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At Chantilly, 'Don't Drink the Water'

Starting on April 22 at 7 p.m., Chantilly High School's red curtain will open to the comedic play of "Don't Drink the Water." Director Ed Monk says the reason he chose this play was because it is "a very funny and enjoyable play that really fits the actors we have this year. This is also our Cappies show which makes it even more exciting." Chantilly has been involved in Cappies ever since the program started.

The play takes place during the Cold War in a communist country in Europe. Some American tourists are accused of being spies and flee to the American embassy. Unfortunately, the ambassador's son, Axel Magee, is in charge and he can't do anything right. The tourists and other people stuck at the embassy try different antics to try to get out of the embassy and back to America.

Kimberly Marker is a senior at Chantilly and making her last performance on the Chantilly stage. She plays the female lead part of Marion who is one of the tourists stuck at the embassy. She says that the role for her is "exciting, but I am really taking it seriously since it is my last performance and I want to nail it. It is also hard playing her because the character is so different from me, and so I have to work hard to be convincing. But I love this character because I get to create great stage chemistry with the other characters." Kim has been featured in many other plays at Chantilly as well.

Faith McAuliffe says that the experience has been "fun so far and it's great to get to know some of the older kids who have set examples for me. I love learning more about the craft of theatre. Faith, who is a sophomore at Chantilly, plays a crazy nun, Sister Drobney. When asked about her character, Faith said, "I'm Catholic and there are things I can incorporate so it's like a character I can relate to. Although, it is interesting making a nun funny."

Playing a hot-headed, power-seeking ambassador, Nick Crowley, senior at Chantilly, says "my character is the ambassador, James F. Magee. He is kind of a hot head and thinks favorably on what other people think. He likes to be in positions of power. He doesn't trust his son, Axel Magee, but puts him in a position of power because he has to, although he doesn't want to make his family look bad." Since he is a senior, he reflected on why he chose drama. "It is fun to play different people. Drama people are really nice, too. I love meeting new people." Nick has also been involved in many plays since he was a freshman.

Director Ed Monk also stated that doing the play is interesting and challenging because it "requires us to recreate an American embassy that looks real. The actors have to understand what life was like during the Cold War and they have to create interesting, believable characters." Previous Cappies shows include "Street Scene," "Room Service," and "I Remember Mama."

The show is also double-cast, in order to provide more opportunity for so many actors due to such a small casting number.

The play takes the stage on April 22-24, and April 29-May 1. The Cappies show is April 29 performance. All of the shows start at 7 p.m. The matinees start at 2 p.m. Call 703-222-8182 for more information or tickets.