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Aquinas takes first in State One-Acts
Fifteen seconds – that’s what made all the difference.
Aquinas Catholic High School took first place at the 2018 Nebraska School Activities Association State Play Production Championship. Theater Director Ann Heermann said all productions had a time limit of 30 minutes with a 30-second grace period, noting points were deducted for those going over. Their performance of “Sending Down the Sparrows” lasted exactly 30 minutes and 15 seconds.
“We would have got knocked down a rating. We would have ended up second or third,” Heermann said. “It was a perfect storm – anything that could go right for us absolutely did. It was amazing.”
The last time the school made it to state was in 2010, in which it also got first place. Along with taking top prize in Class C1, outstanding male and female performers were awarded to Aquinas juniors Travis Roh and Libby Aschoff.
“It’s like the trifecta,” Heermann said.
“Sending Down the Sparrows” is a work of historical fiction that follows Viktor (Travis Roh), a reluctant member of the Hitler Youth, and his secret mentally handicapped sister, Alina (Libby Aschoff), who is the ward of a state institution. As the play unfolds, Viktor finds himself caught between the Nazi ideologies of racial and genetic purity and the love of a sister for whom he feels shame.
Originally, Heermann was going to go with a different play, but a parent convinced her otherwise.
“I was very intimidated by the subject matter and how people were going to handle it. And she convinced me to just be brave and to do it, and it was the right show to do,” Heermann said. “Those who don’t study history are bound to repeat it.”