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JVCS takes superior at One-Act Play Festival

Posted: Monday, Feb 11th, 2013

James Valley Christian School students in the one-act play, “Happy Scarecrow,” received a superior rating at the State One-Act Play Festival in Brandon. Shown, from left, are Amanda Hasley as the jester, Ryan Burket as the scarecrow and Charley Gross as the fairy. Burket and Gross were two of four cast members who received an outstanding acting award. PHOTO COURTESY OF SOUTH DAKOTA PUBLIC BROADCASTING

After competing in the State One-Act Play Festival in Brandon, James Valley Christian School students brought home yet another superior rating for their play "Happy Scarecrow."

Coaches Jill Mendel and Kathy Hofer said the cast and crew worked hard and consistently improved their performances throughout the season. "All the things they worked on shone through at the state performance," said Mendel.

Mendel said it always impresses her how quickly the students catch on to memorizing their lines. "We cast the play right before Christmas and they have Christmas break to learn their lines," she said. "And when we come back, we only have three weeks until our performance and then the regional contest," she said. "It's amazing how hard they work and the time commitment they put in practicing — up to two hours a day."

The play, "Happy Scarecrow" is based on the theme of searching for happiness. A fairy brings a scarecrow to life and gives him the opportunity to become a real person forever if he can find happiness.

"The whole play is about the search for happiness," said Mendel.

"Within the play is a witch," said Hofer. "And the witch and the fairy are on the opposite ends. The witch tells the scarecrow that there is no such thing as happiness, and the fairy tries to prove her wrong."

The characters in the play end up trying to find happiness in the wrong places, said Mendel. "They think that power or wealth can bring them happiness."

Cast and crew included Amanda Halsey, Hannah Mendel, Ethan Hofer, Evan Gross, Ariana Zuccaro, Seth Knight, Matdy Buffington, Charley Gross, Ryan Burket, Katy Hines, Jessica Hofer, Leslie Brondsema, Savannah Gross and Sadie Merchant.

Four students received outstanding actor/actress awards, including Charley Gross as the fairy, Hines as the witch, Jessica Hofer as the old woman and Burket for his portrayal of the scarecrow.

Hofer said the students' biggest accomplishment as a cast was the development of characters. "They worked hard, every day, and it really showed," she said.

For the complete article see the 02-08-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 02-08-2013 paper.

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