MSHS wins Pikes Peak Regional One-Act Competition


Susan Taylor

The Cast and Crew of “Too Many Daughters” after arriving back at the High School with their 1st Place Trophy and Outstanding Supporting Actor Award.

Dalton Gates, Senior Reporter

After many weeks of preparation, the Manitou Springs High School’s Theatre Department headed to Palmer Ridge High School for the annual Pikes Peak Regional One-Act Competition. They went head to head against 11 other schools and won first place for the second year in a row, along with a senior, Finian Dufford, being awarded the Outstanding Supporting Actor award. 

Every year at the beginning of February in the Pikes Peak region, schools compete by presenting their pieces to other schools and judges. Last year MSHS won first place for best ensemble against the nine other schools competing. Though this year the Pikes Peak Regional One Act Competitions raised the school count from 10 to 12, requiring the pieces to now be shorter than years previous.

With this year’s competitions, MSHS theatre director, Wendy Harms, had to choose a piece to fit within the new time restrictions and something she would have personally loved. She chose “Too Many Daughters” by Claire Epstein. “They asked us this year to do pieces under 45 minutes and ‘Too Many Daughters’ is about a half an hour long,” Harms said. “It’s a parody on the Jane Austen books. When I found the script, I thought it was a really well written script and made me laugh.”

Students and Harms arrived at Palmer Ridge High School early in the morning to an auditorium filled with competing schools and the judges. “We competed against 11 other schools, all in leagues way beyond ours, so 4A and 5A schools,” Harms said.

Mack Tehan, one of the freshmen in the cast, loved “Too Many Daughters” and felt like the audience at Palmer Ridge, full of other competing schools, had a great time with their piece as well. “The audience was very lively,” Tehan said. “Like they just had a lot of fun with our piece.”

After all of the other 11 schools had presented their pieces, the judges had to deliberate within themselves to decide a winner for this year’s competition, which would be MSHS with their piece “Too Many Daughters”. “We deserved it because of the performance that the kids gave,” Harms said.

Towards the end of the night, the judges awarded first place for the best show this year, along with the Outstanding Supporting Actor award to Dufford. “I expected that since when Finn gets in front of an audience, he loves them. Once he hits his timing and understands how the audience is going to react, he just goes with it,” Harms said. “Then in watching through the day, there was no one else along the way that was even close to him.”

With this year’s One-Act season drawing to a close, and putting pause on MSHS current two-year winning streak, students are looking forward to the future and those future competitions “I think it was great, I would love to do it again next year,” Tehan said.