Love the art in yourself, not yourself in the art
— Konstantin Stanislavsky




One Act is a competitive event for high schools across Wisconsin.  Each participating school must prepare and present a fully-staged play of no longer than 40 minutes.  The plays are presented at District and Sectional competitions.  Those who the judges advance to the final level are invited to take part in the Wisconsin High School Theatre Festival held at a UW university each year in November.  During the two-day competition, each qualifying school then performs for a panel of three judges who decide on the quality of the production and whether any extra honors will be awarded.

North Theatre has been awarded the top honor of Critic’s Choice at the Wisconsin High School Theatre Festival every year since 1999, the only school to accomplish such a feat in the history of the festival.  

One Act Cast and Crew Info




Thursday, November 20, 2014 at Viterbo University Performing Arts Center


North High School’s 2014 spring production of Tony Award winning playwright Mary Zimmerman’s JOURNEY TO THE WEST has been selected as the showcase production for the Wisconsin High School Theatre Festival in November.  This is a great honor for North’s theatre department since only one school from the entire state is invited each year to perform a fully-staged production to the nearly 3000 high school theatre students, teachers, and professionals who attend. 

Mary Zimmerman’s JOURNEY TO THE WEST is an adaptation of a late sixteenth-century classic Chinese comic novel, (one of the four great novels of Chinese literature) based on Anthony C. Yu’s translation, takes as its point of departure the true story of a seventh-century monk and his fabled pilgrimage from China to India in search of sacred texts. Mixing whimsy with spiritual weight, Zimmerman’s script combines comedy, adventure, and satire in a moving allegory of human perseverance.   

 The 2014 Wisconsin High School Theatre Festival will be held on the campus of the University of Wisconsin La Crosse. North student cast members will travel to La Crosse and perform Zimmerman’s work on the stage of Viterbo University Performing Arts Center on November 20th.  The cast and crew are made up of returning students from last year and a few new students who will fill vacant slots.  Director Ron Parker stated, “Taking a show like JOURNEY TO THE WEST which is both dramatically and technically challenging and re-staging it halfway across the state is a huge undertaking, but we are very honored with having been selected to perform and for the opportunity to showcase our theatre program to other high schools from across Wisconsin.” 



Grades 1-3   December 6, 2014   9:00 am - 2:00 pm

Grades 4-6   January 24, 2015   9:00 am - 2:00 pm

Learn to be an Actor!

Experienced North theatre students will use fun drama games and activities to teach kids how actors prepare for the parts they play.  Among the areas to be covered are: 

  • Body Awareness
  • Creating Characters
  • Finding Your Hidden Voices
  • ActorSpeak (how to talk like an actor)
  • Moving Like Magic

Totally Techie

Through a hands-on approach, learn about what happens backstage in the theatre.  Discover interesting techniques: 

  • Now You See It, Now You Don’t (lighting)
  • Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day
  • On Stage It Took Two (scene design)
  • Painting the Play
  • What To Wear? (costume and make-up)
  • Sound Secrets

The Play's the Thing

Participants will incorporate what they have learned by preparing a short play to perform at the end of Drama Day for family and friends on the North High School Stage!  Please plan on joining us at the end of the day!



March 12-22, 2015

Watch for audition and tickets details soon!



May 2015

North will present Thornton Wilder's classic through a 21st century lens.

The story follows the small town of Grover's Corners through three acts: "Daily Life," "Love and Marriage," and "Death and Eternity."

"Beautiful and remarkable; one of the sagest, warmest and most deeply human scripts to have come out of our theatre...  A spiritual experience."  —The New York Post

"...One of the finest achievements of the current stage…a hauntingly beautiful play.”  -- The New York Times



Grades 7-8  May 16, 2015  9:00 am-3:00 pm

Learn how to Improv!

Improv comedy is one of today’s hottest forms of entertainment. To put it simply, improvisation is acting without a script—creating comedic situations on the spur of the moment.  To do improv, a performer must utilize all the stage skills and techniques necessary in acting, along with a quick wit and imagination to create “instant theatre.”  Discover the tricks to effective improv and have fun playing hilarious games based on audience suggestions in the style of the hit television show WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY?  Members of North’s  popular improv troupe, IMPROVEDY will lead the workshop.

Learn How Actors Fight on Stage

Whether you are performing in Shakespeare or the latest martial arts movie, creating realistic yet safe fight scenes is a skill every actor needs to know.  Learn the basics of unarmed stage combat from  simple slaps to fancy falls.  Emphasis will be placed how to create the illusion of realistic combat scenes while maintaining complete safety and control.  Students may also be introduced to the fundamentals of armed combat using wooden practice swords, if time permits.  


Drama Day will conclude with a public performance for family and friends on the North High School stage.  The show will include a choreographed stage combat routine and comedy improv show!

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Contact Information

  • Ron Parker, director
  • ANHS Theatre Department, 5000 Ballard RD, Appleton, WI 54913 
  • 920-832-4300 (school main office)
  • Ticket Box Office 920-997-3994

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Website or media questions?  Catherine McKenzie ~

The website recently went through a complete overhaul.  Show photos are still being added back in.  Thanks for your patience.