Winter one-act to be ‘The Amish Project’

Cast, crew work to convey sensitive topic in performance


Maggie Klaers

After school Nov. 30, sophomore Phoebe McKinney and cast read through the script of the upcoming winter one act.

Maggie Klaers and Sofia Seewald

Senior stage manager Nietzsche Deuel said she is looking forward to tackling the difficult messages in the upcoming winter one-act.

“I’m excited for the one-act because it’s something that our school has spoken out against, because it’s about a shooting,” Deuel said. “I think it’s really good for us because in the time that I have been in theater, we haven’t done very many really serious shows, and I think it will be challenging for us because we’re not used to being so serious.”

Theater director Jodi Hatzenbeller said this year’s winter show, “The Amish Project”, is a production based on a school shooting that occurred in an Amish community.

“It is a very somber play about— well loosely based on—the Nickel Mines shooting in an Amish schoolhouse in Pennsylvania in 2006,” Hatzenbeller said.

According to Deuel, the home performances will be free of charge and the actors will be hosting a discussion after the show.

“We will not be having an admissions fee when we do our shows. Instead, we will be taking donations, and those donations will be going to organizations to help prevent shootings,” Deuel said. “Another thing we’re doing is a talkback after the show, and I am really excited for that because we haven’t done that while I have been here.”

Sophomore cast member Lilly Strathman said the theater program’s goal for the winter one-act is to showcase the important messages the production expresses.

“This show is going to be a lot darker than other shows and a little bit more important,” Strathman said. “It has a good message behind it, but our shows always have good messages, but this one is a very sensitive topic. If it’s done correctly it’ll be good.”

According to Deuel, the show is written in a unique poetic format.

“I think staging might be a little bit different because it doesn’t flow necessarily like a story and the way that it’s written. It’s actually written in verse instead of an actual script,” Deuel said.

According to Hatzenbeller, there will be great focus on properly representing the Amish community.

“I think it’s a great challenge for us to accurately represent the Amish culture, so we will be delving in and doing some research and making sure we are giving justice to the representation we’re doing,” Hatzenbeller said.

Strathman said she anticipates the show will be unforgettable.

“I think it is going to be a fun show,” Strathman said. “Obviously, it’s very dark and sad, but I think those are always the most memorable shows that we do.”

“The Amish Project” will be performed Jan. 18, 19 and 20 in the Auditorium, then performed Jan. 22 at Edina High School for the one-act subsection competition.