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Detroit Lakes to host one-act play subsection competition Jan. 27

The George Simson Auditorium at Detroit Lakes Middle School will be hosting this year's one-act play competition for Subsection 8AA North on Thursday, Jan. 27, starting at 5 p.m. The public is welcome to come and cheer on their local thespians; there is no cost to attend.

The cast of the Detroit Lakes High School one-act play, "The Knave of Hearts," is preparing to host the Subsection 8AA one-act competition this Thursday, Jan. 27 at the middle school's George Simson Auditorium. Six schools will compete in the subsection event, which gets underway at 5 p.m.
Vicki Gerdes / Tribune
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For high school sports fans, January is a month filled with basketball and hockey games, skiing competitions, wrestling and gymnastics meets. But for theater buffs, it’s all about the one-act play.

"I like the competition part of it," says Detroit Lakes High School senior Victor Jiminez, who plays Pompdebile, the King of Hearts, in DL's entry for the 2022 one-act play season, "The Knave of Hearts."

The DLHS one-act cast has been rehearsing three times a week for the past month and a half, in preparation for the subsection competition.

"We're hosting it this year," said the one-act play's director, Nikki Caulfield.

Teams from Fergus Falls, Moorhead, Alexandria, Little Falls and Brainerd will be converging on the George Simson Auditorium at Detroit Lakes Middle School this Thursday, Jan. 27, for the one-night-only event, which gets underway at 5 p.m.


Lest it seem like presenting six plays back-to-back would make for an exceedingly long night, the format for the one-act competition limits each competitor to 35 minutes for the play presentation, with an additional 10 minutes of setup time.

"You can't go over (35 minutes), or you're disqualified," Caulfield noted.

This year's entry for DLHS is "The Knave of Hearts" by Louise Saunders, which is based on Lewis Carroll's famed children's book, "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland."

"It's really cute," said Caulfield, noting that she thought the comedic work was "the right play for this group," with its colorful costumes and lighthearted approach.

"I like this one a lot," Jiminez said of the play, noting that it has "more room for creativity — more impromptu phrases and actions" than some of the previous productions with which he has been involved.

Caulfield said she would love to see a big crowd show up for Thursday's competition, which is open to the public. (Friends and family were also invited to a special performance on Tuesday night.)

If Detroit Lakes makes the most of its home field advantage and places in the top three, the team will advance to the section competition on Feb. 3 in Little Falls. The state tournament is set for the following weekend, Feb. 10-11 at O'Shaughnessy Auditorium, on the campus of St. Catherine University in St. Paul.

'The Knave of Hearts' Cast

Blue Hose: Stewart Annette
Yellow Hose: Akira Olp
Pompdebile the 8th, King of Hearts: Victor Jiminez
The Chancellor: Ben Sundby
The Knave of Hearts: Lily Sundby
Ursula: Jenna Allen
Violetta: Aliyah Thompson


If you go

What: Subsection 8AA One-Act Play Competition
When: Thursday, Jan. 27, 5 p.m.
Where: George Simson Auditorium, Detroit Lakes Middle School
How: There is no admission fee for the competition, which is open to the public.

A reporter at Detroit Lakes Newspapers since relocating to the community in October 2000, Vicki was promoted to Community News Lead for the Detroit Lakes Tribune and Perham Focus on Jan. 1, 2022. She has covered pretty much every "beat" that a reporter can be assigned, from county board and city council to entertainment, crime and even sports. Born and raised in Madelia, Minnesota, she is a graduate of Hamline University, from which she earned a bachelor's degree in English literature (writing concentration). You can reach her at vgerdes@dlnewspapers.com.
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