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Local High School Actors Bring Passion, Energy to the Stage



The past two weekends, McLean and Falls Church High School students entered the limelight to showcase their theatrical talents during the schools’ respective performances.

McLean students acted in and directed their own plays during the One Act Play festival held from Thursday, Jan. 29, to Sunday, Feb. 1. Students received nods from the competition’s judges under several categories.

Best play was “The Hysterical History of Troy,” directed by Sam Audet, Evin Gualberto and Sherwin Parandeh.

Best director was Charlie Cook for “Whistles in the Wind.”

Best original script went to Nina Scholl’s for “Palindrome.”

Henry Jimenez earned the best actor award, while Leila Goldstein picked up best actress.

Featured actor awards went to Vanessa Bretas and Jackson Langevoort, and cameo actor went to Monica Gregario.

Jamie Nucho scooped up the Newcomer Award for a female, and Nick Stone was selected as the male recipient of the Newcomer Award.

Best ensemble went to “Homer and the Homerettes” – Nikki Becher, Josh Boehm, Angie Podlask, Talia Roth and Rachel Zucker.

Finally, the All-Star Cast award went to Josh Boehm, Elliot Duffy, Kevin Hutchinson, Elaina Kaiser, Stephen Lastova, Kelly McCluer, Sherwin Parandeh, Matt Parent, Grace Reddish, Michael Robinson, Trina Ross, Chelsea Skinner, Ethan Stackpole, Lizzy Sullivan, Savannah Thieme, Amandine Thomas, and Chase Walker.

Judges at this year’s competition were Cynthia Coogan, Farris Gale, Amy Poe, Joan Shetterly, Lew Sinclair, Heather Stiegler and Lori Waggnor.

Falls Church High School actors relaxed following this weekend’s performance of David Mamet’s radio play “The Water Engine,” directed by Drama Department Director Reed Meschefske. The play ran from Thursday, Feb. 5 to Saturday, Feb. 7.

The highly complex set of special effects and more edgy material “exceeded our expectations,” said Meschefske.

Live sound effects were provided by the actors, in addition to the sound manager Patrick Entsminger’s efforts.

Everyone came together and really delivered a great performance,” Meschefske said.

He admitted that with a high threshold to pass, he was “very worried” about pulling off the major production, but was delighted to announce that reception was “very positive” from the audience and the critics.

The Cappies’ review went through the roof,” Meschefske said, citing the high school student-driven theater critics program, where students from another school review the performance.

Emily O’Connell of Bishop Ireton High School provided the critical take on “The Water Engine” for the Cappies, and found the Falls Church students “portrayed this mature theme with poise, maintaining the message’s relevance for another generation.”

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