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HHS winter play to be presented Feb. 10-12

Victoria Zeyen and Elizabeth Piene rehearse a scene for the winter play.1 / 4
Zach Anderson and Victor Lindgren rehearse for a scene in the upcoming winter play at Hastings High School. (Star Gazette photo by Michelle Wirth)2 / 4
Janelle Ranek, play director, speaks to the student actors about the scene they were rehearsing. (Star Gazette photo by Michelle Wirth)3 / 4
Megan Leany and Kathy Blissenbach practice a scene for Emotional Baggage.4 / 4

The winter play at Hastings High School will be presented Feb. 10-12. The play, entitled "Emotional Baggage," is based on the script "Finger Foods" by Nina Shengold.

While Emotional Baggage is just one play, there are seven different plays within it. Each short play has its own cast and storyline.

Play director Janelle Ranek said the play is really fun and it has been a good challenge for the students.

"It's clever and it's a nice challenge for both actors ... and it's also a nice kind of a delightful ride for the audience to really have to pay attention," Ranek said.

 There may be seven very different plays, but Ranek said that the great thing about the differences is that there will be something everyone can relate to. Each play has an intriguing story to tell about humans, she said.

There is a variety of characters and settings throughout "Emotional Baggage." There is a play about several waitresses working in a diner, another is about a street musician and another is about a hitchhiker. One play will take place at a yard sale. Two friends will be selling items, but there will be a symbolic component to the scene, Ranek said.

"So the audience, I will say, will need to think a little bit and pay attention because there's a lot going on that's not just spelled out right in your face," Ranek said.

Ranek said the endings are what is quite brilliant about the plays. It will make the audience wonder at the end and maybe ask questions like "what does that mean" or "what was that?"

"It's a ride because you look at it and some of it is very touching, some of it is very bizarre, but it keeps you thinking and (the plays) move along quick enough that you feel satisfied," Ranek said.

Performances will be in the HHS auditorium at 7 p.m., Feb. 10; 7 p.m., Feb. 11; and 2 p.m., Feb. 12. The play will be about one hour and 15 minutes. Admission will cost $5 for adults and $3 for students and seniors.


Kathy Blissenbach

Megan Leahy

Zach Anderson

William Patton

Victor Lindgren

Victoria Zeyen

Elizabeth Piene

Bobby Traeder

William Alongi

Noah Sunderland

Camryn Walker

Sheyanne Steinbruckner

Allison Christner

Grace Bauer

Anna Siebenaler

Krista Gomez

Cailin Miller

Nicholas Weiland

Allyson Kane

Trevor Zeyen

Thomas Frias

Lucy Vang

Andrew Miller

Jullian Stark

Katherine McCord

Dalton Allen

Stephanie Hayne

Michelle Wirth

Michelle Wirth graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 2013 with a degree in journalism and web design. She worked as a web content editor for a trade association before coming to the Hastings Star Gazette in 2016.

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