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Paynesville Press - April 3, 2002

Middle schoolers to stage two one-act plays

By Michael Jacobson

Play cast The middle school drama department will present two one-act plays in the school auditorium over the weekend.

Sixteen students, under the direction of Ken Vork, will present "Something's Rotten in the State of Denmark" and "Final Dress Rehearsal" on Saturday, April 6, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, April 7, at 3 p.m.

Laetes (Ted Hoffman, left) and Hamlet (Dugan Flanders, right) duel during a scene in "Something's Rotten in the State of Denmark," a spoof of Hamlet.

"With two one-act plays you can have more parts and include more students," explained director Ken Vork. "That's what we're trying to do: get kids involved (in drama) and get them stage experience."

The cast has practiced the plays throughout March. "I've been having a good time," said Vork, "so I think (the cast) has, too."

Due to the heavy schedule in the auditorium, the cast has only been able to practice in the new facility for the last two weeks, said Vork. He thought it was wonderful the auditorium was so busy that they hadn't been able to practice in it before.

Both plays are spoofs, according to Vork, and feature a play within a play. "Something's Rotten in the State of Denmark" is about a satirical look at a school production of Shakespeare's "Hamlet." A mishap befalls the actor playing Hamlet, and he dreams the production.

This play includes much of Hamlet in condensed form, said Vork.

In "Final Dress Rehearsal," the school production is "Cinderella," but things in dress rehearsal do not go as planned.

"I think they're pretty funny," said Vork. "I was reciting the scenes to my family as we were driving and just the dialogue made them laugh."

"I'm hoping they will be well received," he added.

Admission to the play is $3 for adults and $1 for students.

Middle school play Cast of Characters
Something's Rotten in the State of Denmark
Fortinbras/Player/Referee: Harrison Fangmeier
Director/Player/Messenger: Lauren Vaske
Tom/Hamlet: Dugan Flanders
Ghost: Amanda Halvorson
Attendant: Tajae Viaene
Fairy/Attendant/Player: Emily Mehr
Francisco: Kelley Wedel
Bernardo: Zach Schwandt
Marcellus: Matt Larsen
Polonius/Laertes: Ted Hoffman
Orphelia: Lindsey Pelton
Horatio: Natasha Fangmeier
King Claudia: Peder Thompson
Queen Gertrude: Megan Reeck

Final Dress Rehearsal
Director: Emily Mehr
Authoress: Megan Reeck
Stepmother: Lindsey Pelton
Cinderella: Tajae Viaene
Older Sister: Lauren Vaske
Younger Sister: Cassandra Lounsbury
Stage Manager: Natasha Fangmeier
Messenger: Matt Larsen
Prompter: Zach Schwandt
Utility Girl: Kelley Wedel
Stage Hand: Tarin Beireis
Fairy Godmother: Amanda Halvorson

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