Lights, Camera, Conestoga

The Life of the Conestoga One-Act Team


Olivia Priefert

Playing the role of Jennifer Scott, Jasmine Rainey (center) is surrounded by fellow castmates in Conestoga High School’s one-act performance of ‘No Problem’. The performance is directed by Jessica Schlichtemeier with assistance from Helen Zahn.

MURRAY, NEB.–Although Conestoga High School has a drama class, it is nothing like those seen at other schools. The class usually does not perform or go to competitions, leaving the one-act team to take its place. One-act is an activity that is done in schools all around the state. This activity allows students that are not in drama to find their place on the stage and accomplish things they never could have imagined.

Lindee Watson and Ella Lewis, playing the roles of Dillon Fenway and Jessie Joseph respectively, perform on stage during the one-act dress rehearsal on Nov. 5. (Olivia Priefert)

The One-act team at Conestoga is directed by Jessica Schlichtemeier. Schlichtemeier has been directing the team for several years, and participated in the activity when she was in high school. “This will be my 15th one-act that I’ve directed. Twenty-one years ago I also acted in this exact show,” Schlichtemeier said.

As a one-act coach, Schlichtemeier takes on a lot of responsibility and commitment. “I’ve definitely become more artistic with each show I’ve directed. It has also become a family affair – my husband will often haul sets to competitions, and my kids love to help when I work on costumes and props at home.” Schlichtemeier is also assisted by Coach Zahn.

Not only is one-act a big part of the coach’s life, it is also very important for all of the actors and crew. Lily Drannen, a senior at Conestoga, has acted in one-act for three years. “One-act has been one of, if not the best experience of my high school career. It has helped me gain confidence, grow my skills, and make personal connections that I will carry for the rest of my life,” Drannen said. She works very hard at everything she does, and is looked up to by many students at Conestoga.

Senior Lily Drannen, playing Melissa Ann Banbridge, owns the stage during one-act’s dress rehearsal of their performance, ‘No Problem’ (Olivia Priefert)

After performing at Conestoga on November 5, the one-act students had become confident in the show. Each show has a time limit of 30 minutes, and staying within the parameters can sometimes be difficult. The home performance is the first of three performances that the team will be participating in. The next two performances by the one-act team will both be at the Lofte Theatre for conference and districts.

One-act allows many students to be involved in something special when there is nothing else that they are interested in. “It helped me realize that there is always a place for people like me: quiet kids who love the arts to death,” Drannen said. The team will continue on for years to come, always impressing the audience. The Conestoga one-act team appreciates any supporters they can get, and thanks them greatly.

To see more photos from one-act’s dress rehearsal, click here.