Theater coach veteran, Kathy Ebnet, has led the East Central/Sandstone School drama department for over 40 years. That experience and knowledge is paying off.
For the fourth consecutive year, East Central's drama students are advancing to the MSHSL State One-Act Play Festival. The two-day event takes place on Thursday and Friday, February 9th and 10th, in the O'Shaughnessy Auditorium at St. Catherine University in St. Paul.
East Central's performance of Second Star to the Right, adapted by Aaron Jansen from the novel Peter and Wendy by J. M. Barrie, took first place at the Section 7A MSHSL One-Act Play competition on Saturday, February 4th, at Two Harbors.
After receiving a first-place ranking from each of the judges at the sub-section contest on January 28, East Central again received all three first-place rankings from the judges at sections on February 4th.
Complimenting East Central students, judges at the Section 7A contest said, "Beautifully done!"
"Gorgeous," "lovely," "wonderful," "fantastic," "awesome show!" "Loved it!" "Delightful to watch!" "Five-star set!" "Costumes-vocals . . . impeccable!" One of the judges exclaimed, "I feel like the entire cast of the Children's Theatre Company has been transported north for the day! I was blown away!"
Second Star to the Right is the story of Wendy Darling who lives in London with her parents and her two younger brothers, John and Michael. When Peter Pan appears in the middle of the night,
looking for his shadow, the three Darling children are whisked away to Neverland, where pirates do battle with the lost boys. This version of the classic story remains true in spirit to the 1911 novel, bringing to life the magic and melancholy of J. M. Barrie's vision.
The Section 7A Runner-Up was Silver Bay with their performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream adapted from William Shakespeare by Cecil Picket. Other competing schools were Esko, Eveleth-Gilbert, Chisholm, and Duluth Marshall.
Members of East Central's cast are Anika Eaves, Ryan Feist, Alex Finch, Kali Finch, Abigail Holmes, Emma Jansen, Cassidy Koland, Melody Kosbab, Mack Nelson, Madison Nelson, John Nygren, Molly Nygren, Jamison Seibert, Aubrey Shervheim, Belle Shervheim, and Cece Shervheim. The crew is comprised of Chance Dalbec and Nick Shaffer. The play is directed by Kathy Ebnet, assisted by Richard Ebnet and Aaron Jansen.
The State Festival celebrates the best 16 one-act plays throughout the state. The top 8 high school one acts from Class AA will perform on Thursday, Feb. 9. The top 8 Class A schools will perform on Friday, Feb, 10. East Central will perform at 3:15 pm. on Friday.
This is the tenth time East Central theater students have won the right to participate at the State Festival. Previous appearances at State included performances in 1989, 1990, 2002, 2004, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2015, and 2016.
All performances at the State Festival are open to the public. Tickets can be purchased at the O'Shaughnessy Auditorium box office on the days of the performances. There are no advance sales. Cars park free in the O'Shaughnessy lot. For more information, contact Director Kathy Ebnet at 320-630-3657 (cell).