April 14, 2011
Discussing the apple as a form of art are Brooke Kuehl, Marquette Nelson, Kaitlin Fleet, Kelsey Bloom, Mary Lynn, Courtney Cropper, Abbi Sudtelgte and Kelsie Kinner as they debate proper protocol and ethics as to how to treat the apple and what to call it.
By Dan Kuss
Elkton-Lake Benton High School students presented two one-act plays with matinee and evening performances on Thursday, April 7 and an evening performance on Friday, April 8.
The two plays were entitled “Eggheads” and “The Apple” and both were written by playwright
Jimmy Brunelle and directed by John Delle, a student at South Dakota State University in Brookings, S.D.
“I was blown away by the quality of the actors here at Elkton-Lake Benton School,” said Delle. “There is a high caliber of students here.”
The first play the students presented was “Eggheads,” which was a comedy for eight to 11 players and ran about 15-20 minutes.
After learning that she is a genius, Gwyneth fears she’ll be labeled an “egghead,” so she tells a friend, who tells a friend, who tells a friend. The rumors keep changing from kid to kid and soon are totally out of control.
The cast of characters includes Brittany Pulscher playing Gwyneth, Courtney Mulder as Amiga, Abbi Sudtelgte as Gabbel, Alex Schwing as Invidous, Kelsey Kinner as Mettle, Brooke Kuehl as Trail, Brittany Clipper as Beat, Courtney Cropper as Brow, Amber Landsman as Boopie, Grace Tjeerdsma as Softy and Richie Mulder as Phil.
Marcus Speakman was the producer for this show while Kaitlin Fleet was stage manager, Jessica Nomeland and Katie Stuefen were in charge of costumes, Haylee Denison and Virginia Gebhart did
hair and makeup, Samantha Grooters and Liz Stuefen did the graphics and set and Austin Krumm ran the lights.
In between shows, Delle incorporated Maxwell Fleet to help him entertain the audience while the crew changed the sets.
Delle had fun with a balloon and made a sword for young Fleet by the time the transition was over.
“I used to perform magic,” said Delle. “I’m happy there was a young kid in the audience to help me
The curtain for the second play, “The Apple,” opened as Alex Schwing, playing the janitor, walked out and inadvertently placed an apple on an empty pedestal as he cleaned the wing of an art museum.
Schwing kept saying he wanted to be an artist someday and was called away to clean up another area of the museum as nutty patrons came along to think part of his lunch was meant to be a piece of art. Crazy perceptions and noisy and mischievous merrymaking proceed to happen, culminating in acts of censorship and protest against the apple as a form of art.
Some of the actors named the apple Red, while others felt it should not be restricted with a label.
Nicole Schwing played Moocher, who kept walking through saying she needed a pen and at one point went into a nice rendition of fast-talking gibberish.
The rest of the cast included Richie Mulder as Intercom, Brook Kuehl as Sisky, Marquette Nelsen as Ebee, Kaitlin Fleet as Rope, Abbi Sudtelgte as Moonshot, Stephanie Wilkinson as Elvis, Julia Fargen as Peevish, Shelby Thomas as Petula, Jacob Pulscher as Mime, Courtney Mulder as Curly, Kelsey Bloom as Laura, Mary Lynn as Mona and Kelsey Kinner as Cally.
Brittany Clipper was the assistant director while Jessica Weise was the stage manager.
Behind the scenes people for the second play were again Katie Stuefen and Jessica Nomeland with
costumes, Haylee Denison and Virginia Gebhart performing hair and makeup, Liz Stuefen and lights.
Auditions were held the first week of March and the cast and crew have been working really hard five days a week ever since.
“We had a lot of fun,” said Delle. “The Mime was a little nervous about a speaking part, but kept coming up with innovative ways to incorporate his character further into the script, so I gave him free reign.”
Delle also said the school was absolutely unbelievable with their help in the production and he can’t thank them enough. “Mr. Jandahl and Mr. Simons were great, handling details including coordinating the activity bus back to Lake Benton,” said Delle. “Staff and teachers at school were awesome and everyone associated with the school assisted in any way possible.”
Cast members Katie Stuefen, Marquette Nelson, Nicole Schwing, Abbi Sudtelgte and Alex Schwing
were hanging out at the corner of the stage as things wound down and said that the kids in school
were laughing throughout the whole matinee performance presented to them earlier in the day.
All of the students in this year’s play performed in the “Wizard of Oz” production the school put on last year and the majority will be back next year.
“We had three seniors in the cast and three working backstage for a total of six,” said Sudtelgte. “We’ll be out of school and in college next year.”
“We want to thank everyone for coming,” said Stuefen, Nelsen and Nicole Schwing in unison. “It was a lot of work, but we’re going to miss it when it’s over tomorrow night.”
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