South Prairie thespians compete in state one-act play competition

Submitted Photo South Prairie High School students who are competing in the state one-act play competition today and Tuesday include: front row: Emily Kannianen, Brooklyn Mosser, Simon Kithusi, Brea Pitner, Natalee Becker, Brylee Beeter, Kadyn Tallman, Karl Behm, Walkens Nicolas; back row: Briar Pitner, Skylar Beck, Gracie Rauschenberger, Emma Marten

Thespians at South Prairie High School will mark more than one milestone this week when they compete in the state one-act play competition today and Tuesday in Jamestown.

This is the first time that students from the high school, which has only been in existence for five years, have qualified for a state competition in the drama category. In fact, some students think South Prairie students have never qualified for any state competition besides trap shooting. All 12 kids earned a joint superior acting award during the regional competition and Coach Paula Rauschenberger was also named coach of the year at the regional category where the students qualified for state.

Freshmen Kadyn Tallman and Natalee Becker said they and their cast mates have been working hard to get everything right. Their production is called “Fifteen Reasons Not to Be in a Play.”

There are 15 short scenes so they’re all playing several parts, said Rauschenberger.

During the play, the audience discovers that there are actually some reasons to be in a play as well as all the reasons not to be.

Becker and Tallman said being in a play with their cast mates gives them a chance to have fun with each other and also to make an audience laugh. It’s a different kind of fun than tackling people on a football field, said Tallman. Acting also helps kids develop confidence in speaking in front of an audience. They also enjoy the fun of make-believe and doing things they’d never do in real life, like pretending to be a spy and running around on stage and pretending to shoot at things.

Practices have been held on weekends, in the morning before school or after school. Rauschenberger said most of the kids are involved in multiple activities, as it is a small school, and she fitted practices in whenever possible because she didn’t want them to miss out on a chance to be in the one act play competition.

“They’re super dedicated,” she said and were “super teachable.” They also have room to grow in the future since they have a few more years to compete in the one-act play competition.

Practices covered learning all of their lines, blocking and all the costume changes that are required for so many different scenes.

Becker said the South Prairie community has also been supportive and proud of the kids and she thinks qualifying for the state competition has given a big boost to the high school.


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