Swedes ‘leap off fence’ to qualify
Before the Swede one-act team took the stage Saturday, they talked about jumping off the fence.
Co-director Lori Long said she told them to hold nothing back when they performed “Hiding in the Open” during B-5 district competition in Gothenburg.“They had watched their competition earlier in the day and knew what had to be done,” Long said. “They didn’t just jump, they leaped off the fence and gave their best performance to date.”
The performance was good enough to win, taking the team to state play production Friday at the University of Nebraska at Kearney after a five-year hiatus.
In 2007, the one-act team qualified with the Triangle Factory Fire Project which, ironically, had a set nearly identical to the arrangement used in this year’s play.
In both, historical images were projected onto a backdrop.
Erin Feather, the other director, described the students as amazing in how they brought the story of Sabina to life.
The play, based on Sabina Zimering’s memoir, is an adaptation of a true story about two Jewish sisters from Poland who assume false Catholic identities and work in a Nazi hotel during World War II.
“I felt they gave it their all and that all of their hard work throughout the last seven weeks really paid off,” Feather said. “Lori and I are so blessed to have such a talented group of actors with whom to work.”
Looking ahead to Friday, Long said students need to continue to listen and react to each other’s lines instead of going on auto-pilot.
“Gestures and physical responses need to be bigger,” she said.
With the exception of Cozad’s play, the rest were comedies last Saturday.
Long explained that comedy versus drama is touchy.
“We go to the theatre for an emotional release, to feel good because something is so hilarious we forget our own problems or a tug at the heartstrings at someone else’s sorrow that isn’t as bad as what we face. There’s nothing like a good laugh or a good cry.”
At state, both genres will be represented.
Alliance, a school that has won several recent state championships, starts Class B competition with a knock-down comedy, Long said.
“They will be polished,” she said.
York, which also qualified, is bringing a comedy that has beaten the Swedes twice this year.
The rest of the qualifiers, Milford, Omaha Concordia and Wayne, will also present comedies.
“So our drama, the last play to perform, will definitely
stand out—hopefully in a good way,” Long said.