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No. 8 Story of the Year: Simley Student Writes One Act Play

A one-act play festival last winter featured three productions written by students. Summer Freed wrote "Bread."

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As the end of the year approaches, Patch recaps the biggest stories of 2012—both in terms of pageviews and impact on the Inver Grove Heights community.

The following article was posted Feb. 1, 2012. 

Other Story of the Year posts:

• No. 10 Story of the Year: Olsons' is the Greatest Love Story in Inver Grove Heights

 

Summer Freed, a Simley High School junior, won a student playwriting contest at school and is one of three students who will see their play on stage in the One Act Festival debuting next week.

She is a member of the Simley Theatre Guild and has been active in productions at the school before, but this is the first play she has written.

Freed sat down with Patch to talk about her play, "Bread." She said it was based on a song by YouTube sensation Charlie McDonnell.

Describe the plot of your play.
It’s a social commentary about a girl working in a prestigious bakery, but they don’t have the healthiest products. She tries to reform them and make the town healthier. But (spoiler alert) she doesn’t.

What is the tone of the play?
It’s a drama-comedy-tragedy. Quirky, I like that word for this, it’s quirky.

What has it been like seeing your play go from an idea to a script to the stage?
It’s been frustrating at times but also a good experience learning how to work with people better and communicate my ideas. It’s frustrating because it’s hard for me to convey what my interpretation and vision was without coming across as bossy and needy. I have to learn how to take other people’s considerations into account.

Was there any real-life inspiration for this story?
I saw the music video and heard the song and thought it would be cool to see it as a play. It seemed like the story being told in the song was an interesting one and a good one for society to hear right now. I first heard the song in December 2010.

Why did you want to do this - write a play and enter it in a contest?
When I was in third grade my dad encouraged me to enter a writing contest through the Pioneer Press. I wrote a story about a pickle, which I didn’t expect to get any accolades, but it ended up winning first place in the third-grade division. I saw there was a play writing contest and thought I would give writing a try again and enter the contest. I did have the idea a long time ago about this video making a good play so I had already jotted some notes down.

Tell me the most difficult and the most rewarding aspects of being a playwright.
It’s been difficult making compromises to fit within the resources we have here at the Simley High School Theatre Guild –which aren’t necessarily the best things. We couldn’t build a bakery set to make it look authentic. We had to use bookcases and storage units rather than real bakery-looking items.

The most rewarding aspects have been seeing people who don’t usually act discover their acting ability. Both of the main lead women in the play have been part of the theatre guild but have been techies, not actors. It’s also been great getting to talk to the writer of the song about the story and the process of making it into a play. I talked to him through e-mail.

What are you looking forward to the most?
Seeing people’s reactions to the play because I like seeing the impact things I’ve done can have on other people.

The Simley One Act Plays begin next week. In addition to Freed’s "Bread" the student plays are "A painting for Jake" by Adrain Ropal, "Dreams Within Leo" by Caitlyn Jones; the final one-act play is The Marriage Proposal by Anton Chekov.

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