Students take one-act play to state competition

Plymouth High School has once again taken the stage at the state one-act play competition, receiving an All-State Award and an Acting Ensemble Award.

The 38-member cast performed Nov. 20 during the annual Wisconsin High School Theatre Festival held at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.

Plymouth performed “Blah, Blah, Blah” by Brian Marshall, which deals with the four ages of man: child, youth, middle age and senior citizen and how we hear the

same message over and over again. In fact, much of the dialogue repeats itself, according to director Herb Stoltenberg.

Plays in the competition cannot be longer than 35 minutes. “Blah, Blah, Blah” uses few props and lots of pantomime, Stoltenberg said. Costumes are simply T-shirts and jeans, and the set black boxes. Plymouth has entered the competition as long as Stoltenberg has been around — 42 years — and many years before that. On the road to state, the cast performed at district competition in Oshkosh; two of the three judges had to agree to advance the play. All three judges at the sectional in Whitefish Bay advanced the play to state.

Janet DeJean Newton, English and drama teacher at Plymouth High School, attributed much of Stoltenberg’s success over the years to his having built a drama department that encourages all kids to be involved, not just the stereotypical “artsy” kids.

“He has encouraged the importance of ensemble work by introducing students of all interests — athletes, intellects, musicians and more — to the importance of working together to create the magical performances that regularly appear on the PHS stage and at the state one-act festivals,” she said.

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