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Our Critics Would Like to Say...

As a shout-out to all our schools...

  • I would like to recognize Northwest’s Little Shop of Horrors. I was so excited to see this show because I love the music and the story and I know that it is one that can have a very unique spin on it defending on the vision and the technical choices made. I hope that actors, technicians, and critics from this school know that there time wasn’t wasted, because every second we spend doing theatre is a time to learn and grow as an artist and as a person. We are sending so much love to all of those at this school who were unable to see this show complete! I know how heartbreaking this is.

    Emily PersilRobinson Secondary School
  • I don't know any of the cast members from this show, but I am a fan of all of Wakefield's productions and was really looking forward to seeing this year's show. The voices at Wakefield always stand out to me, and after seeing Chicago there last year, as well as In the Heights a few years prior, I'm disappointed I won't be able to attend their show this spring.

    Ethan EddsHB Woodlawn Secondary Program
  • For Wakefield HS's 9 to 5, I was excited to see the combination of acting and technical elements to present the show in the 80s and how that was going to effect the costumes, hair, and makeup.

    Clare A'HearnMcLean High School
  • Liv Orlando and Liv Findorff from Justice High School for the phenomenal lighting work!

    Rania AshoorFalls Church High School
  • One of the shows I was supposed to watch was Footloose at Freedom High School. I have never seen a show there before, but I followed their Instagram page this year and their publicity got me really excited to see the show. The pictures from rehearsal were great snapshots and since their show was cancelled they have posted videos of cast and crew talking about the show. They clearly put a lot of hard work into their show and it is sad they won't be able to perform it. I only am familiar with one of the cast members, Aydyn O'Brien, who was supposed to play Ariel. She is very talented and extremely kind and I am sure she would have been great in the role.

    Caroline JarebCentreville High School
  • Riverside’s production of Almost, Maine was fantastic. Performances by Cammie Jackson, Cailor Macintyre, and Micheal James Lawless stood out for their intensity and excellent character work.

    Maddy WadeLoudoun Valley High School
  • Janbedta Marshall from Lake Braddock should be recognized for her performance as Leeann in A Piece of my Heart. The set from that show should also be commended.

    Kathleen McNerneyBishop Ireton High School
  • The entire tech team at Robinson, especially those who worked on the special effects. The use of projections and animations in the production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime was remarkable, and brought the audience into the mind of the main character, making the production all the more effective!

    Colleen McGuireOakton High School
  • Matthew Rothlisberger and Alexandra Trotter from TJHSST’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time for their creation of the custom software for the LED grid as the program and the lighting changes that accompanied it accurately portrayed the overwhelming sensations that those on the autism spectrum may experience.

    Clare A'HearnMcLean High School
  • Loudoun Valley as a critic team would like to recognize Heritage High School! We see Heritage's show almost every year, always enjoy their productions and we love supporting fellow Loudoun County Schools. We know that Pippin, a high energy show, would have been a fantastic performance.

    Ava KalinaLoudoun Valley High School
  • Ryan Bonanno and Julien Monette from South County High School composed all the music for “Radium Girls.” The mood they provided with dissonant tones from a cello and other strings was intensified by a clock ticking. I can’t describe how the music sounded necessarily, but it was an uncomfortable feeling. It made you wary, and increased your nervousness as you watched the show.

    Elena AuclairTeen Theatre Company
  • I want to recognize the production of Jesus Christ Superstar at Georgetown Visitation. While I was unable to see the show, it was one that I was particularly excited for, given it is a show that I have never seen before and one known for its somewhat controversial message and unique score. I believe that productions that tell contentious stories are among the most moving of all and I have no doubt that Georgetown Visitation would have conveyed this message beautifully and with the utmost care that it requires. I was particularly looking forward to seeing the dynamic between Judas and Jesus, especially how the flaws and strengths of the two men were portrayed given how they are both such complex characters.

    Rebecca ConnorSouth County High School
  • I loved how Olivia Kindfuller and David Stevenson developed their characters’ chemistry in “Our Town” at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School!

    Jack ChildFalls Church High School
  • I would like to recognize Broad Run's Clue: On Stage. This show was hilarious. It was a blast to watch, and I thoroughly enjoyed the various layers of complicated humor that the cast and crew managed to put together very well.

    Amina Kudrati-PlummerW. T. Woodson High School
  • I would like to recognize Annandale's For the Love of Three Oranges, an amusing performance. All the actors worked well together, with an incredibly dramatic yet humorous production that was unexpected from an original script.

    Amina Kudrati-PlummerW. T. Woodson High School
  • Stone Bridge’s performance of Metamorphoses was remarkable! Performances by Diana Altenhof, Hunter Armentrout, and James Good were compelling and memorable. Not to mention they had a POOL ON STAGE, way to go tech!!!

    Maddy WadeLoudoun Valley High School
  • For Albert Einstein's production of Dark of the Moon, the set was really great, as was the town's ensemble.

    Kathleen McNerneyBishop Ireton High School
  • I was a critic in attendance at Woodgrove High School’s fantastic performance of Little Shop of Horrors. I just want to say that Luke Murtaugh’s honest and endearing performance as Seymour was one of the high light’s of the show. His vocals were stunning and he showed Seymour’s character arc with sweet clarity. The puppets for Audrey two were so detailed, and I want to commend the puppet’s creators Ellie Ramsey, Elyssa Talkington, Kiera McMahon, Felix Mullen and others for their creation of the mesmerizing Audrey 2.

    Beverly D’AndreaWestfield High School
  • For St. Stephens and St. Agnes' Oliver!, I was looking forward to seeing the accents taken on by the actors to portray their roles and the portrayal of the wide range of ages in the show.

    Clare A'HearnMcLean High School
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  • I would like to recognize Cole Sitilides and Hannah Cameron-Cadenazzi from Langley High School for their incredibly impressive portrayal of Romeo and Juliet, and how impeccable their chemistry was.

    Kamryn UpsonFreedom High School
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  • I was going to attend The New School's production of 10 to 12 as a cappies critic, and I am so sorry that I won't get to see it. I saw their cappie show, Almost Maine, which was beautifully done. I was looking forward to seeing if 10 to 12, for the same standout performances that I remember from last year. I was excited to see the talent shown again this year. Thank you all for working on this show and putting you time into it.

    Beverly D'AndreaWestfield High School
  • I am recognizing Natalie Tubia from Herndon High School as an outstanding supporting actress in their rendition of Hamlet. Tubia portrayed Ophelia, the daughter of Polonius, had unforgettable stage presence. She was able to convey such raw emotion through her volume and physicality that was truly heart-wrenching in a beautiful way. It was was apparent that Natalie truly understood the intention of Shakespeare’s work and showed it through chemistry with Hamlet throughout their performance. Lastly, Natalie Tubia's gradual decent into madness for her character’s story was done incredibly and does not go unrecognized.

    Cameron JacksonRiverside High School
  • I would like to recognize Jekyll and Hyde at Tuscarora! I was so incredibly excited to see this play because I've heard it has an incredible plot and characters. I know this cast would of pulled it off greatly!!!

    Isabella JacksonFairfax High School
  • I did not expect to hear The Smiths in a production of Hamlet, but now that I have, I cannot imagine the play without it. I was incredibly impressed with how the music reflected the action on-stage.

    Alex YeeChantilly High School
  • If I remember correctly this was supposed to be Quince Orchard’s first year in the cappies program and I was very excited to see the new talent! I love The Addams Family and was thrilled to see a school taking on the project! I was interested to see their use of the ensemble as the ancestors because that is one of the most important parts of this show.

    Lauren ZarnickRiverside High School
  • I was really excited to attend Wakefield School's performance of Radium Girls because it sounded like a really interesting story and I couldn't wait to see it with my friends on the Cappies team. I'm really sorry to the cast and crew of the show that it was canceled, but thank you for introducing me to the show and I would love to attend one of your performances in the future.

    Caitlin HollenSt. Paul VI Catholic High School
  • Hello Dolly! is a show I have always wanted to see because it's a classic. Last year, a local school performed it but our show was at the same time so I never had the chance to see it. I was very excited to see Saint John Paul the Great's production and I fell for everyone who was a part of it.

    Sophia AnthonyNorthwest High School
  • Cole Sitilides and Hannah Cameron-Cadenazzi starred as the eponymous characters in Langley High School’s production of “Romeo and Juliet.” Their dedication to making real, relatable, and intense characters made the whole show mean more than a trite story of two teens falling in love. From their chemistry to the heart-wrenching decisions they made, these two actors made this play their own.

    Elena AuclairTeen Theatre Company
  • I was looking forward to my good friends, Ethan Van Slyke and Aydyn O'Brien, to knock it out of the park one more time with the rest incredible ensemble at Freedom High School

    John Henry StamperWestfield High School
  • The Addams Family is a classic musical that everyone should see at least once! I have heard amazing things through other Critics about Quince Orchard and I was so eager and excited to finally be able to see their Cappies show for the first time. The way they were planning on accomplishing the costuming and lighting was definitely the the things (tech-wise) I was jumping at the bit to see. I know this show would’ve been incredible!

    Cameron JacksonRiverside High School
  • I want to recognize Oakton High School for their production of Men on Boats, and commend the whole ensemble of the boat crew.

    Kathleen McNerneyBishop Ireton High School
  • Emily Reeps, Woodgrove High School. Reeps had very impressive vocals and a spot on accent. Her performance was riveting and very enjoyable to watch.

    Eli CrishockOakcrest School
  • I would like to recognize Romeo and Juliet at Langley High School. They made the show more modern and more interesting by doing political parties rather than families. I loved it! Also, the leads Cole Sitilides and Hannah Cameron had great chemistry and they truly brought the story to life.

    Caroline JarebCentreville High School
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  • Andrea Pedemonte and Max Belmar from Justice’s production of Anything Goes. Andrea had a commanding stage presence and a killer voice! Max was absolutely hilarious and very charming.

    Lucy MartinWashington Liberty High School
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  • I would like to recognize Kara Murri form McLean High School for her dedication to the cappies program during her last year with us. She is such an inspiration and her radiant positivity is contagious

    Kylee MajkowskiMcLean High School
  • Vivian Lemons (Oakton HS) took on the position of Lead Critic quite suddenly but with admirable grace. She kept the Cappies team positive and close whilst always checking in to make sure that the team was on track with our work. She made everyone feel comfortable and confident throughout the year!

    Madison ShannonOakton High School
  • This year was my first year in Cappies and it was such an amazing experience! My first show was Men on Boats at Oakton High School and their show blew me away! The tech for their show drew me in and was extremely well done. Also, being able to watch it from a critics perspective rather than as a regular audience member made the show so good and extremely memorable.

    Caroline JarebCentreville High School
  • Bring it On at Clarksburg High School truly exemplified the amount of talent each student in the cast possessed. The whole cast should be proud of their hard work.

    Anna DeMinoConnelly School of the Holy Child
  • I would like to recognize Thomas Edison’s Legally Blonde. I was really excited to see it because I’ve heard so many great things about the musical itself and it would’ve been an amazing opportunity to see it done at a Cappies High School!

    Sophia Anthony Northwest High School
  • I was going to attend Georgetown Visitation’s Jesus Christ Superstar and I was very excited to see it. I love the show but I’ve only seen a few interpretations of it and I was excited to see what their’s would be.

    Nicole BensonSouth County High School
  • To me Footloose is a classic, I grew up dancing along to the soundtrack but had never gotten the chance to see it on stage. When I saw Freedom was presenting Footloose I knew I had to see it! I was most excited to see the choreography because it is a very dance heavy show. I’ve never seen a show at Freedom High School but I’ve heard amazing things and was excited to see what they had to offer. I’m saddened for the cast and crew, especially the seniors as they are missing out on their last high school show.

    Lauren ZarnickRiverside High School
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  • First of all, I’d like to recognize the critics at each show I attended. I didn’t know everybody’s names, but I would keep seeing some of the same people, especially at the back to back shows. All these critics that kept attending and volunteering for shows would offer comments, sometimes only one or two, that really illustrated why some aspect of the show was good. These people loved theatre, and it was fun going to a Cappies show because I knew that I would get to sit in the critic’s room after and appreciate a show with other high schoolers, breaking down a show, and writing about it afterwards.

    Elena AuclairTeen Theatre Company
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  • I would love to recognize Samantha Huffer for her incredible work in Little Shop of Horrors as Audrey II. Woodgrove High School did a wonderful job as a whole at this show. She was incredible at her role and her stage presence, along with her vocals.

    Lexi HowardHeritage High School
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  • It was always a pleasure to run into Loudon Valley’s critic team. Their humor and personalities always made discussions that much more enjoyable. It is honestly puzzling to think some of us are graduating and won’t see each other in rooms anymore. I’ll always cherish the memories I’ve made with LV Critics.

    Sarah BourgeoisWestfield High School
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  • In Metamorphoses, a classic tale of love lessons and change that was performed at Stone Bridge High School, I would like to recognize Diane Altenhof as Myrrha and Sicily Williams as Aphrodite. Their most memorable moment in the show was when Williams' character punishes Myrrha in a choking lament and by the choreography of Sadie Rouse, they perform a brief, but strategic fight scene. Maia Ocampo of set design influenced the central theme of metamorphoses through the pool set on stage, making the show an intimate experience, especially as we were sitting in a thrust stage.

    Ava KalinaLoudoun Valley High School
  • I would like to recognize the set designers of James Madison's A Midsummer Night's Dream. The set was beautifully designed, and it perfectly added to the narrative of the show, while immersing the audience into the world of A Midsummer Night's Dream.

    Lena WeimanSt. Stephen's & St. Agnes School
  • Although Cappies Critics did not get to see Mt. Vernon's performance of Little Shop of Horrors, they have still been posting rehearsal clips on their social media. I was looking forward to watching the choreography and dancing by the "vine girls" come to life on stage!

    Ava KalinaLoudoun Valley High School
  • The simplistic set of Bye Bye Birdie, designed by Connely School of the Holy Child's Varsity Theatre and Theatre 1 Class, employed strategic minimalism to convey the many different localities.

    Jordan HundleyChantilly High School
  • I was really excited to see Pippin at Heritage!! I'm sure your show would have been amazing!! I'm sorry we didn't get the chance to see it!!!

    Michaela James-ThrowerSt. Andrew's Episcopal School
  • For Tuscorora's Jekyll and Hyde, I was really looking forward to seeing the costumes because I personally know one of the costumers, Teryn Cuozzo, and she is absolutely fantastic and I know they would have been beautiful.

    Jordan HundleyChantilly High School
  • I saw Stone Bridge's gorgeous production of Metamorphoses, and a standout feature was each actor's meticulous hair and make-up done by Amber Schmitt, Kira King and others. Since the performers were quite close to the audience, every actor's hair and make-up was always under close scrutiny and even at close range everything looked flawless for the duration of the show. I also want to recognize James Good as phaeton. His performance was one I remember as being intriguing and truthful. The bitterness he showed created a real character for Phaeton.

    Beverly D'AndreaWestfield High School
  • I loved the friendliness and cooperation between every critic this season.

    DJ StrigelTuscarora High School
  • I was excited to see a whimsical story about characters we all love!

    Lucy GarretsonQuince Orchard High School
  • I was looking forward to seeing Matilda, because I thought it would be cool to see and review Independence’s first cappies show ever!

    Elizabeth DeProspoStone Bridge High School
  • Stone Bridge’s Metamorphoses has been one of my favorite plays I have ever seen. Each and every actor had a clear grasp on their character and gave an excellent performance. Specifically, Bueno and Good had an amazing dynamic and gave a breathtaking performance. The tech crew put amazing detail into all of their work and made the show a true experience. The set was incredible, the makeup was beautiful, and the music composed for the show drew you into the story even more.

    Lauren ZarnickRiverside High School
  • TJ’s Matthew Rothlisberger and Alexandra Trotter dazzled audiences with a 12ft grid of LED cubes that they programmed for The Curious Incident if the Dog in the Nighttime. Not only was this impressive to see, but knowing the daunting process of programming and building makes it all the more inspiring. Not to mention in blended seamlessly with the themes and overall appearance of the show. Stunning work, Matthew and Alexandra!

    Sarah BourgeoisWestfield High School
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  • Luke Sullivan as Nicely-Nicely Johnson from Bishop O’Connell’s Guys and Dolls as his high energy and expert comedic timing paired with impressive vocals combined in the most dynamic song of the night, “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat.”

    Clare A’Hearn McLean High School
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  • I signed up for Falls Church’s Seussical because it was the first musical I was ever in, and I have really fond memories of it. I love all the songs and was really excited to see how they would pull off the costuming for all the different animals, and to see how they would differentiate between Whoville and the jungle. I’m sure the show would have been as amazing as Maizel herself, and I’m sorry it had to be canceled!

    Sarah PaskowThe New School of Northern Virginia
  • It is so unfortunate that Thomas Edison’s production of “Legally Blonde” was cancelled, however I wanted to recognize the talents of the cast and crew. I know that the students would have excelled in performing such high-energy and spirited numbers, as Thomas Edison has a remarkable theater program.

    Muntaha HaqLangley High School
  • This would’ve been my second year attending a show at Northwest High School and I was very excited because their department is full of talent. I very much enjoyed their production of Bring It On last year and was looking forward to seeing some of the same performers. I was interested to see their cast size because Little Shop is meant to have a small cast. I was also curious about how they created the plant as I’ve seen it done many different ways. I’m disappointed that these talented performers and crew members won’t have their time to shine this year.

    Lauren ZarnickRiverside High School
  • Addams Family was the first ever musical I saw as a kid and it will always be my favorite! I love seeing the different adaptations of the ancestors, the choreography, the set, it would’ve been incredible. I have never seen a production of Quince Orchard’s but I was so excited to see what they would do with this piece.

    Cameron JacksonRiverside High School
  • I would like to recognize Saint John Paul the Great's production of Hello, Dolly! I was excited to attend this show because I have heard such good things about the school's program and shows. I was excited to hear the vocalists, orchestra, and see the students shine. Plus Hello, Dolly! is a very fun show and I am sure they would have done an excellent job.

    Jack DalrympleAnnandale High School
  • Adrianna Quaide and Mia Lulli had great voices in “Dark of the Moon” at Albert Einstein High School!

    Jack ChildFalls Church High School
  • I’d like to recognize anyone involved in the production of Matilda. I signed up to see this show because I heard it was going to be amazing. Matilda is the first show I ever saw with my mom and it holds a special place in my heart. I’m so sorry we were not able to see you preform/see your work. I was looking forward to it and I know you were as well. I hope one day soon when we are able to be together again, your work can be experienced and I can be part of the large crowd to appreciate it.

    Brooke HanserRobinson Secondary School
  • Max von Kolnitz and Jordan Rockhill for absolutely amazing performances in Hayfield’s Jesus Christ Superstar! With vocals that dominated the theater and dramatic choices that drew the audience in, they definitely made the performance an unforgettable one!

    Colleen McGuireOakton High School
  • I was particularly excited to see TC Williams’ performance of West Side Story because it’s a classic. The music and story are so familiar that I was interested to see what the group would do to make their performance different from the others, to make it stand out. There’s something particularly challenging about performing a show that most people know and love, which comes with a certain degree of respect for taking on that challenge. I was excited to watch their take on the iconic show, hear the songs, see how they perform certain numbers. I was particularly interested to see how their choreographers went about the numerous dance scenes. It was definitely a show I was happy to have on my schedule.

    Madeline JohnsonBishop O'Connell High School
  • I was supposed to attend St. Stephens and St. Agnes' production of Oliver! as a cappies critic. I am very sorry not to see it, as I saw the school's show last year, Peter and the Starcather which was amazing. I was excited to see how the set utilized the space at this school, because it's a different kind of stage than other high schools have. It was used very cleverly last year and I was excited to see the same this year. Thank you to all the talented people involved with this production.

    Beverly D'AndreaWestfield High School
  • I want to recognize Nora Lewis from Westfield High School. She is our stage manager and she always organizes everything flawlessly, always present at build days and a forceful presence on tellex. She was working hard on production meetings for the cappie show this year Into the Woods, and last year she won a cappie for stage management. Thank you for everything you do Nora!!

    Beverly D’AndreaWestfield High School
  • Nick Perkins from Woodbridge Senior High School crafted an honorable yet sensitive character with his portrayal of first-responder fireman Don Casey in the show 110 Stories. Whether bravely charging into the burning towers or tearfully recounting a dream that haunted him after the event, Perkins was believable and endearing throughout.

    Joshua MutterperlThomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology
  • Matthew Rothlisberger and Alexandra Trotter of Thomas Jefferson must also be recognized for their innovative software that ran the LED-lit GRID, a visually stunning extension of Christopher's mind in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

    Anna GillespieSouth Lakes High School
  • Lily Shirley, Amelia Myers, Sophie McNally, and Isabel Dines are all from HB Woodlawn. Lily and Amelia stage managed and Sophie and Isabel produced our Cappies show and I was really looking forward to watching them win Cappies awards for all of their hard work. They are seniors so this was their last chance.

    Caroline AlpiHB Woodlawn Secondary Program
  • I was so looking forward to seeing Tuscarora’s production of Jekyll and Hyde! The show is one of my favorites, I love all of the music so much. I know Tuscarora would’ve done it justice!

    Colleen McGuireOakton High School
  • Freaky Friday is an incredibly fun show which can especially showcase female talent. I looked forward to seeing Thomas Wootton's ensemble (which I've loved in past years) take it on!

    Lily PérezWoodrow Wilson High School
  • Noises off was one of the funniest and most entertaining shows I’ve ever seen. It had the whole audience dying of laughter the entire show.

    Josie BinkleyIndependence High School
  • Lily Perez of Woodrow Wilson is hands down the best writer in the NCA. Not only is her word choice phenomenal, but her critiques make such profound points. I have a lot of respect for her writing skill. She’s also got a great vibe and style.

    Sarah BourgeoisWestfield High School
  • I would like to recognize Joshua Mutterperl (Thomas Jefferson) for his role as Christopher Boone in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

    Anna GillespieSouth Lakes High School
  • Westfield’s Julia Tucker is an inspiration to us all: in intelligence, skill, style, and taste (for boba tea). She’s brought a lot of joy to our Cappies team. I’m incredibly proud of her and see a lot of potential in her. Keep an eye on her, she’s got a tendency to write incredible reviews.

    Sarah BourgeoisWestfield High School
  • Leah Block's performance as Black Stache in Peter and the Starcatcher at Robert E. Lee was impeccable in its comedic timing. I especially remember how funny her swaggering physicality was and her unique accent. Great job!

    Lily PérezWoodrow Wilson High School
  • Abby Cortez does numerous tech jobs at Oakton, including student directing Oakton’s Cappies show Men on Boats. She then had to turn right around and help out with Oakton’s 3/4 student production Wild Oats. She worked really hard this fall. She’s a kind person and always seems to know what she’s doing.

    Beverly D'AndreaWestfield High School
  • Anna Gillespie is a critic for the South Lakes Cappies team and a hard working stage manager for South Lakes theatre. She was the stage manager for their Cappie show Midsummer Night’s Dream. She is also a cheerful presence in critic rooms and always adds unique details to discussion.

    Beverly D'AndreaWestfield High School
  • I want to recognize Wakefield High School's 9 to 5! I was super excited about this show because of how great Chicago was last year. I was particularly looking forward to the big ensemble numbers with the strong vocals and dancing that were so awesome in Chicago!

    Isabella RussoHB Woodlawn Secondary Program
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  • I want to give another standing ovation to Robinson Secondary School’s production of “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.” This play was perfectly astounding. The actors, tech, and orchestra all worked together to make a show that brought the audience into the world of Christopher, and left them with the message that each person can launch their own story. Once the show ended, I wanted to see it again.

    Elena AuclairTeen Theatre Company
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  • I would like to recognize Joshua Mutterperl (TJHSST's A Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime) for an excellent and convincing performance that I thought was spectacular. He maintained a difficult character who rarely (if ever) left the stage consistently with no breaks. Excellent performance. Also for TJHSST Set. This group built a complicated lighting box that was excellently used throughout to help us follow the lead's emotions. It was brilliantly built and executed.

    Amina Kudrati-PlummerW. T. Woodson High School
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  • Kara Murri of McLean is one of the sweetest critics you’ll ever meet. Despite being the lead critic of the team that wipes the floor with us all year after year, she has a smile that brightens every Cappies room. You’ve got big things ahead of you, Kara🥺.

    Sarah BourgeoisWestfield High School
  • For Dominion's Singin' in the Rain, I was most looking forward to how the technical aspects of the show, such as the infamous rain would be incorporated with the acting.

    Clare A'HearnMcLean High School
  • Leland Hao as Benvolio in Langley High School’s Romeo & Juliet as he played off Romeo and Mercutio to portray a delightful friendship and as his fight scenes showed dedication.

    Clare A'HearnMcLean High School
  • A quick shoutout to all the amazing friends that I've made through the Cappies program!

    Anna GillespieSouth Lakes High School
  • My team and I were SO excited to see Heritage’s show because they always put on such wonderfully enjoyable performances. Their actors and tech are dedicated to their craft and it shows.

    Maddy WadeLoudoun Valley High School
  • I’d like to recognize everyone involved in the production of 10 to 12. I have a friend (Sofie) who attends The New School and she was raving to me about how incredible the show was going to be. I’m so sad that I will not get to see her and the rest of the actors and technicians work for this show. I cannot imagine the disappointment you are feeling, but I hope that when it is safe to reunite I will be able to experience all of your work and praise you for your accomplishments then.

    Brooke HanserRobinson Secondary School
  • Krissy Hornbuckle of George Mason's A Chorus Line performed the role of Cassie amazingly, especially given that she received it that morning due to an injury. Her dancing, acting, and vocal performances were truly inspiring.

    Jordan HundleyChantilly High School
  • I was really looking forward to attending Dominion HS's Singin' in the rain. It is a super fun musical, and I was so excited to see all the dancing and singing.

    Naomi Scully-BristolW. T. Woodson High School
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  • Izzi Hollenbeck of Herndon High School was truly remarkable as Hamlet. She displayed a true understanding of the role and the language, and was one of my favourite performances of the Danish prince that I have seen to date. She had remarkable chemistry with the rest of the cast, especially Natalie Tubia, and I thoroughly enjoyed her performance. AJ Guidry and David Wrigley did a brilliant job with the set design for Elsinore in Herndon High School’s performance of Hamlet. It seemed as though there were constantly new uses, from hiding spaces to entrances. With additional collaboration with lighting (Roman Floyd, Zach Wemyss) and a screen, there were moments that really popped and brought the show to life. Overall, tech was really well done and made the show that much more enjoyable.

    Madeline JohnsonBishop O'Connell High School
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  • It’s no question that Westfield High School is a Cappies famous school. These kids are some of the most talented, respectful, and smartest performers and Cappies Critics I’ve ever met. Into The Woods is an all-time favorite of mine and I know just about every word, so when Westfield posted that they were performing this, I think you know I had a stroke from excitement. John Henry Stamper, a very well known performer in the NCA Cappies area and multi-Cappie Award winner, was going to play Cinderella’s Prince. All I felt was complete ‘Agony’ when finding out I wouldn’t be able to see him perform one last time before having to pay for tickets on Broadway. Another outstanding performer from Westfield High is Alan Gutierrez-Urista, whom I had the pleasure of conversing with during one of Cappies events earlier this year. Alan’s range of both vocal and acting abilities in untouchable and I could not wait to see his portrayal of the Baker. Both of these actors are going places in the theatre world and I won’t stop short to say many more of Westfield’s performers will too. Bravo to all of you for creating an amazing name and reputation for yourselves!

    Cameron JacksonRiverside High School
  • "
  • This year was Broad Run’s first Cappies season, and their production of Clue was one for the books. Every character had a distinctive personality that made for an entertaining group dynamic. The set design by Aaron Flanigan, Josh Amurao, Frank Ezui, and Abriana Valentín embodied the classic rooms of the board game in a visually appealing display. It’s nice to know talents like theirs will continue to grace Cappies critics in the future.

    Sarah BourgeoisWestfield High School
  • I wanted to recognize the show Freaky Friday from Bishop Ireton. I could tell how hard they were working on the show and how amazing and talented the whole cast was just by seeing a few pictures on Instagram. I was super devastated to hear they wouldn’t get recognized for all their hard work from Cappies.

    Savannah RaederLake Braddock Secondary School
  • I loved watching Our Town at St Andrews because of the energy and the characterization of the wonderful performers.

    Josie BinkleyIndependence High School
  • I would like to recognize both Sarah Bleier and Jackson Smith of Oakton HS for their respective roles as Hawkins and Bradley in 'Men on Boats.' As I wrote in my review, these two characters seemed highlights of the show for me: Bleier's spunk and sass redefined traditional male constructs of her life-hardened character and Smith's buoyancy and vibrancy on stage was absolutely endearing, as well as heartwarming. I loved the premise of an all-female cast playing in a show that represents a more patriarchal, macho, men-as-conquerors time period: these two characters were completely unexpected in their execution and the actors managed to bring a smile to my face every time they spoke or sang. BRAVA!

    Stacia DatskovskaLangley High School
  • For The New School's 10 out of 12, I was excited to see how the incorporation of the entire theatre space was going to be used and how the technical aspects would be utilized to portray a tech run.

    Clare A'HearnMcLean High School
  • Andrea Pedemonte from Justice High School played Reno Sweeney in their production of “Anything Goes.” As probably half the critics there were going to compare her to Sutton Foster, Pedemonte had her work cut out for her. But she rose above and beyond the challenge, with her singing, acting, and dancing being precise and full of personality. Her performance of the song “Anything Goes” was amazing, with her sharp dancing and stable voice.

    Elena AuclairTeen Theatre Company
  • Kaylie Farfan as Caitlin in Mockingbird at Woodbridge High School dazzled the audience with strong character movement and diction. She had a clearly well-thought out approach to playing an eleven year-old with a developmental disorder, and the social anxiety she felt because of her autism shone in her performance.

    Maya AndersenBishop Ireton High School
  • Eli Crishock of Oakcrest's James and the Giant Peach was absolutely hilarious as Earthworm and possessed perfect comedic timing.

    Jordan HundleyChantilly High School
  • For West Springfield's Matilda: I was looking forward to seeing the wide portrayal in ages by the actors as they were challenged with ages from young elementary to adult.

    Clare A’HearnMcLean High School
  • I was really looking forward to seeing 12 angry jurors at Duke Ellington. I was excited to see the gender spin and what other liberties they were prepared to take. I love seeing the diversity and talent of the past shows I have seen there.

    Leah BlockRobert E. Lee High School
  • Madeline Johnson, a graduating senior from Bishop O'Connell high school, was an amazing cappies team leader. She was extremely organized and really made the cappies team feel like a family. She offered rides to every show we went to to ensure a strong O'Connell team would show up to every show. The O'Connell Cappies Team will miss her greatly!

    Kyleigh FrielBishop O'Connell High School
  • "
  • Cole Sitilides and Hannah Cameron from Langley. I absolutely loved this production of Romeo and Juliet and their performances were grounded, raw, and heartbreaking. The entire production was outstanding!

    Lucy MartinWashington Liberty High School
  • "
  • I would like to recognize Araceli Penoso from TC Williams. She was the student director for West Side Story. I was super exited to see it because I have seen her work before and it has been great. On top of that, TC's last couple musicals have been through the roof. Both of those combined were going to make a great show.

    Cassie LustigDuke Ellington School of the Arts
  • Elec Schoenbrun, who portrayed Tim Allgood, from Washington and Lee High School's production of Noises Off. This actor had incredible comedic timing, great expression, and chemistry with the entire cast.

    Samuel KaynorThomas A Edison High School
  • Von Kolnitz really emphasized the Superstar in the Jesus Christ Superstar. His vocals, especially in "Gethsemane," blew me out of the water. My jaw has never dropped so low as it did watching this performer. I tip my hat to you sir.

    Alex YeeChantilly High School
  • I was so excited to attend Freaky Friday at Wootton! I had never seen the musical but loved the movie and couldn't wait to see Wootton's interpretation. I saw Wootton's production of Spamalot last season and was looking forward to strong character actors in their portrayal of the dynamic female leads and funny supporting roles. I personally love relatable stories, and I know that watching Wootton's performance of this mother-daughter journey would have been wonderfully engaging and heartwarmingly enjoyable.

    Margarita GamarnikSouth Lakes High School
  • I was so excited to see T. C. William's West Side Story. I'm sorry all of the talented performers and technicians involved with this production will not be able to showcase what they've all been working so hard on. I was excited to see what kind of choreography you could create, as West Side Story has a lot of dancing. Thank you for all your hard work on this show.

    Beverly D'AndreaWestfield High School
  • "
  • I would like to recognize Max von Kolnitz and Jordan Rockhill (both Hayfield) for their roles as Jesus and Judas respectively in Jesus Christ Superstar. Both brought incredibly depth and humanity to their characters and their dynamic performances have stuck with me, even many months later. In addition, the Hayfield stage management (Elliot Force and Miranda Asbury) must be commended for perfectly coordinating the technically challenging flogging scene and overall carrying out a seamless performance. Furthermore, the Hayfield lighting team, led by Vincent Pilone, must be recognized for their incredibly creative lighting design, including but not limited to simulated sun rays and the blinding bright cross that closed the show.

    Anna GillespieSouth Lakes High School
  • "
  • I would like to recognize Abby Shichman from W.T. Woodson High School for her dramaturgy work on their production of Letters to Sala. The research she conducted and the effort of implementing her research into the show was extremely evident through the costumes and projections used throughout the show, and added a wonderful historical accuracy to the production.

    Kamryn UpsonFreedom High School
  • I was excited to see Heritage's show because of their costume design and choreography:)

    Josie BinkleyIndependence High School
  • Bring it On at Clarksburg High School truly exemplified the amount of talent each student in the cast possessed. The whole cast should be proud of their hard work.

    Anna DeMinoConnelly School of the Holy Child
  • Jalin was an incredible Cappies role model. With me being a freshman, it was awesome to have someone to look up to. I'm so glad the I got to spend time with Jalin and all of the Westfield Cappies seniors, even if our time together got cut short.

    Maryn BrownWestfield High School
  • I would like to recognize West Springfield High School for what would have been their production of Matilda. Every production I’ve seen at West Springfield has been flawless, and I was very much looking forward to seeing how they could blow away the audience this year, especially with their ensemble work and intricate set design by Anna Greishammer. While it was a shame that they could not show off their beautiful talents this year, I am exited to see what they bring to the stage next year.

    Hannah FidlerW. T. Woodson High School
  • Max von Kolnitz and Jordan Rockhill for absolutely amazing performances in Hayfield’s Jesus Christ Superstar! With vocals that dominated the theater and dramatic choices that drew the audience in, they definitely made the performance an unforgettable one!

    Colleen McGuireOakton High School
  • Izzi Hollenbeck of Herndon's Hamlet was a phenomenal actress and her raw, emotional, and transformative portrayal of Hamlet really established her as a true tragic hero.

    Jordan HundleyChantilly High School
  • At Langley’s Romeo and Juliet, every technician and performer brought work comparable to professionals. Anna Barker, Marcus Alvarez, Rachel Lesan, and Josh Guinn produced a stunning poster for publicity. They incorporated the theme of Romeo and Juliet being set in the 2020 presidential election with bursts of blues and reds. Samuel Buroker’s performance as Mercutio was both hilarious and impressive. He showed his talent in physical and verbal comedy as well as in upholding long, Shakespearean monologues with energy. Chris Morgan’s performance as Tybalt was electric in fight scenes, which made for a thrilling dynamic between Capulets and Montagues. Excellent work, Langley!

    Sarah BourgeoisWestfield High School
  • I would like to recognize The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time at Robinson and their ensemble work was captivating and outstanding to watch. They worked extremely well together and it enhanced the show greatly.

    Caroline JarebCentreville High School
  • I would like to recognize Cole Sitlides from Langely High School for his performance as Romeo.

    Emma CarpenterMcLean High School
  • I was supposed to attend Mamma Mia at Chantilly High School, and I am so sorry that all of you at Chantilly will not be able to perform I very much looking forward to it. I was cape at Chicago last year and I was looking forward to more wonderful dancing. I remember the dancing from last year and I am sorry to miss what I'm sure would've been an amazing show from all of you. I love the show Mamma Mia especially, so thank you for the work you put in and I look forward to seeing you perform next year.

    Beverly D'AndreaWestfield High School
  • For T.C. Williams' West Side Story, I was looking forward to the choreography for the show as it is so integral to the heart of the show.

    Clare A'HearnMcLean High School
  • Even though I didn't get the chance to see many shows, there were so many great speakers and actors that I had the opportunity to watch. I would like to recognize Rock Ridge for their hard work in putting up Big Fish, as just like my school, their Cappies production was cancelled. They always put up great shows, and it was upsetting to see this one would be cancelled.

    DJ StrigelTuscarora High School
  • I was looking forward to seeing Matilda at West Springfield because it is such a challenge for not only the actors who have to portray young children, but the make up and costume teams who have to take their performance to the next level and make it believable

    Maryn BrownWestfield High School
  • I thought that Katiebelle Thompson and Devon Bogucki were hilarious as Spiker and Sponge in James and the Giant Peach.

    Elizabeth DeProspo Stone Bridge High School
  • Hayfield Secondary School’s production of Jesus Christ Superstar was great! It was so interesting to see the artistic choices made in the tech and costume departments especially! There were a few shows that were set in the 80s this year. Such as Jesus Christ Superstar and Macbeth at Herndon HS. I was so excited to see all the breathtaking performances this year and to get to cheer on all of our amazing school. I am sad to see this year pass and I wish we could’ve had all of our schools get to perform their shows. The theatre community has been so supportive with our situation in quarantine. It warms my heart to see everybody coming together.

    Madeleine TylerFairfax High School
  • Sarah Bourgeois is the Westfield Cappie critic team leader and she is a very interactive lead critic! She always has fun activities planned and she organizes her team very well. She’s kind, funny, and always has her team’s best interests at heart. This is her last year as a Cappie as she is graduating end of this year and she will be missed.

    Beverly D'AndreaWestfield High School
  • The entire tech team at Robinson, especially those who worked on the special effects. The use of projections and animations in the production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime was remarkable, and brought the audience into the mind of the main character, making the production all the more effective!

    Colleen McGuireOakton High School
  • Mincy Barbosa, Zach Patel, and Aadith Iyer from South County High School starred as Grace, Tom, and Mr. Roeder in “Radium Girls.” While I was watching that show, I felt sick—the story of the Radium Girls is so powerful, and their acting sucked me into a feeling of dread and finally sadness. That was a play I thought about long after I turned in my review.

    Elena AuclairTeen Theatre Company
  • Mary Muir and Teddy Spaner from Langley High School worked on lighting and projections for their production of “Romeo and Juliet.” The thought that went into planning these two elements made them work seamlessly on stage. For example, Muir lit the actors from the side so that the two projections on stage maintained their intensity. A striking moment at the beginning of the play was when images of the most polarizing issues of today flashed by, setting the stage of a Shakespearean 2020 election.

    Elena AuclairTeen Theatre Company
  • Jak Ketron of St. Paul VI's The Outsiders played Ponyboy seamlessly, maintaining the boy-like innocence and amiability needed to effectively play the role.

    Jordan HundleyChantilly High School
  • I want to recognize Kylie Wilson from Oakton high school for her stage management of their cappie show Men on Boats. She is a funny and competent person. She also teched two shows right after each other this fall!

    Beverly D’AndreaWestfield High School
  • I would like to recognize Kara Murri of McLean High School for her work as a critic. Throughout the season, Kara has been a warm, welcoming person, always offering the most positive comments in the discussion room and often inviting new critics to sit with her team. Additionally, her reviews are consistently engaging and well-written, with vivid imagery that brings the reader directly into the front row of a performance. Kara is an incredibly valuable asset to the Cappies program, and her presence illuminates any discussion room she enters. Her kindness towards others and sheer dedication to Cappies is beyond admirable, and Kara unwaveringly exemplifies what it means to be a Cappies critic.

    Pranav ChoudharyLangley High School
  • During last years Cappies season, I attended Northwest’s production of Bring It On and I knew my team and I had to come back for this year! When I found out at the draft that It was Little Shop of Horrors...I just about squealed. I have always wanted to see this show and the fact that Northwest was putting on made me all the more excited. Between the incredible vocal ranges this schools department has, to the incomparable swift stage crew, I knew this was going to be a show to remember.

    Cameron JacksonRiverside High School
  • I would like to recognize the cast and crew of Big Fish from Rock Ridge High School because I was really looking forward to seeing them shine. I know that they have very talented performers and techs, so I was excited to see how they showcased the amazing skills and talents of both their actors and technicians in this wonderful show.

    Kamryn UpsonFreedom High School
  • Andrea Pedemonte from Justice High School played Reno Sweeney in their production of “Anything Goes.” As probably half the critics there were going to compare her to Sutton Foster, Pedemonte had her work cut out for her. But she rose above and beyond the challenge, with her singing, acting, and dancing being precise and full of personality. Her performance of the song “Anything Goes” was amazing, with her sharp dancing and stable voice.

    Elena AuclairTeen Theatre Company
  • I would like to recognize Cole Sitilides from Langley for his role as Romeo in Romeo and Juliet. He brought incredible depth and humanity to his character and his dynamic performance has stuck with me, even many months later.

    Anna GillespieSouth Lakes High School
  • For Quince Orchard's The Addams Family, I was looking forward to seeing the costumes for the show as they are quite specific and I was excited to see the interpretation by Quince Orchard.

    Clare A'HearnMcLean High School
  • I was looking forward to seeing the actor playing the titular role in Tuscarora's Jekyll and Hyde. The torment requires serious acting chops.

    Alex YeeChantilly High School
  • I was supposed to be see Footloose at Freedom High School as cape critic, and I am very upset not to be able to see what I'm sure was going to be a stunning show. I was excited to see some stand out talents including Aydyn O'brien as Ariel and Ethan Van Slyke as Ren. I have never seen a Freedom show and was very excited for this to be my first one. Thank you to the entire cast and crew for putting in tome and effort on this show.

    Beverly D'AndreaWestfield High School
  • I would like to recognize the ensemble of Woodbridge Senior HS for their production of "110 Stories and Mockingbird", as putting on one show for all to see is a sure feat of strength. Putting on two completely different shows, however, is a true sign of hard work, dedication, and commitment.

    Emily TownleyRock Ridge High School
  • I would like to recognize Mincy Barbosa from South County High School for her portrayal of pain and helplessness as her character, Grace Fryer.

    Emma CarpenterMcLean High School
  • I was particularly interested to see Flint Hill’s performance of Sylvia by A. R. Gurney because it’s a show I had never heard of before. The idea and general plot of the show was intriguing and I was interested to see how they planned to characterise Sylvia given that she’s a dog. I was also particularly keen to show how Sylvia would interact with the characters of Greg and Kate, whether the actor of Sylvia would speak directly to the pair or if it would be a different speaker while Sylvia acted the role. Over all the show is an intriguing concept and I wanted to see what Flint Hill would do with it.

    Madeline JohnsonBishop O'Connell High School
  • "
  • Joshua Mutterperl-Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology-provided an accurate yet respectful portrayal of someone with autism which is very difficult to achieve, as well as giving a touching and emotional performance. Sef Dandashi, Matthew Rothlisberger, and Quentin Lovejoy-Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology- Their work on a student coded 50 square light grid.

    Emma CarpenterMcLean High School
  • "
  • I was looking forward to seeing Mamma Mia at Chantilly because it is one of my favorite musicals. I was excited to hear the vocals and to see how the actors and crew would add their own spin to such a well known story.

    Maryn BrownWestfield High School
FOCUS ON 21st CENTURY LEARNING

The Cappies is a writing and awards program that trains high school theatre and journalism students to be expert writers, critical thinkers, and leaders. Student critics vie to be published in local media outlets by attending productions at other schools and writing critical reviews.

THROUGH THE CAPPIES

Theatre and journalism students are trained as critics and attend each others shows. Cappies students discuss and learn about theatre production. Throughout the year, newspapers publish the reviews with the students' bylines. At the end of the year, Cappies student critics decide who among their peer performers and technicians should be recognized for awards at the end of the season with glamour and excitement.

HOW IT ALL WORKS

Each participating school selects a show to be attended, and also forms a team of 3 to 9 student critics and 2 adult volunteers in the fall. Shows may have between 20 and 90 critics in attendance. Critic teams and mentors gather in a private discussion room to perform pre, mid, and post show discussions. The technical and performance aspects of the show are discussed with provided documentation from the host school.

After each show, with adult oversight, the mentors and program director select the best written reviews to be sent to local press outlets. All the reviews are also sent back to the performing school.

At the end of the season, a Tonys-like celebration occurs, where all nominated shows perform a cutting or the critics' choice song, and the final Cappies awards are presented with a trophy by regional critics and peers.

SCHOOL APPLICATIONS NOW ACCEPTED

School applications are now being accepted for the current season. Click below to begin the application process.
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CURRENT REVIEWS NOW AVAILABLE

We are currently in the process of bringing reviews online for the current season. Keep checking back for updates.
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AWARDS PREVIOUS SEASON

Previous year award nominees and recipients will be posted shortly. Please keep checking back for updates.
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CONTACT US FOR ASSISTANCE

Please feel free to reach out to us by e-mailing AdminNCA@cappies.org with any questions you may have. If you'd like to view a full list of contacts, click the link below.
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Archive by tag: 2018 awardsReturn

2018 Winners Announced!

The Cappies of the National Capital Area is proud to announce the 2019 Cappies Award Recipients!
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