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Over Our Head Players concluded the 2022 Snowdance® 10 Minute Comedy Festival on March 6, 2022. The festival was concluded with an awards presentation for the audience’s favorite “best in snow prizes” to participants. Snowdance was produced by an ensemble cast including John Adams, Kristin Althoff, Melissa Hughes Ernest, Nicholas Hoyt, Joey Lange, Tina Paukstelis, Michael Retzlaff, and Matt Specht. The festival was sponsored by Minuteman Press.

The Best in Snow winning entry was Getting Canned by Meredith Utman of Pittsford, New York. Beautiful People In A Living Room Doing Nothing by Alec Seymour of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania took second place. Third place went to Just A Quick Call by Matt Reichel of Hagaman, New York.

Closing the Curtains

The final performance took place on Sunday, March 6. After the final performance, the audience voted for their favorites. Those who attended the other 24 performances also had the chance to vote. The votes were tallied from the entire run. Following that, the Snowdance ensemble came together for the closing ceremonies.

This year’s performance took place west of the interstate. The cast and crew opened the performances with a musical homage to all of our friends in Racine and Racine County.

“Chet Thespian” and “Rex Jig,” the traditional announcers, were unable to attend this year due to being away and occupied building tiny homes with Jimmy Carter for victims of the movie Ishtar. Nevertheless, Over Our Head Player states that “Harry and Gloria, both with last names too crass to print,” filled in. “At the Closing Ceremonies, Harry and Gloria described the action as the cast and crew whirled and danced to represent the return of a live-in-person Snowdance audience.”

Additionally, the event featured the annual pageantry of the Dance of the Salmon featuring Jeffrey (Joey Lange) waltzing mostly in time with a semi-fresh salmon. Things ended with the ceremonial Snowdance snow cone. It was sealed away for next year’s competition. The company gathered around balloting supervisor, Anna Clementi, who opened the sealed mayonnaise jar revealing the winners.

The winners

Monetary awards were given to participants who were involved in the festival. The following individuals won awards:

  • $500 first place Best in Snow award- Meredith Utman from Pittsford, New York, for Getting Canned

This show featured a married couple, Kristin Althoff and Matt Spect, who had to seek medical attention after a night of passion. They state, “the peculiar doctor (John Adams) reveals they are pregnant much to the delight of the eccentric mother (Tina Paukstelis).”

Credit: OOHP
  • $200 second place award awarded to Alec Seymour of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, for Beautiful People In A Living Room Doing Nothing

The show featured a couple seeking any sort of excitement in their boring, beautiful lives.

Credit: OOHP
  • $100 went to Matt Reichel of Hagaman, New York for Just A Quick Call

This story is about an unexplained radar signal that sets three world leaders scrambling to avert global catastrophe.

Credit: OOHP

Director Rich Smith reflects on this year’s Snowdance and notes that the foundation is the key to success, “We are so proud to make Racine the home of the 10 minute comedy competition. This year, we were overwhelmed with 546 entries from around the world! That huge response generated great quality scripts for production. Further, we are very lucky to attract talented actors to Snowdance; Snowdance actors embrace the challenge of playing multiple characters, creating a tight ensemble in every sense.” Smith continued, “We read every submission anonymously, without knowing the playwright. So, we were very excited when we matched names to finalists and found that we had three hilarious plays from local playwrights. There is no bias toward Racine or Wisconsin playwrights, but maybe there is something in the water making them so funny.”

Smith additionally emphasized how important the audience is and how wonderful it felt to have them back in the theatre after the pandemic forced a virtual performance last year. “Audiences need this as much as we do. Hearing our community laugh together is priceless after what we have been through the last two years. It is so rewarding to know that our formula still works, and audiences still enjoy what we are doing.  We hope to continue enjoying Snowdance for a long time.”

The Cast & Crew

Kristin Althoff, Matthew Rangel, Michael Retzlaff, and Rich Smith directed with Rich Smith also serving as artistic and production manager. Emily Sweetman served as stage manager with Rebecca Eisel and Paula Ann Czechowicz as assistant stage managers. The staff includes Lori Adams, Janine Anderson, Claudia Bruce, Julie Boehme, Skip Carlson, Ana Clementi, Sheila Franklin, Preston Hill, Paul Reese, and Ron Schultz.

About Over Our Head Players

Over Our Head Players operates the Sixth Street Theatre, Downtown Racine.  A non-profit organization of volunteer theatrical talent from throughout Southeastern Wisconsin celebrating their 30th season, OOHPs focuses on contemporary comedies and original productions.  OOHP will also present Outside Mullingar by John Patrick Shanley in April and May then conclude their season with The Roommate by Jen Silverman in May and June.  For information, please email the box office at boxoffice@overourheadplayers.org or call 262-632-6802.


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