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Some Shakespearean satire earns Peterson, Woodard Ensemble All-State Honors

  • Ruby Peterson and Lily Woodard received All-State recognition for their performance of a scene from “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead.” (Press photo James Grob.)

  • Ruby Peterson and Lily Woodard perform a scene from “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead,” for which they received All-State recognition. (Press photo James Grob.)

By James Grob,

The last actors standing for the Charles City High School Speech and Drama team are Ruby Peterson and Lily Woodard.

The duo received All-State recognition for their performance of a scene from “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead,” by Tom Stoppard at the Iowa High School State Large Group Speech competition at Waterloo West on Feb. 2.

“I was very hopeful for All-State, but since this was my first time in Ensemble, I wasn’t sure if we’d quite make it,” Woodard said. “I was very excited and very happy that we made it.”

Peterson said the play is somewhat of a satire of Hamlet.

“It’s basically “Hamlet” from the perspective of the two minor characters of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern,” said Peterson, who added that the two characters are basically the comic relief of the show.

“It was really fun to do, because it’s a really fast-paced script, and there’s physical comedy as well as the spoken comedy,” Peterson said.

Woodard called the scene hilarious.

“There’s a lot of hidden comedy in it, and the script is just really fun to play with,” she said. “I felt pretty good about it, I thought we gave it our best shot.”

Peterson said it was fun at districts performing the scene in front of a real live audience for the first time.

“That gave us so much energy, which made it a lot easier to bring out a lot of the characters,” Peterson said. “It was really fun having that really active audience, and getting the energy from them.”

Charles City’s Improvisational Acting duo and Reader’s Theatre entourage both had to relinquish their All-State honors, as it was determined they had performed at state with an actor who was ineligible. The Improvisational Acting group had been chosen to perform at Saturday’s event at the Iowa State Center in Ames, but that will no longer be the case. Four Charles City groups received Division I ratings at the state competition.