Why do we laugh?

That is the question the Redwood Valley High School One-Act play cast and crew is asking as they present their 2020 production later this week as part of the Sub-Section One-Act contest.

The troupe from the local high school includes 13 students made up of a mix of those in Grades 9-12. The play being presented by the RVHS group is entitled “Why Do We Laugh,” which was written by Stephen Gregg.

According to a synopsis of the play, “At age six, Meredith Wilfred loves to tell people that she hates her neighbor, Andrew Powers. At age 16, she tells Andrew the same thing but goes to the dance with him anyway. At 45, Meredith and Andy have a great deal to tell each other – most married couples do – and, even at 66, Meredith is still learning about, and from, Andrew. The result is a play about love (and hate) and the way people change each other.”

According to Katy Ibberson, the play’s director, the show was actually selected one year ago during the One-Act competition season.

After what Ibberson described as a “heavy” play in 2019, she felt that a comedy would be a good way to go for the 2020 performance.

The cast began rehearsals in December and has been meeting regularly to hone the presentation they will offer this coming Saturday in the PAC at Redwood Valley schools in Redwood Falls.

The Sub-Section 9 contest will be held starting that day at 10:30 a.m. Participating schools include BOLD, Lakeview, RRC, RVHS, TMB, Wabasso and WWG. Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for students. The public is encouraged to attend the contest to show support for the student performers.

Ibberson said rehearsals have been going well, adding that she has a good mix of students who are veterans and others who are just starting out in their high-school theater experience.

Leo Steffl, a senior at RVHS, got involved with theater because his older sister was involved in it. Steffl said he has appreciated being part of several performances in high school, adding he has met a some very nice people and has had a lot of fun.

Justene Larsen, who is also a senior, has been involved in theater since elementary school.

“I love being on the stage,” said Larsen, adding she enjoys public speaking and acting is a great way to do that.

Steffl and Larsen both recognize that the One-Act play program is certainly different than a three-act play or a musical.

The play is much shorter, as the performances must stay within a certain period of time when they are presented.

Steffl added a big difference is that it is a competition.

Larsen said the sets are much simpler, but she added as an actress she thinks with One-Act plays there is more time to develop her character.

Steffl and Larsen both said they have enjoyed the play they are doing this year, with Larsen saying she is excited to perform it.

The Section 3A contest will be held Feb. 1 also in the PAC with the top performances from Sub-Section contests competing.