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Tea Area High School drama students take center stage with One Act Play: ‘The Other Room’

The Tea Area High School drama students have been busy preparing to showcase their talents in an upcoming One Act Play. 

The production, carefully curated by the dedicated students and their director, Brooke Palleschi, promises to captivate audiences with its creativity and theatrical finesse.

This year’s play, “The Other Room” by Ariadne Bladye, was a choice Palleschi made carefully.

“The choosing of the play each year is one of the more stressful parts of a one act play production. As a director, I have an idea of the number of students who will potentially be auditioning but that is not always accurate,” said Palleschi. “I also keep in mind the amount of talent that the new freshman class and any new interested students may bring to auditions.”

This marks the last year that Tea Area will be competing in Class A as they move to Class AA next year. This also played a factor when Palleschi was selecting the play.

“The last two years, I have had a focus on plays that can stand competitive at the ‘AA’ class,” said Palleschi. “The motivation behind this year’s play is providing a voice to a population of students who at times go unheard.”

Students wanting to try out for the One Act Play, sign up for an audition time and are given a script. Students prepare a monologue for the character that they would like to audition for. 

“In the audition, we want to see how students would convey the specific character they are auditioning and basic acting skills,” said Palleschi. “I bring in two to three other individuals to help cast the play that have theatre experience. In the audition, students pick a character to audition for but sometimes we have them read for other characters at the request of the audition panel.”

This year’s cast includes: Austin who will be played by Jaxon Johanneson; Lily who will be played by Avianna Steen; Travis who will be played by Nick Dunkelberger; Donovan who will be played by Colton McDaniel; Talbott who will be played by Riley Clark; Nick who will be played by Brody Miller; and Christian who will be played by Brayden Cambier. Understudies include Ella Cambier and Kimberlee Brockberg. Directing the play is Palleschi and Cameron Axtmann. 

The cast has been practicing every day from 4 to 6 p.m. in preparation for the One Act Play community performances and competition. And while coordinating schedules always seem to be tough, Palleschi said they emphasized wanting to include anyone interested in Fine Arts. 

“That leads to conflicting schedules with other activities, but we work around it as much as we can,” said Palleschi. “This season we have been practicing three days a week with students off a script by the end of holiday break.”

Another challenge of this play is that you have the main characters, Austin and Lily, but the majority of the play is based on the voices/thoughts in Austin’s head. 

“Cast members have had to spend time identifying their characters and how that character would be portrayed as a voice in someone’s head,” said Palleschi. “This is a challenging aspect at all levels of theatre.”

Tea Area’s public performances for the One Act Play are scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 21 at 2 p.m. with doors opening at 1:30 p.m. and Monday, Jan. 22 at 7 p.m. with doors opening at 6:30 p.m. 

The drama department will be having a soup and dessert fundraiser (free will donation) prior to each of these performances, beginning at 1 p.m. on Jan. 21 and 6 p.m. on Jan. 22. 

The team will compete in Regions on Tuesday, Jan. 23 at the Canton High School’s Performing Arts Center. Should Tea Area receive first or second place at Regions they will qualify for the State One Act which will be held at the Brandon Valley Performing Arts Center, Feb. 1-3. 

Palleschi eagerly anticipates Tea Area’s own Performing Arts Center, to be completed by next year. 

“I am thankful for the support of the community of Tea and the school district that in the very near future we will have a completed performing arts center that will not only provide experiences for our students but will also help the district build our fine arts programs,” said Palleschi. “In the meantime, and before that’s up and running, we are currently having to use Frontier Elementary School’s gym for rehearsals. We also rent lighting and sound equipment to help our tech crew get familiar with those items before we use them for our community performance. Plus, the week before regions, we utilize Canton High School’s performing arts center to have one rehearsal on a stage with the full theatrical experience. It’s a bit of a challenge to coordinate those moving pieces, but the future is bright with our new performing arts center on the way.”


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