Nigh to One Acts

REHEARSAL: Sarah Wallingford (from left), Jeff Kuhl and Owen Bundy rehearse a scene for the one act production of “A Christmas Carol” last week. A Night of One Acts will be presented on Tuesday, Nov. 19 at Ashland-Greenwood High School. (Staff Photo by Anna Boggs)

ASHLAND – The Ashland-Greenwood High School thespians will present a familiar holiday tale to the stage for the annual Night of One Acts presentation on Nov. 19 in the high school gym.

The evening’s featured event will be the high school one-act competition piece. This year, they are performing an adaptation of “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens.

Play Production Director Janice Jacobs said this classic tale has never been brought to the Ashland-Greenwood stage before.

“We thought it was time,” she said.

The play mixes drama with some light-hearted humor, as was Dickens’ trademark. AGHS alum Jeff Kuhl, who has helped Jacobs for the past several years with one-acts and the spring school plays, adapted the version with help from Jacobs.

That includes an original song Kuhl wrote to open the play.

They had looked at several published versions of the story, but opted to create their own, Jacobs said.

“We felt like we wanted to keep as much of Dickens’ language as possible,” she added.

In fact, the students will be channeling a little of the British Isles as they perform.

“The kids are trying British accents, which is fun,” Jacobs said.

Owen Bundy plays the world’s most famous Christmas curmudgeon, Ebenezer Scrooge. Micah Judds, Elandra Johnson, Sheradyn Johnson, Caden Bottorff and Sarah Wallingford play the Cratchit family, with Dayna Wilson in the role of Tiny Tim.

The ghosts will be embodied by Caden Bottorf (Jacob Marley), McKenna Sender (Ghost of Christmas Past), Alex Williams (Ghost of Christmas Present) and Katie Reisen (Ghost of Yet to Come).

Rehearsals have been going well for the one-act. The cast is slightly smaller than in recent years, with 42 cast and crew all together, Jacobs said.

“It’s a great group of kids,” she said. “They are hard workers and it’s been a lot of fun.”

Jacobs expects the audience will enjoy the play as well.

“It’s a classic for the ages,” she said.

The audience will also enjoy performances by the seventh grade class and a local band.

The seventh graders will perform a play with a long name and an equally long cast list. The play is called “You Have to Wear Green on Tuesdays and Other Bits of Teenage Wisdom.”

Jacobs said the play was written for middle school students to help walk them through some of the challenges they face.

“It’s a reality check in terms of how many different things they experience,” she said.

The band Night Shade will open the evening with music. Made up of three members of the one-act cast – Bundy, Judds and Aiden vonRentzell – along with Jay Hansen, the group is known for their hard driving rock and roll sets.

The Night of One Acts is a way for the public to see the high school’s one-act competition piece, as well as a performance by the middle school exploratory class.

“A Christmas Carol” will be performed at the Capitol Conference One-Act Competition on Nov. 25 at Platteview High School in Springfield. Ashland-Greenwood will perform at 9:15 a.m. The district competition will be held at Midland University in Fremont on Dec. 3, where AGHS will take the stage at 2:45 p.m.

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