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William Kelley High School Presents Original One Act Play

Every year, high school students from across Minnesota compete in the Minnesota State High School One Act Play Festival. This year, William Kelley students present­ed an original composition by Paul Deaner, “Send”, as their one act.

Often relevant things are written after a writer experiences a difficult, traumatic, or otherwise life-chang­ing event, and that appears to be the case for “Send”. Deaner began con­sidering writing the play in April 2023 – one month after the “Active Shooter in the Building” meme was AirDropped in the William Kelley auditorium, where 500 students, community members, cast, crew, and staff were waiting for the open­ing of the student daytime produc­tion of Lake Superior Community Theatre’s The Diary of Anne Frank. The individual who AirDropped this meme was charged with one count of “Felony Threats of Vio­lence – Reckless Disregard Risk” under Minnesota Statute 609.713. The meme is easily available on the popular meme generator site img­flip.

“Send” is based in part on that active shooter meme, which was shown in the course of the play, and is a collection of short situations – some serious, some cynical – that deal with various dangers posed by cell phone addiction, from internet predators to decreased health to general rudeness towards in-person interactions.

The cast played multiple editorial voices, characters, and situations, and was composed of Ollie Braun, Kartere, Vesper Robinson, Britta Swanson, Madeleine Swanson, Tan­ja Thomas, and Jack Virginia. Ves­per Robinson played Margot Frank in The Diary of Anne Frank, and Jack Virginia played Peter, their ex­perience with the performance that was canceled by the AirDrop meme lending authenticity and emotion to their performance in “Send”.

“Send” was first performed on January 23rd in Silver Bay, before traveling to Two Harbors High School on the 26th for the Minne­sota State High School League Sub­section 7A One Act Play Festival. Although William Kelley did not advance to section finals, Two Har­bors High School did, finishing first in the subsection.

William Kelley has more events pertaining to the arts on their spring and summer schedule, though. March 11th, a music performance will be held at 6 p.m., and on April 15th, the coffeehouse concert will be held at 6 p.m.. May 13th, art, and music will be presented at the spring concert. Coming up in August, Sto­rybook Theatre will return to Silver Bay with “Rapunzel”, a production for ages 7-18. Contact Michelle Ke­tola (218-220-0495) for more de­tails on this.

Good work, William Kelley stu­dents, with “Send”; and thank you to all those behind the scenes who work hard to make theater possible for these students.

Haley Searls
Haley Searls
Hello! My name is Haley Searls. I’ve loved writing from an early age, though my nonfiction writing at five years old consisted mainly of weather and gardening reports. I still have some of those early articles: “It’s sunny.” “It’s still sunny.” “It’s raining.” I’m glad to say my writing has improved since then. I wrote a guest post for the Silver Bay Public Library blog, and was the writer/editor of the newsletter for my American Heritage Girls troop. I have been writing for the North Shore Journal since June 2022. Besides writing, I love reading, drawing, photography, music, and spending time with family and friends. Two books that have really influenced my writing are Reforming Journalism by Marvin Olasky and Writer to Writer by Bodie and Brock Thoene. As a journalist, I want to share positive community interactions and inspire people to make lasting connections. Article topics that interest me are ones which show community activities and involvement. Such articles include community events, youth accomplishments, library programming, small businesses, local history, local artists and authors, art programs, and cultural events such as theater and dance. If you have an article idea, email the North Shore Journal with my name in the subject line! I look forward to hearing from you!
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