‘Twas but an average Monday for the rest of the world, when the HHS activity bus pulled into the parking lot of Monticello High School in Charlottesville. The scenery was all too familiar for the cast of this year’s one act. A year ago, they had come to the very same venue and returned, pleased with a runner’s up place. This time however, they craved something much greater. A hunger that only VHSL State champion medals, a large trophy and customized champion rings would be able to satisfy. Keeping this in mind, the cast performed with unmatched energy and went on to lift the trophy they so greatly desired.
It had been quite a year for the entire group. They had experienced a taste of first place at the District competition at HHS, felt disappointment after the Virginia Theatre Association conference in Reston and been left with limited confidence after placing second at Regionals in Roanoke. It was a rollercoaster of expectations that had left the cast with high spirits overall, but no entire certainty that they could conquer when it came to being at the top of the VHSL AA division, out of the entire state. The 2011 champions, Turner Ashby High School, had been knocked out at Regional level and after Jefferson Forest, who had placed above HHS at Regionals, were announced to be the runners-up, every outcome appeared a possibility.
Three of eight outstanding actor and actress awards went to HHS performers Sam St. Ours, Kaelyn Warne and Samantha Heitsch. St. Ours and Heitsch had also received acting awards at District level.
“The feeling is second to none. It was entirely unexpected, but being called up there with two of my cast members will be a highlight of my life. And then, for it to be announced that we were state champions, it just got so much better. It’s a great way to go into my college audition,” senior Sam St. Ours said.
To the disappointment of many, States was the highest level of VHSL competition available. Satisfied with their victory, the cast are now able to shift their focus to areas such as musical, other projects or even being able to return home at regular time. It could be said that the pressure is now on for next year’s play.
“I hope we can end with the same result next year, seeing as I’ll be a senior, and this year’s cast has left us with such high expectations,” junior Lillian Poirot said.