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'Merry Wives' Wins at Folger Competition

Chantilly High School performed "The Merry Wives of Windsor" at the Folger Shakespeare Festival in Washington, D.C., on March 9. "The Merry Wives of Windsor" ends in a happy marriage, as almost all of William Shakespeare's comedies do, after much plotting, scheming, revenge-seeking, and, of course, mistakes.

"The Merry Wives of Windsor" follows two merry wives, Mistress Page (Raissa Dalusung) and Mistress Ford (Melissa Klein), their husbands, Master Page (Mitch McDonald) and Master Ford (Mike Wilbur), the lustful John Falstaff (Phillip Reid), who attempts to have affairs with both Mistress Ford and Mistress Page. The play also includes the Pages' attempts to marry off their only daughter, Anne Page (Samantha Packard), to a rightful suitor. Of course, the lovely Anne has many suitors and these suitors tend to be rather hot tempered and jump to conclusions causing many unnecessary trifles. Always on hand to help out, although many times her actions caused more chaos, was Mistress Quickly (Meredith Lynch), the village gossip. In the end, Anne Page marries neither Master Slender (her father's number one choice played by Jay Liotta) nor Dr. Caius (her mother's number one choice played by David Wyant), but her true love Master Fenton (Jake Ashey).

Even with the very few rehearsals because of snow the performance was a success, bringing Chantilly four awards: the "Transporting Back in Time" award for the entire cast's interpretation of the play, the "Desperate Housewives" award for Raissa Dalusung and Melissa Klein for their portrayals of Mistress Page and Mistress Ford, the "Hit the Deck" award to Mike Wilbur (Master Ford) for his humorous and clumsy actions with his cane, and the "Dynamic Duo" award to Meredith Lynch and Phil Reid (Mistress Quickly and Sir John Falstaff) for their comedic performance together.

Director Shannon Khatcheressian said, "It was a delight to work with this great group of kids. We only had about seven rehearsals because of all the snow and every one of them worked hard through each rehearsal so that we'd be prepared for the performance. Their hard work was definitely rewarded. They did a great job."