Kingsland student ‘Lies’ to hit stage this month

GRETCHEN MENSINK LOVEJOY/SPRING VALLEY TRIBUNE Treyton Pokorney makes a point to Emily Biermann, left, while Josh Meskill just shrugs and Abby Biermann reinforces the point during a scene from “One Hundred Lies.” The one-act play will be performed several times this month, including a public showing Jan. 19.
Gretchen Mensink Lovejoy

Kingsland’s drama is telling 100 lies, all within 35 minutes’ time. 

The Kingsland Drama Department will be competing in the one-act play competition again this year, performing “One Hundred Lies,” by Alan Haehnel, according to Kingsland drama director Sarah Kohn. The main character in the play, a teenage girl, will be revealing lies that she has been told and lies she has told during her life.  The end comes down to an emotion “lie” that has affected her life and is hard for her to process, added Kohn.

The cast of the play, which will hit the stage for the first of several performances on Jan. 11, features the talents of senior Emily Biermann as the main character, with supporting performances given by a wide range of students that make up a large ensemble to accompany the main character. 

“I like to look for plays that are entertaining, have substance to them and will grab the judges’ attention, as well as fit the number of actors wanting to participate,” Kohn said. 

The group started rehearsals in the middle of November.  The cast includes seniors Biermann, Wesley Dean and Caitlin Miner, juniors Treyton Pokorney, Charlie Emig and Grace House, freshmen Abby Biermann, Alexis Holland, Josh Meskill, Reilly Lawson, Josie Sanford and Lily Freet, and seventh graders Greta Kunene and Daizie Johnson.

Freet will be running the technology for the play as she is in basketball, so won’t be able to be onstage. She has graciously signed up to help with sound and lights at our competition, said Kohn. 

“We have a strong lead in Emily Biermann.  She is doing a great job with the amount of lines she has – she is reciting paragraphs at a time,” Kohn said.  “The ensemble cast is fantastic as well.  They are able to play many different roles within the play, which gives them the opportunity to use their character development skills.” 

One-act play is an extracurricular that has drawn stage veterans and newcomers alike, but there’s a catch to being onstage during the simply-staged presentations.  However, the set is uncomplicated and portable for a specific reason. 

“We try to keep it as simple as possible with one-act.  It has to be a traveling show, so the set and props need to be light,” she said.  “The Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) also has a number of rules regarding the amount of set and the props that can be used in the competition. 

“The most challenging part of this play is the play coincides with a timer.  One-act plays have to be less than 35 minutes, or you are disqualified.  This play takes it to the next level, with part of it using a running clock that has to go along with the lines within the play.  When we get down to the final rehearsals, this will be our biggest focus.”

She feels that her thespians are up to the challenge of working on the clock.  In her role as director, Kohn said the most rewarding part is to watch the actors become the characters on stage. 

“The actors this year really seem to have gotten their characters down early, and I can see them get better at every rehearsal.  The ups and downs in the play have been rewarding to block, as well as helping the actors portray their characters,” she said.  “The actors really bring this play to life.  It’s not an easy play for the actors, as the lead has so many lines and the ensemble play many characters – so for anyone who has acted, you can see the challenges the actors have overcome.  This is a phenomenal group of actors.  I’m impressed with their ability every rehearsal.” 

The subsection competition is on Saturday, Jan. 25, but there will be performances ahead of that, including one staged for the public.  The Kingsland drama students will participate in Rushford-Peterson’s Workshape on Jan. 11 as well as Grand Meadow’s one-act festival on Jan. 18. 

The students will also be performing the play to the public on Sunday, Jan. 19, at 6 p.m. on the stage of the Spring Valley Community Center.  For the public performance, people can buy tickets at the door; adults are $7, students are $5 and children 3 and under are admitted free. 

“I know the actors really like the emotional parts of the play – especially at the end – and there’s the relatability the play has to so many people, kids and adults alike.  The final ‘lie’ happens in many, many households,” Kohn said.