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One-up at one-act contest: Park Rapids, Menahga advance to sections

Park Rapids took first place in the Sub-Section 24A one-act play contest on Saturday. (Photos by Shannon Geisen/Enterprise)1 / 2
Menahga High School earned second place at the one-act festival to advance to the section contest. Pictured are, front, from left, Kayla Rockensock, Anna Besonen and Clara Buchner. Back row: Assistant director Kelly Hagen, director Lonnie Hagen, Kaleb Kirsch, Liz Entwistle and Ahna Schilling.2 / 2

The Minnesota State High School League 24A Sub-section One-Act Play Competition was held Saturday in the Park Rapids Area High School auditorium.

Six high schools competed — Frazee, Laporte, Menahga, Nevis, Park Rapids and Verndale.

Park Rapids captured first with their performance of "The Infamous Soothing System of Professor Maillard." Based on a short story by Edgar Allan Poe, it was adapted for the stage by Raleigh Marcell, Jr. The play features Poe's intriguing air of mystery and imagination — and a threatening cloud of horror.

Menahga won second place, performing "The Billionaire and the Bird," written by Newbery Award-winning author Katherine Paterson. An incredibly wealthy woman is an unhappy hypochondriac in this hilarious, yet moving play. There's just one thing that makes her weep with joy, and that's a little brown bird's song.

Nevis took third place with "Governing Alice." Written by C. Denby Swanson, the play is a modern adaptation of the Greek classic "Antigone." Alice, a rebellious high school student, must respond to the sudden and shattering death of her older brother, the class valedictorian — who was shot while robbing a convenience store.

Park Rapids and Menahga advance to the Section 6A contest, which will be held at West Central Area High School in Barrett, Minn. on Saturday, Feb. 2. Eight plays will be performed, beginning at 10 a.m. This event is free to the public.