For the first time, South Dakota State University will host the Class B State One-Act Play Festival. The 2021 event will feature 16 high schools at the Oscar Larson Performing Arts Center Feb. 5-6.
The annual event is the state tournament for high school drama competition and is sponsored by the South Dakota High School Activities Association. South Dakota Public Broadcasting will livestream all performances.
The Oscar Larson Performing Arts Center recently held the Region IIB One-Act Play Festival Jan. 20 with six high schools participating. Deubrook and Castlewood advanced to the state festival.
At the regional and state level, one-act plays have 45 minutes to set up, perform and strike the entire show. That time starts when the cast members are given instructions to begin. Any production that exceeds 45 minutes is disqualified and is not eligible to receive the coveted “superior play” designation or any of the ensemble or individual acting awards. When the 45 minutes are up, the entire set, as well as all cast and crew must be off the stage, which will be cleaned and prepared for the next school’s production.
The schools participating in the festival are socially distanced throughout the day. No audience members are permitted in the Oscar Larson Theatre to meet SDSU COVID-19 event protocols.
“The festival has been designed with a specific timeline to allow participating schools to load in and load out without crossing paths with another school. Dressing rooms are assigned so schools do not use the same dressing room until ample time has been provided to clean the room between usage. We are honored to host the festival and allow students the opportunity to perform on the Oscar Larson Theatre stage,” said Lynn Von Eschen, director of the Oscar Larson Performing Arts Center.