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Yorktown, Chantilly, Win One-Act Play Competition

With their adaptation of a Norwegian fairy tale in "East of the Sun, West of the Moon," Yorktown High School won the northern regional one-act play competition sponsored by the Virginia High School League at Herndon High School Monday.

Chantilly High School placed second with "Going to School," a script written by their theater teacher, Ed Monk.

The same two schools placed in the same order at district competition last month. Now, they go on to state competition in Charlottesville on March 2.

Judges named Amanda Eckerson of Wakefield High School as best actress. She played Gertrude Garnet in "The Lady in Question."

<b>Students Adapt Script</b>

<bt>Carol Cadby, Yorktown’s theater arts teacher, said the story line in "East of the Sun" came from a Norwegian folk tale that had been adapted by students over the summer.

In September, the students blocked and staged it, deciding which parts fit. Five girls played the lead character, a technique Cadby calls "multi-casting" which expands performance opportunities to include more students.

"It was a very collaborative effort," Cadby said.

The story line involves an enchanted bear, portrayed by an actor wearing and manipulating a 10-foot puppet. A dancer and a movement specialist helped the cast "create furniture and walls with their bodies," Cadby said.

Chantilly, the only high school in Fairfax County with two full-time theater teachers, performed "Going to School," a script written eight years ago by theater teacher Ed Monk.

He drew from his family and friends to create the story of a boy who goes to college. "There are bits and pieces of my family, and people I know," he said.

It presents the points of view of both parents and student, said Monk. His mother was in the audience to watch the performance.

Eight high schools performed their one-act plays in the competition, hosted Monday by Herndon High School.

The other participating schools were South Lakes, "Audience;" West Potomac, "For Whom the Southern Belle Tolls;" Marshall, "La Bete;" McLean, "Victor Hugo -- In Rehearsal;" Wakefield, "The Lady in Question;" and West Springfield, "Property Rites."