stage, and in doing so, it has been great.

"This play is about a family and their close friends, and it appears that all actors have harmonized in the same way. It's a great group, and it always makes me happy to see new faces joining. I hope to see the cast and crew double next go around."

The cast and crew have come together to create an entertaining production with relatively few challenges.

Chappell commended his troupe, saying, "This play has to keep the energy up all the time, along with testing the actors on the delivery of their punch lines and reacting with the audience's reaction to certain lines. There are a lot of lines coming at the actors and the audience like a tennis match.

"Also, it was not only the play that was challenging, but presenting this play for two competitions. They have acted, no pun intended, like professionals, on and off stage. Like any other sporting event, there were negative words thrown around from other schools to demoralize others, but Kingsland kept their chins up and didn't waver."

Lugging a set from one competition to the next isn't easy, but the crew has been diligent in preparing the props and stage for the actors' success.

Chappell shared, "The main issue is transportation of set pieces. Luckily it has been a simple set - we added stairs and more of a backdrop for this play, where prior we kept it simple. We would like to bring it all, but transport made it difficult. There are a lot of time restrictions for set changes and run time onstage, along with unfamiliar stages and the processes at said theaters. So far, the students have done excellent."

He elaborated, "Most one acts, like ours, are like their title, a 'one act,' usually with no scene changes needed for one. You can focus on more items easier for a one act, but throw in a competition and it changes a lot of what you have to do. A musical is a great way to really flex your muscles and show everyone what you can really achieve ... very exciting."

Chappell calls theater "one of my guilty pleasures I have."

"Some like sports or fishing, I enjoy theater and movies. Seeing something that you and others have created put onto stage is a great feeling. I would love to get Kingsland theater back into the community and into people's conversations around town.

Chappell concluded, "Please show your support. We may not have jerseys or a ball to toss, but we get our kicks from seeing the community rally at our 'games.'"

Public performances of "Oh, What a Tangled Web" were held on the middle school stage in Wykoff this past weekend.