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The Student News Site of Rock Ridge High School


The Student News Site of Rock Ridge High School


The Student News Site of Rock Ridge High School


Rock Ridge Performing Arts’s ‘And’ Finds the ‘Why’

On Oct. 24, Rock Ridge Performing Arts showcased their one-act performance of “And” by Alan Haehnel. The company took the production to the Virginia High School League and were awarded the title of District Champions.
Ananya Karthik
The Red Cast of “And” stands in a line before they take their final bow.

On Oct. 24, the Rock Ridge Performing Arts (RRPA) Dual Enrollment theatre class premiered their one-act performance of “And.” The show ran for 35 minutes, and consisted of two casts: the Red and Grey Cast. The Grey Cast was student-directed by senior Hayley Sutton and the Red Cast was directed by theatre director Anthony Cimino-Johnson. “At first, it was really scary because I didn’t really know what I was doing, but with [theatre director] CJ’s help and by learning from my cast and their abilities really helped me put on a great show, and it was really fun,” Sutton said. 

RRPA took “And” to compete at the Virginia High School League on Saturday, Nov. 4 and became District Champions. “I was definitely speechless at first,” sophomore Laura Adams said. “I was like ‘We just won!’ We first performed it at school a couple weeks ago, and what we performed at school was completely different [from] what we performed at the competition. The competition show was so much better, so there was so much improvement between [the two performances].”

“And” details the complexities of Aaron’s (sophomore Ryan Hart, Red Cast) mind as he grapples with the fact that billions of people deal with their own problems — both big and small — at the same time. A girl’s boyfriend is a noisy kisser, a student got rejected from every college he applied to, and a boy’s father has cancer. As Aaron listens, he tries to tell the story of what exactly happened the night he played video games in the basement while his sister was right across the room. 

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Dealing with sensitive topics like sexual assault, “And” displays the fragility and simultaneous vastness of life, highlighting the true scale of every person’s problems in comparison with others.’ Conversely, it took a lot of work to convey all emotions appropriately. It was many students’ first time acting, and they had a few challenges to work through in order to execute a well-performed show. “With our monologues, it took time to memorize them; everybody has their own techniques, but Hayley and Mr. CJ taught us some of theirs,” senior Jagadeepram Maddipatla said. “I learned to trust [my] gut. When you’re on the stage, it’s really important to listen to when other people are coming on and when they’re not for staging, blocking, and cues. If you don’t listen to your gut, you miss some of those important [moments].”

The Red Cast will go on to compete at Super Regionals on Nov. 18 at Woodgrove.

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About the Contributors
Maddie Nyman, Staff Writer
Maddie Nyman is a senior, and this is her second year on The Blaze. She enjoys working on The Blaze because she can focus on one of her favorite things: writing. She is starting her third year of running indoor and outdoor track on the Rock Ridge team, and is co-president of Chapter 9 ¾ of National English Honor Society. When not in school, Maddie enjoys running, reading, watching movies, listening to music, and spending time with friends.  She hopes to continue writing great pieces for The Blaze and make this year the best yet!
Ananya Karthik, Arts & Entertainment Editor
Ananya is a junior, and joined The Blaze staff  in her sophomore year. She is currently the Arts and Entertainment Editor, and she loves writing articles about events occurring in Rock Ridge. Her love of reading and writing, which began when she was little, only grew as she got older, and she quickly gained an interest in writing reviews. Now, she hopes to pursue a career or profession in journalism. In her free time, Ananya likes to watch TV shows, her favorite being Gilmore Girls, listen to Harry styles, and keep up with pop culture news on Instagram and Facebook.
Rachel Adams, Website Coordinator
Rachel Adams is a senior. This is her third year on staff, and she is one of the Website Coordinators. She is part of the girls tennis team and the theater program. Her favorite hobbies include baking, hiking, crocheting, and reading. Her favorite books are murder mysteries, but she loves all genres. When she graduates high school, she hopes to get into aviation, specifically piloting commercial planes. She has only been on a plane twice, but she knew this was something she wanted to do for a career almost right away. Rachel is excited to see what the future holds, in both college and beyond.

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