The Bruning-Davenport Drama Team earned the Class D2 state play production title last weekend after presenting “Oz” by Don Zolidis at the 2012 state competition held in Kearney. Forty-one of 48 high school students comprised the cast and crew.
“Oz” is a parody of The Wizard of Oz with a serious undertone. Reeling from her sister’s death, Beth suddenly finds herself journeying through a world suspiciously resembling the film The Wizard of Oz with her own personal guide. While on her journey through Oz, Beth meets Glenda who confuses everyone with her good witch, bad witch dual personality; the Scarecrow reveling in his ignorant bliss; the Cowardly Lion acting like a paranoid sociopath; the Tin Man embracing his emotional numbness; and finally the Wicked Witch and Wizard who help Beth forgive herself for her sister’s death.
Add to that talking flowers and trees, genetically engineered munchkins, and flying monkeys who convinced their audiences and judges they were real.
In November, the Bruning-Davenport Drama Team competed at the Crossroads Conference Contest at Cross County High School winning the runner-up trophy. The team was only two points from the conference champion, Cross County. Receiving outstanding performance medals at the CRC: Tara Pavelka, Shane Heyen, Anthony Ferebee, Emily Folkerts, and Riley Tegtmeier.
The team traveled to Shickley on November 27 for the D2-1 district contest where they won the district championship.
At the contest eight cast members won superior performance awards including: Tara Pavelka, Shane Heyen, Anthony Ferebee, Brenna Meyer, Nolan Schroeder, Natalie Tegtmeier, Johanna Kluck, and Ted Degner.
At the state event on Dec. 6, when the team stepped on to the majestic UNK theater stage and the curtain opened to an audience of over 300 people, they knew “they were not in Kansas anymore.”
Following the performance, all three judges commented on how every character on stage was solid and that every detail of the production was attended to including lights and sound.
Little did the team know that “somewhere over the rainbow” the D2 State Championship was going to be their “pot of gold” with very high scores from all three judges.
Twelve students received outstanding performance awards including: Tara Pavelka, Cassidy Bentley, Shane Heyen, Anthony Ferebee, Brenna Meyer, Nolan Schroeder, Natalie Tegtmeier, Nathan Pavelka, Johanna Kluck, Ted Degner, Grant Norder and Jayden Otto.
Each year the directors, Anne Bowman and Brian Leisher, are pleased with the dedication and talent of the Bruning-Davenport students.
Taking their drama very seriously, the team has made nine trips to the state competition in the past 13 years as Bruning-Davenport USD. At those contests BD has had four third place finishes; three runner-up finishes; and two state championships.
Once again the team has an outstanding network of parents who served on set, costume, prop, and makeup committees and strong support from the administration and communities. With this strong support and talented kids, the play production program has had a successful program with pride and tradition the past 13 years.