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Double vision, quadruple quest

Stephen Igo • Dec 2, 2017 at 5:00 PM

COEBURN — The casts change somewhat from year to year, but the scene is a delightfully familiar one for a pair of high achieving high school drama programs in Wise County: both return to state championship competition in multiple consecutive years seeking multiple consecutive state titles.

Central High School’s one act team looks to continue its string of Virginia High School League (VHSL) 2-A division titles in Charlottesville on Monday and will have familiar neighbors and fellow travelers in the Eastside High School one act team seeking a fourth straight state title in Division 1-A. 

Those are striking achievements for just one high school, let alone two from the same county.

Bringing home three straight state championships “is probably singlehandedly what built our program over the last three years, is our success,” said Eastside one act director Shane Burke.

“But from the beginning this year, all the talk was about something other than winning. So our focus was on our play and our story and doing the best we can.”

This year’s Eastside drama is “The Spirit of Life,” by David F. Eliet and Yaffa Eliach, about a group of Hasidic Jews caught up in the Holocaust. Besides the team winning the Super Region 1-C/D to advance to state, Eastside’s Kailey Kyle took a best acting award, and the team’s ensemble won a group best acting award as well.

In Charlottesville, Eastside will perform Monday morning while Central will perform that evening. Burke said his students are “always really excited” about state competition. “It’s stressful but they really love it.”

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