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One-Act Finishes “Spamalot” Season as District Runner-Up

December 16, 2020

By: Leah Pinkston, freshman at Leigh High School

            The Leigh High School One-Act season has concluded for this year after a whirlwind of performances that culminated in a district runner-up finish and disappointment over being so close to qualifying for the state competition.

On Tuesday, November 17th, the Leigh One Act held their first performance for the year at the East Husker Conference Elkhorn Division Competition. This show would be one of the most exciting for the high school students participating in it, especially since the Conference would kickstart the next few weeks of performance and competition for the team.

            The play this year was Monty Python’s Spamalot, a musical comedy adapted from the 1975 film Monty Python and the Holy Grail.  It followed King Arthur as he gathered a band of knights together to unite a turbulent England and embark on a quest for the Holy Grail.  Along the way they encountered villagers “who just wouldn’t die,” insult-hurling French knights and can-can dancers, strange Knights of Ni who demanded a shrubbery and a musical performance, and a ferocious rabbit who guarded a cave that finally led to the Holy Grail. 

In total, this year there were 35 cast members, along with 15 more students signed up as crew members. Junior Kanyon Held was the show’s main lead as King Arthur, but there were many more students with large parts and some who had up to 6 costume changes.

The Spamalot team worked hard and made a great performance on the night of Conference, and ended up in third place with two out of three judges’ voting first place.

Also at the Conference performance, Kanyon Held won the prestigious “Best Actor in the Conference” award, while senior Rylee Olson won “Best Supporting Actress in the Conference.”  Senior student director Emily Loseke was awarded “Outstanding Tech Crew.”

The accomplishment of Conference fueled the determination that brought a fantastic show to the Community Performance on Sunday, November 29, and an even better spectacle to the district event hosted in Leigh!

Districts was held on Leigh Community School’s new stage on December 2nd, which was already exciting in itself for the students.

Cast and crew arrived at 9:00 A.M. to watch other plays brought by neighboring schools, and prepared for their production at noon. With yet another fabulous presentation, the Spamalot team finished their play with the time mark of 29:40, just 50 seconds to spare. After receiving a first and two second place rankings from the judges, they ended up finishing second place at districts out of eight total schools. Chambers finished as the district champion and went on to finish runner-up at the state competition.

Leigh actors and actresses received many Outstanding Acting awards at districts as well.  Those receiving an award include seniors Cassidy Hoffman, Rylee Olson, Kayden Schumacher, Madisyn Pelan, Alicia Holmberg, and Trevor Zulkoski; juniors Kanyon Held, Logan Schroeder, Audie Tejkl, Aiden Miller, Madison Noonan, and Makenna Held; sophomore Mason Whitmore; and freshman Leah Pinkston.

Though there was much disappointment at not qualifying for the state competition, they were very proud of this year’s show. 

Senior Madisyn Pelan, who played Lady of the Lake, the love interest of King Arthur, said, “We were cutting it close trying to stay under time, but in the end, we managed to make it work. I thought that the Conference, the Community Performance, and Districts went well. And, even though we didn’t win, I am still very proud of our district performance. We gave it our all and put on what I thought was an amazing, entertaining production. We had a lot of new kids on stage this year, and many in big roles for the first time.  I know next year’s team will do just as well, maybe even better with the experience they gained this year.

Directors Justine Fischer, Megan Hillen, and Michkayla Wietfeld were also disappointed in the way the season ended, but gave much praise to this year’s play:

“We are so proud of all our kids, both cast and crew,” Fischer said.  “We aimed to put on more than just a high school play; we aimed to put on a ‘spectacle,’ and I believe we accomplished that, especially by districts.  I was sad we could not keep tweaking it and improving it to showcase it at the Johnny Carson!  We did a somewhat of a musical for the first time, and it was a lot of work!  But the kids put so much time in and they deserve to be commended for the way they represented our community.  To have nearly our entire high school be involved in something and be working together toward a common goal is pretty special, and that’s what it’s all about.”

Fischer continued, “Thank you to everyone who helped along the way, especially the staff at school, the coaches’ families, and Dennis and Linda Hillen, Kip and Kamin Held, and Loretta Tejkl for your amazing set and costume expertise!  There was so much that went into this, and we couldn’t have done it without everyone’s help! We look forward to entertaining you again next year!”

 

 

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