Bloody political and religious conflicts around “The Troubles” in Northern Ireland may not be not typical high school fare, but Poynette High School students were up to the task.
The Drama Club’s one-act play, “Shape of the Grave,” qualified for the Wisconsin High School Theatre Festival at UW-Whitewater on Nov. 18, which the club last attended in 2012.
Courtney Kilkent is serving as the Drama Club advisor for the first year. She said this year’s seniors were thrilled to make it to state for the first time in their school careers.
The show is set in 1982 at the peak of Irish Republican Army power. Kilkent said it offers different perspectives from a family whose members divided on how to handle the brutal conflict.
“It told a bigger story than what was going on in Ireland – how you handle something when you think it’s wrong and how to activate change,” Kilkent said.
The club held auditions for the show the second week of school, and honed the 32-minute performance with “a lot of time and dedication.”
“They dove in the more and more we worked on it, so it was great to see that change,” she said.
The club moved up from the district competition in DeForest to sectionals in Waunakee and then to the state at UW-Whitewater. Kilkent said at state, the students benefited from watching productions from an array of schools across the state.
Kilkent said she wants to emphasize “how much time and commitment went into this on every end — from the actors to the crew to the designers, how much they put it into it to really take control of their show.”