By Greg Hunt
The Cambridge-Isanti One-Act troupe hit on all cylinders while hosting the Section 7AA Festival on Saturday, Feb. 4 with another great performance of Alan Haenel’s Property Rites. The Bluejackets took 1st place at sections in front of strong plays presented by Hermantown, St. Francis and Duluth Denfeld.
“My pride in the cast and crew is beyond compare. They are bright (Mississippi 8 Academic Team Champions), passionate, and gifted students,” said C-I Director Kelly Fahrni, whose team also finished 1st at the South Subsections the prior weekend. “I have been directing the One-Act now for five years. This senior class has been with me since their freshmen year. They will leave very big shoes to fill.”
Property Rites is a crisp sci-fi thriller which stars Jonathan Wells as Kyle Macmanus, an over-extended retailer trying to unload a computerized group of female figurines. Maintenance neglect causes haywire problems on some of the machines, and Fahrni and the crew made some biting and lighting adjustments to the closing scene to show the depth of Macmanus’ problems.
“I hate to admit it, but the entire complexity of the show didn’t hit me until we received comments from the subsection judges about making the ending clearer. I didn’t realize that the main character dies at the end. I took the last line of the show to mean that the computers were all coming to life, not they are coming to life and about to kill their owner. Once that big light bulb lit, I was able to add that feature which amps up the creepy Twilight Zone ending about 110 percent.”
The C-I crew will perform Property Rites one last time this Friday at the Class AA State One-Act Festival held at the O’Shaunessy Theatre on the College of St. Catherine campus in St. Paul. The Bluejackets’ time slot is 4 p.m. The gate fee per session is $10; a daily pass good for all eight Class AA plays is $15.
“The beauty of the State meet is the fact that it is a festival, not a competition. Of course you want to perform your very best, but there isn’t the added pressure of competing against another school. You become a State champion by earning a star at State, and there isn’t a limit of how many stars are given out. It is a beautiful stage to work on, but we are really spoiled at Cambridge-Isanti by our own beautiful performance space,” said Fahrni. “I am also thrilled to be the first director at CIHS to ever bring two One-Acts to the State Festival. Many of the juniors and seniors in the cast were also there with us in 2010.”
CIHS One-Act ‘Property Rites’ Cast & Crew
Cast (actor/character): Jonathan Wells–Kyle Macmanus; Jordan Zurn–Rudy Pushtin; Mikaela Kase–Gladys Pushtin; Mike Pushtin–Sam Peters; Elizabeth Nault-Maurer–Figure 3; Megan Hovinen–Figure 7; Hannah Palmer–Figure 1; Cassie Terrizzi–Figure 2; Cora Nelson–Figure 4; Kaila Farnsworth–Figure 5; Sydney Johnson–Figure 6; Aurora Wahlstrom–Figure 8; Maria Leibel–Figure 9; Jessica Peters–Leeza; Matthew Ziebarth–Brent.
Crew: Kelly Farhni-Director; Julia Neary–Asst. Director; Adam Peterson & Jessica Peters–Student Directors; Adam Peterson & Aurora Wahlstrom–Understudies; Andrew Pflipsen–Lights; Adelle Nelson–Sound; Katrina Barnes & Josh Walz–Crew; Katrina Barnes, Tristen Sima & Kalli Beaulieu–Section 7AA Hosts; Jonah Benson, Deanna Moen, Amanda Paris, Abbie Smith, Hanna Seline-Wagner, Sarah Thus, Linda Todd–Assistants.