It all began in spring 2004 when Manassas Park High School debuted its first musical “Little Shop of Horrors.” In past years, the drama department at Manassas Park High School had been known for its plays; however, long-time director Amy McCracken decided that it was time to try something new. Although there was some skepticism of the show’s success, it turned out to be a huge hit, and so sparked a series of more to come.
Last year was Manassas Park’s first year in the Cappies program. Director McCracken once again made an ambitious choice to enter “Children of Eden,” the school’s second-ever musical, as its Cappies performance. Although the show did not receive any rave reviews, the cast and crew still put on a very good performance. First time performer Patricia Bernal was nominated for Best Cameo Actress at the 2005 Cappies Gala.
With this year being Manassas Park’s second year in the Cappies program, it seems to be returning to its roots and will be performing one of the best known Shakespearean classics, “Romeo and Juliet.” The two leads are four-year drama veteran Nathan Waters as Romeo and freshman newcomer Shannon Swanson as Juliet. Rehearsals for the show started this week, and with the performance coming up on May 6, the cast and crew definitely have their work cut out for them.
Although the program continues to rapidly grow, it will be losing one of its strongest and most talented actors at the end of this year. Nathan Waters is a senior at Manassas Park High School and has been in the drama program for four years. He continually proves himself as a leader by being the lead critic of Manassas Park’s critic team, and through the numerous awards he has won for his acting, including being named the Bull Run District Thespian of the Year as well as Region B Male Actor of the Year in 2004 for his performance in “Booby in the Trap.” Nathan has been a key player to the program’s success and will truly be missed. However, there is no doubt that he will give his all in his last performance at Manassas Park High School.