It is 4 a.m.
The world around you is fast asleep.
You, however, are not. Thoughts race through your head about monsters under the bed and whether life is really worth it. Worries about tests, technological distractions, work and so much more are keeping a group of teens up at an hour when they should be staring at the back of their eyelids.
In the play “4 A.M.” by Jonathan Dorf teens are trying to figure out life, and this year the cast and crew of the Redwood Valley High School’s One-Act presentation offers its version of the story of “4 A.M.”
According to Katy Eckes, One-Act play director, the play portrays that sense of loneliness everyone feels at one time in their life. Through the use of a mix of drama and humor, “4 A.M.” helps show in the end no one is really alone. Eckes is in her first year as the One-Act director.
“I knew that the position was opening and thought for a while about doing it,” said Eckes. “I grew up in the theater and am super passionate about it."
Eckes said she has been involved in theater in one form or another since she was very young.
“I have been on stage in some way since fourth grade,” Eckes said. “I love the stage. I love acting, singing, dancing and directing.”
While being director of the One-Act is new, Eckes has had experience in directing, as she helped with the music for the RVHS presentation of “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” in 2016. Eckes has also been involved in Redwood Area Theatre in the time she has been in the community, so taking on the role of director for the One-Act made sense for her.
Eckes held auditions for this year’s performance a few weeks after the three-act play ended this past fall, and began holding rehearsals a couple of weeks before the December holiday break.
There are 18 students in this year’s cast and crew, including:
• Madisen Clennon as Frankie
• Abby Gilk as Jane
• Justene Larsen as the jogging girl
• Teresa Munshower as Anne
• Audrey Munshower as Monica
• Holden Kipfer as Romeo
• Mara Lund as Juliet
• Spencer Quast as the sleeper kid
• Bennet Vollbehr as the second jogger
• Deon Estebo as Simon
• Leo Steffl as Hale
• Alexcia Nelson as the fire kid
• Justin Deinken as the monster under the bed
• Brian Bucholz as the first officer
• Joseph Salvati as the second officer
• Amos Krause as the light technician
• Grant Liebl as the sound technician
• Miriam Krause as the spotlight technician
Spencer Quast, a veteran of Redwood Valley theater, is in his second year as a One-Act play participant.
“Being in One-Act was a better fit for me than a winter sport,” said Quast.
Joe Salvati, who is also participating in One-Act for the second time, added he was encouraged by a lot of his friends to give it a try. He also said it gives him a bit of a break between the fall and spring sports seasons.
“I was in plays in middle school,” said Holden Kipfer, who is in his first year as a member of the One-Act play troupe. “I wanted to try something new this year and thought it would be nice to get back on the stage.”
Quast explained that One-Act is different than most other theatrical performances in that it is a competition. Several high school theater programs will present their plays at Sub-Section contests, with the opportunity to advance to the Section and state festivals later this winter.
For Kipfer taking a speech and theater class as a junior gave him confidence to give theater a try again, and he is glad he opted to give it a try.
“It’s been a lot of fun,” said Kipfer.
Quast said he feels rehearsals have been going well, adding he thinks Eckes is doing a good job in her first year as the director.
“Miss Eckes is very thorough and dedicated, which is great,” said Quast.
Salvati said he really feels good about where they are with a couple of weeks left before the students perform the play for the first time.
Eckes said the students are planning to do a performance for friends and family Jan. 26 at 4 p.m. The next day is the Sub-Section contest, which is being held in the Estebo PAC at Redwood Valley schools. Kipfer encouraged everyone to come out and watch the One-Act play Jan. 27.
Redwood Valley to host One-Act Sub-Section contest Saturday
The Sub-Section 9 One-Act play contest is being held in the Estebo PAC at Redwood Valley schools in Redwood Falls this Saturday (Jan. 27).
The contest begins at 10:30 a.m. that day.
The following six schools will be participating: BOLD, Red Rock Central , Redwood Valley, Tracy-Milroy-Balaton, Wabasso and Westbrook -Walnut Grove.
Tickets are $5 for students and $7 for adults.
The top performances from the Sub-Section contest will move on to the Section contest the following Saturday (Feb. 3) also in Redwood Falls.