Drama class prepares for spring performance

Junior Brendan Dugger and senior Maddie Alderman rehearse at city park for the spring drama performance. The play is at 7 p.m. May 4 in the WHS auditorium. Photo by Karlee Swenson.

As the drama class enters final preparations for its spring performance, it doesn’t just have one play to prepare. It has two.

Instead of one full-length play, the class chose two one-act plays to perform. The plays, “It’s Not You, It’s Me,” and “Breaking Badly,” both feature a series of painful breakups.

Director Brendan Praeger said the plays were chosen because of the difficulties of rehearsing during the spring. “Between sports and other activities, we only have a few classes where everyone is present to rehearse. We chose these plays because most of the scenes feature two or three actors, so we can rehearse more independently,” Praeger said.

Praeger said the class didn’t find a full length play that met its needs, so two shorter plays with similar themes was the next choice. “It’s like a double feature,” Praeger said. “Both plays have similar themes and energy, so they fit well together.”

In “Breaking Badly,” written by Jonathan Rand,  ending a relationship is never easy. Desperate for a way out, Lily turns to The Breakup Center, where she can pick the perfect method from a selection of real breakups.

For the second act, “It’s Not You, It’s Me” by Don Zolidis follows several couples through their hectic breakups. From a secret agent boyfriend to a girlfriend who is a pathological liar, one thing is for sure — everyone is about to get dumped.

Maddie Alderman plays the female lead in “It’s not You, It’s Me.” “I’m running my scenes with the other members of the cast and we’re especially trying to get down the comedic timing to make the scenes as funny as possible,” Alderman said.

Adding to the challenge of performing a play in the spring, the May 4 performance might be the only time the class gets to perform the entire production at once. “A couple of cast members are at a technology fair for the dress rehearsal, so even that will leave out several scenes,” Praeger said. “They just have to prepare well independently so we can put on an entertaining show.”

The play opens at 7 p.m. May 4 in the high school auditorium. Tickets for the performance are $5 for adults and $3 for students.

— Jayna Keller, @whscharger

Alderman a National Merit Finalist

Senior Maddie Alderman and her parents Sara and Roger Alderman, learn that she has been named a National Merit Finalist for 2019.

Senior Madison Alderman has been named a National Merit finalist for 2019.

She was first named as semifinalist last fall.

“When we took the PSAT as juniors, it was like the application to become a semifinalist,” Alderman said.

Alderman completed an essay, resume and found references to become a finalist.

Being a finalist could mean scholarship money. There are 15,000 finalists and about half should receive scholarships.

“It’s a highly respected, sought-after honor by students whose academic achievement is exceptional,” principal Jan Hutley said. “There are rigorous requirements and students must maintain those requirements throughout their high school careers.”

— Abby Oliver, @AbbyOliver27

Scholars Bowl returns to state

WHS scholars bowl does a buzzer check in the finals round against Northern Heights. The Chargers dropped the match 40-50, finishing second and qualifying to state for the second straight year.

WHS finishes second to Northern Heights

Wabaunsee scholars bowl finished second at the regional tournament, qualifying to state for the second consecutive year.

Seniors Maddie Alderman, Luke Barber, Jarett Bolinder, Sean Dugger, and Dillon Spellman placed second after 13 rounds in the regional tournament that took place at WHS. Alderman lead the team by scoring 360 points with Spellman scoring 100 points and Barber not far behind with 90 points.

“We’ve been competitive at every meet this year, so I knew we were an experienced team with a chance to have a lot of success,” scholars bowl coach Brendan Praeger said.

The format of the tournament separated 16 attending teams into two pools of eight teams each. After playing a round against all teams in their respective pool, the top three continued on towards the championship rounds.

Pool play began poorly with the first match against Kansas City Christian. The team was filled with nerves, competing at home with familiar spectators, judges and moderators. Faced with a difficult selection of questions, the team was destroyed, 80-20 to begin the tournament.

“It was a sketchy way to start the tournament, but we knew it was far from the end,” Spellman said.

The team rebounded to win its next five rounds against Horton, McClouth, Mission Valley, Rossville and Valley Heights. The Chargers dropped the final round of pool play 40-50 against Jefferson County North, ending 5-2 and resusulting in a tie between Jefferson County North, Mission Valley and Wabaunsee.

“Pool play ending in a three-way tie for second made us very nervous heading into the championships,” Alderman said. “Learning that we would have to compete against three private schools did not help with the nerves.”

Tie-breaker rules landed the Wabaunsee team on top of the tie giving them second place in the pool. The six teams in the championship rounds would compete in a round-robin with the top three qualifying for a trip to state. The first three rounds took away the nerves as they resulted in a victory over three private schools. The fourth round was against Northern Heights, with both teams entering the match undefeated.

“Northern Heights was 6-1 in pool play, and they had done well at other meets this year. I had the feeling it would end up being the championship match,” coach Praeger said.

A close 10-point match allowed Northern Heights to take sole possession of first place.

“There were a few questions where we were simply beat to the buzzer,” Praeger said.

IMG_1396With only one loss, a state trip was almost guaranteed, but one last match against Mission Valley would confirm it. Having beat the opposing team before in pool play, the team was confident a victory was in sight.

With only a 5-point lead going in the final question, the year-in review category, the match was intense. Alderman sealed the victory with a buzzer race to answer a question about Rosie the Riveter.

“As soon as I hit the buzzer, I heard the other team sigh and it made me nervous, but I was glad I didn’t mess up,” Alderman said.

The Chargers placed fourth at last year’s state tournament, and look to bring home a bigger trophy this year.

The state tournament begins at noon Saturday at Inman High School. Follow their progress on the Charger Twitter page.

— Sean Dugger, @seandugger01

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