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County Seat takes home regional awards

The County Seat Theater Company recently took their Minnesota “Best of Festival” one-act production of “Tracks” on the road to Salina, Kansas for the American Association of Community Theatre Region V Festival. The April 20-23 event featured six shows from South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa and Kansas.

"What an absolute honor it was to be able to have our show performed at this level. Especially amongst so many wonderful productions," said co-director Joel Soukkala. "To hear the positive feedback from the adjudicators, audience members and fellow performing theaters, and to come home with well-deserved accolades makes all the hard work even more rewarding."

The County Seat Theater Company was one of two Minnesota theaters that advanced from the Minnesota Association of Community Theaters one-act play state festival.

Author Peter Tarsi’s “Tracks” is set in a subway station where a group of strangers meet. They have arrived with limited personal belongings, their watches have stopped, and they all claim to be in different cities. Soon they find out there is no way out and that they are all dead. Since subway stations have two sides, the strangers reason the train leaving from one platform must be bound for heaven, while the train leaving from the other must be bound for hell. As the subway train finally approaches, individuals must decide whether to stay and ponder their life’s actions, or to move on, finding faith to board the train to their final destination.

"You all should be so proud of what you've done," said adjudicator John Viars of Iowa. "So thankful we got to see a show like this, with this many people and everybody performing as an ensemble and doing a great job working with each other and supporting each other. It had excellence involved in it. I liked everything about it."

"Your work was well-paced and honest," said adjudicator Kristy Meanor of Alabama.

According to a news release from CST, the adjudicators also made numerous positive comments about the set, lighting, costumes, technical aspects of the show and directing.

CST was the only theater to win awards for Outstanding Ensemble and Outstanding Lighting Design. In addition, they won awards for Outstanding Scenic Design and cast member Ruthie Breur was awarded for Outstanding Acting. The show was also selected as first alternate (second place) to advance to the National Festival in Kentucky in June.

"We are so proud of all involved with this production. The cast and crew's dedication and hard work with this show have helped keep CST's high standard of quality when it comes to community theater," Soukkala said. "The awards received just help solidify our achievements and are a big deal in the community theater world!"

The County Seat Theater Company is currently rehearsing 'Women Playing Hamlet', which will be presented later this month. For more information, visit http://www.countyseattheater.com.

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