PHS to perform one-act play ‘Booby Trap’

Sister Anne (Casey Mordal) tries to comfort the soldier (Jayson Hohlen) trapped by a land mine, during last Thursday’s rehearsal of Princeton High School’s one-act play selection, “Booby Trap.”

PHS will perform the one-act play, “Booby Trap,” this Friday, Jan. 25, in the Princeton High School (PHS) performing arts center, starting at 7 p.m.

Admission is free to this performance of the play that PHS is using in one-act competition this season.

“Booby Trap,” written by Ed Monk, is about a soldier who is frozen into a sitting position on a battlefield because of a nearby land mine. If the soldier moves his legs or torso the land mine would explode.

As the soldier sits there, visions from his past, present and future life go by. The soldier, at the same time, has to deal with the tension of his present circumstance. His visions include experiences such as how he met his wife, being with high school and college friends, and people in general who influenced his life. He also envisions what life might be like for his wife and growing son, after being killed by the land mine.

The play has a cast of 17, with the character names listed first, followed by the student names, some of them having dual roles:

The soldier, Jayson Hohlen; Caitlyn, Sydney Arens; Major Harris, Josh Malley; Captain Gruss, Vince Steele; Tom, Matt Girtz; Cameron, Andrew Sorenson; the lieutenant, Allie Levandoski; drill instructor, Matt Kreft; Caitlyn’s mother, Alexis Jorgenson; the corporal, Kelsie Mueller; the professor, Girtz; Sister Anne, Casey Mordal; Abby, Hannah Jenson; Tanner, Kreft; Mark, Malley; Stephanie, Jorgenson; the soldier’s mother, Jenson.

Assistant to the director is student C.J. Sedam, and the sound and lights technician is Austin Berghuis.

Hohlen has a challenging role in not being able to move his body other than his arms and head during the entire 30-minute performance, director Laura Berghuis said.

Hohlen sits against one of three stumps placed on the sparse set. Director Berghuis said she is appreciative of Milaca High School play director Audrey French having lent PHS the three stumps, which Milaca had used when it performed “Booby Trap.” The stumps consist of a core made of wood covered by paper mache.

The PHS cast began rehearsals in early December and director Berghuis said the acting has matured to the point where the cast members have worked in small groups to study the motivations of the characters. The purpose of that was to more fully get into their roles, director Berghuis explained.

The war which the battle scene is part of, is set in the future, so that it is not a particular war that the audience might make certain associations with, director Berghuis noted.

This is the fourth PHS one-act play that area resident Laura Berghuis is directing. PHS performed “Booby Trap” during last Saturday’s Granite Ridge Conference one-act play festival in Milaca, and will perform the play this Saturday in a subsection meet at Chisago Lakes.

Among the all-conference award winners at the conference meet in Milaca were Steele and Hohlen for acting, and Austin Berghuis for tech work.