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MCHS junior’s work selected for play festival

MINOOKA – While she has only been writing play scripts for three years, Minooka Community High School junior Julia Barich has already achieved recognition for her efforts.

A short play she authored, “Dinner Dates,” which tells the story of a quirky man who gets sent on a blind date by a friend, has been selected for performance at Eureka College’s Illinois High School 10-Minute Play Festival in November.

“Ms. [Julie] King, my drama teacher, actually approached me about the contest, so I gave it a shot,” Barich said. “I typically like to write longer works because there is more of an opportunity to develop your characters, but I figured this would be a good challenge for me.”

One catch with the production is that Barich will be in the audience as a spectator while Eureka College thespians perform her work.

“I’m a little nervous because I don’t have any say in how the play or the characters will be interpreted or presented,” Barich said. “I love acting and I love theater. It would be very fun to perform something I wrote, so I hope I have that opportunity in the future.”

While Barich is still weighing her post-high school options, she is positive that she wants theater to be a part of those plans.

“I really want to focus on a career that involves the theater, somehow,” she said. “My mom also wants me to make sure I have a ‘Plan B,’ so I am looking at studying both psychology and theater.”

In the meantime, Barich plans to remain active in MCHS productions. She has two responsibilities with the school’s fall production of Joseph Kesselring’s “Arsenic and Old Lace.” She is in the main cast as Officer Brophy, and is also the understudy for the role of Elaine Harper.

Outside the theater, she is a member of the school’s Marching Indians as a flautist.

Eureka College’s Illinois High School 10-Minute Play Festival will feature the short works of six Illinois high school students. Performances will take place in Eureka College’s Pritchard Theatre at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 22 and 23.

While admission is free, advance reservations can be placed by calling 309-467-6363 or emailing The festival is sponsored by the Live Theatre League of the Greater Peoria Area, and is underwritten by a grant from the Russell F. and Eleanor Sikes Peters Performing Arts Fund of the Community Foundation of Central Illinois.

For information, visit

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