Fridley High School’s One-Act Play performance of The Yellow Boat, a play by David Saar, was one of the four plays to receive top rating during the state championships held February 7, 2013 at O’Shaughnessy Auditorium on the St. Catherine University campus in St. Paul.
A panel of judges, after watching, listening, and then individually critiquing eight Class AA dramatic productions, rated four of them “starred performances” during the two-day festival. The four schools whose performances (out of the top eight Class AA regional winners from across the state) were cited for “starred performances” are (in order of performance): Eastview of Apple Valley for The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged); Park of Cottage Grove for Antigone; Minnetonka for Wit; and Fridley for The Yellow Boat. The other participating schools were Little Falls, Cambridge-Isanti, Coon Rapids, and New Prague.
Fridley’s “starred performance” of The Yellow Boat by David Saar was directed by Kevin Dutcher and Dan Wold. This was Fridley’s eighth appearance at the festival. This is the true story of Benjamin Saar, an eight-year-old hemophiliac who contracted AIDS via a blood transfusion in the 1980's. Benjamin used his vivid imagination and artistic talent to help both himself and his family cope with the challenges and pain that his illness gave him. Cast members were Evan VonDeLinde, Drew Bergman, Sarah Peterson, Sarah Berry, Jordan Olson, Maddy Earley, Josiah Bender, Kati Stevenson, Amy Walus, and Joe Herder. Support personnel were Will Reinisch, Erin Gorman, Elizabeth Bender, Erin Larson, and Noah Cameron. This was the third “starred” rating for the Tigers; they earned previous top ratings in 1977 and 1979.
Two hundred and ninety-seven teams participated in One Act Play this season, 208 in Class A and 89 in Class AA.