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Farewell from High School, Not Theater

Sam Repshas is rehearsing for his last play at South Lakes, but is hoping to continue an acting career at college.

When the curtains drop at Little Theater on April 30 Sam Repshas's high school drama career will come to an end. Four years and nine plays have marked the South Lakes High School senior's career, but he is determined to continue that career throughout college and later.

"I love to perform," said Repshas. His last role at South Lakes is that of Brick in Tennessee Williams's "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof." Repshas said he enjoys playing complicated roles, such as Brick, because he really gets to sink his teeth into the characters. "I have been offered some pretty great roles since I started here," he added. Repshas's favorite characters he played include George in "Who is Afraid of Virginia Wolf?" and Mr. Mushnik in "Little Shop of Horrors."

The director of those plays, and Repshas's drama teacher at South Lakes, Maria Harris, said she always enjoyed working with Repshas. "He takes his roles really seriously, and always digs deep to try to find a meaning in the character," said Harris. She added he is very passionate about his characters, something she does not run into often teaching high school theater. At that age, she said, it is hard to find actors who are so serious; she and Repshas often discuss his roles before and after school. Harris encourages Repshas to continue his acting career.

The theater department at South Lakes High School will perform "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" by Tennessee Williams in April. The show will go on six times, with two different casts performing three times each. The first three shows will run April 21, 22, and 23, and the next three shows will run April 28, 29, 30.

REPSHAS STARTED his acting in fifth grade, at the Young Actor's Theater in Reston. He decided to get involved in theater because he enjoyed watching movies, and told his mother she had to sign him up for a class.

"I've always been a big movie buff," he said. At first he hated his theater classes because they were not what he expected them to be. He thought he would get to jump on the stage and perform right away, but instead he had to learn about the other things that go into acting, for example certain movements on the stage. Eventually Repshas learned to enjoy all of the aspects of acting, even the ones off the stage. He said the experience gathered through the classes was rewarding. "Acting is one of the best things life has given me," said Repshas.

As a movie buff, Repshas has a few actors he says have inspired him: Clint Eastwood, Sean Penn, Edward Norton, and Denzel Washington to name a few. As far as actresses go, he is a fan of Hillary Swank.

While on stage, Repshas said he does not try to copy the actors he loves to watch, but said he watches them carefully to learn certain things from them. "Their influence comes through in my acting," he said.

Besides acting, Repshas enjoys working out at the gym. He used to teach karate at the Reston Sport and Health, and he was also involved in boxing for some time. "Combative sports have always attracted me," said Repshas. He also writes for the school newspaper when time allows for it. He hopes to continue his acting career through college, which he will likely attend at Tulane University in New Orleans.