State one-act play festival presents awards to casts, individuals

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BRANDON VALLEY — Each year, the best young thespians in the state gather for the South Dakota One-Act Play Festival.

This year, Brandon Valley High School played host this past weekend as fans were treated to incredible performances on the stage.

Each year, judges give out superior ratings to the top individuals, ensembles, and overall plays.

Schools aren’t competing against each other at this event, they perform with hopes of scoring a superior rating.


Cast members of the De Smet High School presentation of “Everyman 2.0” at the State One-Act Play Festival.

Five Heartland schools were among those participating in 2024, with each school receiving recognition from the judges for some facet of its performance.

James Valley Christian School earned both a Superior Play and a Superior Ensemble rating for its production of “Username.”

Members of the JVC “Username” ensemble are Hope Mendel, Elaina Hohm, Rebecca Stahl, Emily Schutt, Elisabeth Hamilton, Landon Schutt, Olivea Gross and Alexandra Hohm.

Natalie Hamilton and Jonathan Koel were recognized as Parental Unit Ensemble.


Cast members of the James Valley Christian School’s presentation “Username” at the State One-Act Play Festival.

Several Heartland students were recognized with Superior Individual performance mention.

In Class “B” - from Clark High School, Leah Nelson, Brianna Dale, Madison Pickrel and Navaeh Rusher.  From De Smet High School, Willem Lim, Sam Gigov, Payton Botkin and Bella Ward and from Sunshine Bible Academy, Ezra Stiegelmeier, Owan Watson, River Jones, Natasha Appel, Trevor Lashkewitsch, Katie Kruse, Tanner Fox and Joshua Stomprud.


Cast members of the Sunshine Bible Academy presentation of “Unsound Effects” at the State One-Act Play Festival.

In Class AA, Jonah Beck, Samantha Swanson, Antony Sorto and Kaiden Caudell were recognized from Huron High School