Albert Lea High School students bring sweet surprises and fun to the stage for this year’s spring play

Published 6:34 am Thursday, April 25, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

By Ayanna Eckblad

Albert Lea high schoolers have been hard at work over the past week getting ready for this year’s spring show, “Empowered: How One Girl Scout Nearly Destroyed the World’s Economy,” written by Don Zolidis.

According to the Playscripts website, “Amaryllis is determined to win her Girl Scout troop’s cookie-selling contest, but she’ll need more than charm to win first prize (a unicorn) and avoid last place (which means getting kicked out of the troop). So when sales droop, she naturally turns to the financial sector for advice. Soon she’s faking a terminal illness, franchising her methods and contracting with a payday lender to offer 30-year loans for cookies. A hysterical homage to Glengarry Glen Ross and send-up of the wild excesses of the financial crisis.”

Email newsletter signup

Tess Douty-Amick, an English teacher at the high school, is directing the play.

“It’s a really funny show,” she said.

She explained that when choosing a play for students to perform this year, she wanted something that would be engaging as well as feature many female characters since the class is made up of mostly girls.

“Empowered: How One Girl Scout Nearly Destroyed the World’s Economy” had all of the factors she was looking for.

Students began rehearsals for the play the week before spring break and have been practicing after school five days a week since.

Douty-Amick said that throughout the course of getting ready for the spring show, she has enjoyed watching the students become friends while acting out the play’s funny situations.

“It’s just been good seeing the kids doing something so comedic,” she said. [Amaryllis] adopts some shady business practices … and it all comes to a head at the end of the show.

Douty-Amick also directed the school’s fall musical “The Wizard of Oz.” She hopes parents will have a fun time seeing their students, especially those who may have played a smaller role in the fall musical.

The main character of the play, Amaryllis, is played by 11th-grader Bailey Abrego. She has been involved in theater since she was in fifth grade. In the past she played Mrs. Potts in “Beauty and the Beast,” the dodo bird in “Alice in Wonderland” and had other roles in the crew and technical side of shows.

Abrego describes her character as a shy girl.

“Then she turned out to be not so shy later on,” she said.

Another actor returning to the stage is ninth-grader Albert Bierman, who plays Potz, a classmate that has a crush on Amaryllis.

“Throughout the play, he becomes like her new best friend and then she abandons him for her work,” said Bierman. He has been acting for two years and played the Wizard of Oz in the fall musical.

Bierman said he hopes the audience finds the show funny and said there were many times throughout rehearsals when he and the other students had a hard time holding back laughter.

Additionally, Ta Wah, “Mint,” plays Kennedy, one of Amaryllis’ fellow Girl Scouts.

“She’s like, mostly crazy and says chaotic stuff and screams a lot,” Wah said of the character. Wah is relatively new to acting as her first role was the general of the Winkies in “The Wizard of Oz” in December.

Wah said being in the spring show has helped her make a lot of new friends. Like Abrego and Bierman, she also hopes the audience has a good time while watching the play.

“Even if they laugh at us, it’s fine,” she said. “As long as they’re laughing, you know, and they’re … happy and they’re enjoying the play.”

“Empowered: How One Girl Scout Nearly Destroyed the World’s Economy” will be performed in the auditorium of the Albert Lea High School at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m.  Sunday. Tickets are $8 for adults and $6 for students and seniors. Tickets are available at the box office and at


Mackenzie: Kylie Lee

Cheyenne: Adele Helleksen

Kennedy: Mint (Ta Wah)

Amaryllis: Bailey Abrego

Ellen: Jaelani William

Beatrice: Myla Wright

Vinny: Given Saw

Patrick: Jace Katzenmeyer

Beenie: Evalyn Holcomb

Potz: Albert Bierman

Sparkles: Eh Snow Taw

Kaylie: Kaylee Verness

Police Officer 1: Emma Weckwerth

Police Officer 2: Katelyn Schmidt

Customer 1: Isaac Lowe

Customer 2 : Hsa Taw

Customer 3: Ian Taylor

SEC agent 1/ Disembodied Voice: Noah Anderson

Jo/SEC agent 2: Jackson Bighley

Elderly Lady: Alexis Sorum

Girl Scout 1: Keisha Naverette

Girl Scout 2: Amaiya Sanchez

Girl Scout 3: Maddie Balthazor



Stage and Tech Crew: Sophie Guthmiller, Bella Hafstad, Alexis Sorum, Avery Mauer, Levi Griggs, Kylan Lenway, Jaycie Eaton

Directo: Tess Douty-Amick