By Jennifer Von Ohlen
DASSEL, COKATO, MN For this year’s Minnesota High School League One Act season, Dassel-Cokato will be performing “COWspiracy of Chess,” a comedy featuring what theater students can relate to the best: drama club.
In the show, a high school drama club experiences budget cuts right in the middle of its rehearsal season. To combat this, club director Miranda Pokornowski (played by the senior herself) is determined to showcase “the very best” and casts egotistical ladies-man Leopold Leinstein (played by junior William Frickstad).
Rather than landing the role of heart-throb Hans Ramone (played by freshman Jubal Nelson), however, Leinstein is given the part of Daisy the Cow.
As was the case with last year’s one act (and the past two spring plays), “COWspiracy of Chess” was written by DC theater director James Moen; but he wasn’t working alone.
“All the students collaborated in some way or another,” Moen stated. “This is their show as much as it is mine.”
In addition to the script, all of the show’s music is original and student-written. It will be performed by its composers, Ethan Langemo (senior), Erikka Langemo (sophomore), and Natalie Dahlin (senior).
Having previously performed mostly dramatic one acts, this show challenges the students to execute proper comedic timing, in addition to teaching those new to one act how it works, such as timing the set setup and take down.
While reflecting on the amount of dedication needed to both collaborate on the playbook and bring it to life during rehearsal, Moen said he’s noticed how hard the students have worked to manage their time and schedules amidst their other commitments.
“We are striving for excellence, and they come to rehearsal dedicated and focused,” he commented.
While watching the performance, Moen hopes audience members will be able to recognize the amount of talent within DC’s theater students.
“I hope the audience will have at least a few laughs along the way,” he said, “while also appreciating the fact that all music and sound effects are original works and are being done live on stage.”
The one act will compete at New Prague High School Saturday, Jan. 27 at 1 p.m.
A free public performance will take place at the DCHS Performing Arts Center Thursday, Feb. 1 at 7 p.m.