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Stone Bridge Pursues 'Aida'

One hundred kids sitting in the auditorium contending for about seven highly competitive parts — "Aida" auditions at Stone Bridge have begun. "Aida," Stone Bridge’s 2007 spring musical, takes a different direction than its past seasons. Elton John and Tim Rice’s "Aida" is a story about two star-crossed lovers in Ancient Egypt based loosely on Giuseppe Verdi’s opera of the same name. The plot revolves around the title character, a Nubian princess, Amneris, an Egyptian princess, and the object of their affection, Radames, an Egyptian general. The love triangle explores a complex set of emotions and themes not typically presented at a Stone Bridge High School musical. The serious tone contrasts greatly with musicals such as the Cappie-award winning "Seussical the Musical" from last year, and Frank Loesser’s "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" from the year before.

Ever since the booming success of the Cappie-award winning "Seussical the Musical," a whole new wave of interest has swept Stone Bridge drama. Involvement from the student body has reached across all corners of the school. This year cheerleaders, football players, wrestlers, dance team members, band members, choir members and more have auditioned and received leading roles in Stone Bridge’s productions. Many find that they have an entirely new set of skills to learn from the Running Dogs in comparison to their prior field of interest.

“Mr. Hochkeppel really helped to build my confidence in my acting abilities — and after "Alice in Wonderland" I realized how much I love drama and how it is one of my passions, ” said Katie Kramer.

Despite the up and coming production of "Aida," Stone Bridge Has already received a lot of attention for its previous two shows this year. “Alice in Wonderland” by Eva La Galienne was presented as Stone Bridge’s Cappie-reviewed show receiving remarkably good reviews — notably mentioning people such as the Mad Tea Party and Chelsea Sorenson as the Red Queen/Queen of Hearts. The positive response from "Seussical The Musical" and then "Alice in Wonderland" has helped to grow and inspire the Cappies program in Loudoun county on the whole. The One-Act Play festival “Only in Life” presented three short vignettes for a night of brief comedies. Among these was the competitive piece “Sganarelle, or the Imaginary Cuckold” by Moliere taken to the AAA Theatre Liberty District Festival. Among receiving high scores from the judges, Austen Willis as Martine and Aaron Pendola as Sganarelle were singled out for outstanding performance. The experience once again helped establish Stone Bridge’s reputation amongst the Fairfax County dominated AAA division.

Overall, Stone Bridge drama has been branching out in ways it never has before, both in its own school and through others. Stone Bridge has a delegate of the Piedmont Arts Foundation acting as president and an extremely involved Cappies critic team. If you wish to support Stone Bridge Drama, you can come see Elton John and Tim Rice’s "Aida" on May 25-27 at 7:30 Tickets are $5 dollars at the door.