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Pequot Lakes School: One-act play takes second in sub-section

Pequot Lakes High School's one-act play department took second place at the sub-section competition in Park Rapids on Saturday, Jan. 24, for its performance of "Tongue."...

Pequot Lakes High School's one-act play department took second place at the sub-section competition in Park Rapids on Saturday, Jan. 24, for its performance of "Tongue."

They now advance to the section competition Saturday, Jan. 31, in Hawley.

"I was very pleased," director Gary Hirsch said. "In early rehearsals, I would not have expected that. I wasn't sure we could rise to this level, but we came together this past week. We felt good right after the show, and that is what we should do."

"Tongue" is, as the Pequot Lakes' third-year director put it, an unusual play. It does not have a standard storyline, and reads more like a poem than a script. There is a focus on rhythm and percussion in the show that compliments its disjointed plot.

"If done properly - and on Saturday, it was done properly - it is really tight and very interesting," Hirsch said. "There is a lot of movement. It has a flow to it and a life to it. Even though it is not driven by a plot at all, people are able to follow."

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Going into the section tournament, Hirsch is confident in the ability of his cast and crew, but knows they need to shore up a few things before the big show.

"There were some lines that were missed (at sub-sections)," Hirsch said. "There are a couple of sections where lines were overlapping. We have to go over it and tighten that up so it doesn't happen again."

Hirsch, who was the play director at Mora High School for 22 years before coming here, has directed shows in the past and took home the runner-up prize at sub-sections and went on to take the top spot in the section competition. He feels "Tongue" could be one of those shows, depending on the attitudes of the judges in attendance.

"It is not always a matter of how well the show has done or how good the show is," Hirsch said. "It is a matter of when the show is during the day, whether the judges like comedies and things like that. There are a lot of variables. It is an extremely subjective rating system, but we have to deal with that."

Regardless of where they rank in the section, the cast and crew should walk out of the Hawley auditorium proud of the work they put in, if their director has anything to say about it.

"They have grown as performers significantly over this period," Hirsch said. "There are a couple of performers who have never really done this before, and they have come a long way. They have grown to work as a unit, and I am very proud of them."

Dan Determan has been a reporter for the Echo Journal since 2014, primarily covering sports at Pequot Lakes and Pine River-Backus
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