So the CHS OneAct team trundled off to the MIFA Saginaw Valley region yesterday. Where they got a III, which indicates that the judges disliked their show so much that they had nothing good to say about it. The other competitors (and their coaches/directors and the folks running the site) thought that The Firecracker Incident was the second or third best show on the day, and the show that won probably didn't even deserve a I. But the judges there don't like contemporary shows written as one acts. They want traditional shows edited down from longer plays with extravagant sets and costumes. An uneven show based on Shakespeare and one poorly edited from a "classic" play (to the extent that if you didn't know the original show you were confused), both with full sets and showy costumes and sets and makeup, came in ahead of the two contemporary shows with minimalist sets and makeup (and great acting), despite most of the observers thinking otherwise.

One of the judges decided from the first minute of the CHS show that it was horrible because the fight scene (which s/he didn't understand the point of*) was "unsafe" (the fight choreographer from The Purple Rose did it). They got downgraded for "volume", because they don't travel with a sound system, which is apparently "necessary" in HS theater these days. The director's partner (also a theater professional), acting as the director on this trip because she had a paying gig, actually walked out of the critique after about 10 minutes of valid critique, because the judges were getting into stupid stuff that had more to do with their distaste for contemporary theater than how the show could have been better. Which may have torpedoed Chelsea's chances for the next five years, but he felt it was worth it. At least some of the kids wished they could have done the same.

At least no-one is thinking "what could I have done better?" -- they're just upset with the judges.

There is a movement afoot (spearheaded by the site head at Regionals, who thinks that CHS got shafted) to have CHS do their show as an exhibition at State OneAct, as the event will be held at CHS, and there is a sizable gap in the schedule between the last show and the awards ceremony which would be a good time to do it.

And MIFA wonders why their membership is shrinking.

*While the narrator was talking about playing World of Warcraft, there was a raiding party moving across the stage.


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