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Chantilly is State Drama Champ

Athletic teams aren't the only ones who can win state championships. Chantilly High's Drama Department took home a trophy and its first-ever AAA State Championship, Saturday, after winning the statewide One-Act Play Festival.

Chantilly's drama director Ed Monk wrote the play, "Going to School," which captured top honors after being presented by its 11 cast and five crew members. A comedy, it depicts a family taking the oldest son to college and thoroughly embarrassing him. Monk based parts of the characters on members of his and his wife's families, and his actors had great fun performing this play.

The state championship was held at the Charlottesville Performing Arts Center in Charlottesville, Va., and eight high schools — two from each region — participated. Besides coming in first for its play, Chantilly also won two out of eight total awards given for excellence in acting; they went to seniors John Bonner and Eva Kriksciun, playing the parents.

"This is our sixth time at states, but we'd never won before, so this was nice," said Monk. "The kids did the best they ever had, so we were hopeful. But it's subjective, so you never know."

Meanwhile, Chantilly's thespians also won awards elsewhere, the same day. Those who weren't in Charlottesville were at West Potomac High, hitting the boards in the Northern Virginia Theatre Festival. Participating were 12 Fairfax County high schools plus Duke Ellington School for the Arts in Washington, D.C.

Chantilly sent 45 students who performed individual scenes in a variety of categories. The school took first place in novice reader's theatre and standard reader's theatre. Seniors Clint Herring and Katie Dufresne captured first in two-person scenes (duets), with juniors Kelley O'Brien and Amanda Misiewicz coming in third. Dufresne also came in second in playwriting, and Chantilly finished fourth overall in the competition.

But that's not all. On Monday, Chantilly's other theatre teacher, Shannon Spicer, brought 11 students to the Folger Shakespeare Festival in Washington, D.C., and directed them in a 20-minute version of "Much Ado about Nothing." Eight other schools also participated, and Chantilly received an award for being the outstanding ensemble. In addition, Bonner and Kriksciun won awards for outstanding acting.