On December 9, the Arnold One Act team earned the title of Class D2 State Champions on the Johnny Carson stage in Norfolk. Winning a state championship is an incredible feat. The whole Elephant Graveyard cast and crew’s hard work and dedication displayed to everyone watching as the team gave their best performance of the season on the state stage.
To celebrate Arnold’s historic state win, the team, family, and friends gathered at Grazer’s Bar and Grill. Everyone watched the live-streamed award ceremony together, and the crowd erupted with each award-winning announcement.
The entire cast was exceptional, and the judges noted several standouts. Colbi Smith not only received an Outstanding Performance Award for his portrayal as Charlie Sparks, the circus’s ringmaster; he was also named the Most Outstanding Male Performer. This is an award of a high caliber, and Smith should be extremely proud. His commitment to the team and the manner in which he bettered himself as an actor all year show how deserving he was.
“It was really a dream come true. It was an incredible feeling to see all of our hard work pay off. Also, being able to celebrate our state championship with each other and our families made it just that much better. This team has been like a second family to me this season, and I couldn’t be more thankful for each and every one of them. This is Charlie Sparks… signing off,” said Smith.
Other actors that received Outstanding Performance Awards were Landyn Cole, Jesse Connell, Reagan Cool, Lance Jones, Delaney Rogers, and Trey Connell. These actors left their hearts on the stage with each production and are worthy recipients of this award.
This emotional and moving production was also made possible with the help of the crew. Without the lighting, sound, makeup, and set team members, the show would not have been successful.
Assistant Coach Leta Connell said, “So much work goes into a One Act production, but not just by the actors and actresses. The technical crew is so vital to an award-winning performance, and this year was no exception. Our sound and light crew really knocked it out of the park, and everyone pitched in at our state performance to clear our beast of a set in record time! Everything clicked like a well-oiled machine, and it paid off by bringing home gold!”
Coaches Lana Cool and Leta Connell deserve thanks for this fantastic team and season. Reagan Cool, a junior, got to experience this big win with her mom as her coach.
“It was amazing getting to experience being a state champion with my mom. She spent hours every day working on One Act. Seeing her work so hard behind the scenes made me appreciate her so much,” commented Reagan Cool.
A highlight of the evening was when Shane Cool, Lana Cool’s husband, had makeshift medals prepared for an award ceremony. He said he just knew they were going to win. In front of an endearing audience, Lana and Leta presented each team member with a ribbon and washer medal, and a hug.
Many other people played a large role in the team’s remarkable year. Mr. Kennedy helped construct the set, Mrs. Berglund assisted by painting the beautiful scene pictures, and Ms. Bush found time-appropriate sound effects and music.
Overall, the Arnold Play Production team had a remarkable season. They made history by winning state for the first time in Arnold history. In addition to this, it was their second year in a row attending the state competition and coming home with a medal.
Earlier in the season, they also earned the title of District Champion, MNAC Runner-up, and the Outstanding Drama Award at the Gothenburg Play Festival. It will be exciting to see how next year’s team builds upon these tremendous successes.
By Jadeyn Bubak