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06

Pride and Prejudice - Chantilly High School - Chantilly, Virginia - November 4, 2017

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Pride and Prejudice - Chantilly High School - Chantilly, Virginia - November 4, 2017

Caroline Thompson

Falls Church High School

 

Love is not a matter to be trifled with.  It is cunning, complicated, and ever so conceited.  But oh, does it have a way.  In the early nineteenth century, love was like a rare and precious jewel; hard to find and even harder to keep.  The scarcity of such an invaluable feeling was brought with the utmost fervor to Chantilly High School's stage in their production of Pride and Prejudice. 

 

Written by Jane Austen in 1813 and set in 1812, Pride and Prejudice takes place in the Georgian era of harsh class divides and raging revolution.  The story follows the lives of the Bennet family, a quaint but comfortable middle-class family with a doting mother, Mrs. Bennet, a cordial father, Mr. Bennet, and three eligible daughters. When two bachelors, Mr. Darcy and Mr. Bingley, come to town, the daughters' worlds turn upside down as love blazes through their unexpecting hearts. 

 

Chantilly High School's production of Pride and Prejudice directed by Mrs. Shannon Khatcheressian enticed the audience and held them from the moment its curtains were drawn.  The tireless cast and fastidious crew made for a lively and fast-paced show.  The polished set immersed in tiny details was as fresh and real as the story itself.  Jane Austen's tale of true yet treacherous love could not have found a better home if it tried. 

 

The intelligent Elizabeth Bennet played by Aris Stovall was consistent with her character's staunch and fierce personality.  Played with such passion, the anger and feminist voice of Miss Elizabeth Bennet came to life through the dexterous Stovall.  The personality of such a woman made quite an impression on the young Mr. Darcy played by Alex Yee.  A character of dark gentility, Yee's interpretation of Mr. Darcy with his deep and mystic voice as well as reserved personality was on par with the Mr. Darcy of Austen's fantasies.  The two made for an enchanting and unlikely couple meant for the intricacies of love. 

 

The romance between Mr. Darcy and Miss Elizabeth was subtly pushed along by the supporting cast, most notably the hilarious Mrs. Bennet and Mr. Bennet (played by Annie Silva and Zaid Al-Nouman), the innocent Mr. Bingley and Jane Bennet (played by Emanuele di Prima and Caroline Woodson), and the egregious Lady Catherine de Bourgh (played by Emily Ellen).  The string quartet (consisting of Melody Su, Angus Chang, George Pekarsky, and Noah Dantinne) set the mood and time for the play. 

 

The set, lighting, sound, and costuming was sensational.  The set was cleverly simplistic with its easily switchable tri-walled set pieces and meticulous props.  The projections behind the windows that changed from scene to scene were alluring, and aided significantly in setting the scene.  The lighting was soft and never overpowering.  The props were, for the most part, perfectly placed with not too much going on all at one time.   

 

Chantilly High School's rendition of Pride and Prejudice was one for the books.  In the end, the prejudice of a charismatic, intelligent woman met its match with the pride of a composed, perceptive man.  Indeed, love could not have been fostered on more unstable ground, but as the cast and crew of Chantilly High School proved, sometimes, the purest and most real love is also the most unlikely.   


Vaheed Talebian

Herndon High School

 

"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife" (Austen 1). Or at least that's what the people of Hertfordshire believe. From England in the Regency Era to Chantilly High School in the 21st century, the Chantilly cast of "Pride and Prejudice" took upon themselves the responsibility of portraying the proud and the prejudiced of the Georgian Era, and did so in a most agreeable manner! With a myriad of characters and plot lines, the cast of "Pride and Prejudice" made the audience laugh, cry, sympathize, and detest, all within the first five minutes of the curtain opening.

 

The play "Pride and Prejudice" was adapted from the romantic comedy by Jane Austen, first published in 1813; it came to the stage in New York City from November 5th, 1935 to May of 1936. The play follows the protagonist, Elizabeth Bennet, the antagonist, Mr. Darcy, and the many familial connections that pull them together and apart. Throughout the play, the bachelors and bachelorettes of England search near and far for love, often guided by a motherly figure.

 

Despite minor flaws that arose during the showing, the cast was filled with energy and had a certain liveliness that sparked excitement and involvement. Elizabeth Bennet, played by Aris Stovall, stood out as a clear fan favorite, always standing up for her family and friends while stealing the hearts of anyone and everyone watching. Stovall portrayed Elizabeth and her emotions excellently and had the audience anxious for more of her stage presence. Alex Yee truly embraced the role of the Georgian hero, Mr. Darcy, with subtle blunt comments and surprising actions that sparked humorous gasps and shocked outcries. Mr. Bingley and Jane Bennet were the star-crossed lovers that motivated Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth to change and displayed a real sense of romance that dug into the hearts of the audience, played by Emanuele di Prima and Caroline Woodson, respectively. The comic relief provided by Mr. and Mrs. Bennet was a crucial part of the plot and had the audience on the edge of their chairs, portrayed by Zaid Al-Nouman and Annie Silva, respectively. Silva truly shined and fit her motherly persona superbly. From guiding her daughters to marriage to mocking her beloved husband, Silva left a huge impression on the audience. The interactions between the couples were both exuberant and everlasting.

 

Production crews that performed beyond the call of duty were the Sound Team, Projection Operators, the Hair & Makeup Team, Costuming Team, and the live orchestra. These groups all performed amazingly. From swift transitions to all the little details, these groups made sure the play would be remembered for months!

 

From the amazing cast to the outstanding crew, Chantilly High School made "Pride and Prejudice" an unforgettable and joy-filled experience for all audience members.

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