<sh>Ashburbia Film Festival
<bt>The Second Annual Ashburbia Independent Film Festival is on its way. Who's invited? Anyone with a video camera, some fearless friends, and a healthy dose of creativity. Students from all Loudoun County schools are invited to submit their homemade movies, documentaries, music videos, and art films. Deadline for submission is May 17, and the Festival will take place on May 24. Keep it clean, under 30 minutes, and have fun. Bring or send videotapes to Mr. Hochkeppel at Stone Bridge High School.
<sh>Off the Top
<bt>Stone Bridge Senior Sean Kinslow has chartered a new club: Off-the-Top, an improvisational troupe. The group operates much the same as the TV show "Whose Line is it Anyway?", only with more participants. The organization is planning a public showcase to be performed on May 31 in Stone Bridge's black box theater.
Not everyone who is in the troupe will get to perform, however. Off-the-Top conducted a series of internal competitions in which Kinslow assigned partners, based on who worked most effectively together as comedy "teams." The best of the best have been chosen from those combinations to perform on May 31.
Some members stand out most impressively because of their broad humor and always-hilarious ideas. Sam Devlin and Shuruq Evangelou are an outstanding duo — they're constantly playing off each other's jokes, which makes for wonderful scene work whenever they share the stage. Also excellent are Leigh Lewis and Tara Belfast: not as broad as Sam and Shuruq, but their subtle and witty jokes always grab laughs.
Kinslow finds it a challenge to be in charge of this group, but he knows it's worth it.
"We all have so much fun together, and I'm glad to have been able to meet so many people. There is a lot of talent here at Stone Bridge, and I have no doubt in my mind that this show will be awesome," said Kinslow.
<sh>"Little Shop of Horrors"
<bt>Terror has a new name: Audrey II. Luckless and clueless, Seymour Krelborn has given up on his pathetic life — never will he be loved, special, or even noticed ... until a total eclipse of the sun mysteriously puts him in possession of a mean, green, carnivorous flytrap from outer space who can give him all his heart's desires. The price? Only his soul and the lives of countless bums who call Skid Row their home. Believe it or not, "Little Shop of Horrors" is a tawdry and fun-filled musical for the whole family. This is the final show this year for Running Dog Productions to be presented at the Stone Bridge Auditorium, May 2, 3, 4 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $6.
<bt>Stone Bridge Hosts "the Bridgets" — its own miniature version of the Tony's in early June.
The "Bridgets" is an evening set aside for honoring excellence in the theatrical arts. Stone Bridge thespians will vie for awards in categories such as Outstanding Actor and Actress in a Musical, Outstanding Actor and Actress in a Straight Play, Techie of the Year, and many others. Running Dog will also induct new members into its Thespian Troupe, recognize Honor Thespians, and name the recipients of a few more "jocular" honors. The evening will also be peppered with musical highlights from the last two years. The event is on Saturday, June 2 from 7-9 p.m.
<bt>Director's Notes from "nite xii" Stone Bridge's update of Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night," or "What You Will" by Glen Hochkeppel, director:
"You often hear that celebrities are America's royalty. Since we in the United States find it self-evident that we're created equal, we have to channel our natural desire to make hierarchies somewhere, so we anoint our own royal family — democratic as you please — through our movie house box offices, news stands and channel changes. Oprah, Magic, Brittany — we watch, we applaud, we mock, we forget (until VH1 does a "Behind the Music" or someone gets killed).
"Culture vulture Camille Paglia goes a step further: she believes America is a deeply pagan nation, and we raise up this pantheon of Robert Downey Jrs and Mariah Careys to do like the ancient Greeks did when they told the latest version of Zeus's Saturday night shenanigans — with some admixture of fear of the gods and laughter at their intrigues. Imagining the celestial movers and shakers as gigantic versions of goofy old us — maybe it made the universe less terrifying.
"And so, the radio and MTV contests offer prizes of backstage passes and Dinner with Such-and-Such Big Deal to lucky 10th callers. Don't you wonder what the celebrities think about before those meetings? I'll be it's not, "Perhaps I make a new friend tonight." Even though reason tells us that Justin Timberlake is a mere mortal like you and me, we both know that "Dream Date" looks like a game of chicken between a bullet train and a Vespa. Intimacy requires a level playing field, and Justin lives in a magic dimension we've invented, apart from our own mundane and, where "stars" carom through the sky, laughing and carousing and making cosmic messes. Our job is but to cheer.
"People fall in love in "Twelfth Night," but what are they falling in love with? Packaging. Spin. Symbolic Actions. Words and Masks. Themselves. Our Glamour Girl Olivia's spirits rise and fall on others' opinion of her, and her many wannabe suitors — Andrew, Malvolio, Fabian, Orsino — who do they love but a ghost, a shadow on a screen, a professional charmer? Only Feste, who has taken himself out of the game, seems aware of the cold, hard floor of oblivion underlying the endless jockeying of Toby, Maria and the rest and if any of them were listening, they might notice that their "love" is a mere hypnotism, a trick of the light and the ocean and the hormones, short-lived like seafoam. They might then act sensibly.
"But what fun would that be?"