Drama Club Hosts Covid-Free One Acts, Wins 17th Superior Award

Central’s Drama Club not only won its 17th straight Superior Show award, it hosted the Covid-safe Competition.

By Anna Fitzgerald and Heilee Delebout

While this year’s State One-Act competition presented different challenges than others, Central’s drama department rose to the occasion. Amidst the pandemic, and hosting the competition for the first time, Central was still able to win a seventeenth straight Superior Show Award for their adaptation of Hamlet.

One way this year was different from previous years was that hosting the State One-Act competition was split between three schools based on division (class AA, A, and B) rather than the whole competition being at Sioux Falls O’Gorman like it has been in the past. Central was asked to host the thirteen class A schools and was given the opportunity to perform Hamlet in their own theater. Class A schools are schools that have 90 to 450 students enrolled. So how was it that Central, a class AA school, competed alongside class A schools?

Rather than traveling across the state and risking a COVID outbreak, schools were allowed the opportunity to submit their plays for judging virtually. So while Central performed Hamlet in their own theater, their play was submitted virtually to be judged against the other AA schools. This way, they could be judged in the correct category, while still focusing on the task of hosting a segment of the One-Act competition.

Central High School took many precautions to make sure that the competition was safe. These included vouchers for the audience for one show to prevent too many people from being in the theater at a time, and having the janitors quickly clean house in between performances. For those who weren’t able to get vouchers for their show, it was live streamed so they could watch from home. These, along with various other precautions, helped Central to have a safe and successful experience at the one-act competition.

“We had to make sure the theater space was extra clean and Covid safe for all participants and judges, alongside making our school a safe haven for incoming schools,” says senior Cade Janvrin, who played the role of Polonius in Hamlet. “We made sure everyone would be able to find their way around and that it wouldn’t be a hassle using our space.”

Not only did Central win a Superior Show award, but they walked away with several other awards as well. Brooke Parette won Superior Costume Design, the musicians ensemble won Superior Ensemble, and several students from Central–Gunnar Benson, Gretchen Lindenberg, Lucy Woods, Cade Janvrin, and Blake Bush–won a Superior Individual Acting award.

Senior Lucy Woods portrays Ophelia in Hamlet.
Senior Gunnar Benson plays Hamlet.
Senior Gretchen Lindenberg as Gertrude and Gunnar Benson as Hamlet.