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


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


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


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.

Bishop Ireton High School in Alexandria, Virginia, presented “Into the Woods” to the Cappies Critics on March 16, 2024. Here are the top two Cappies Critic reviews.

Aiden Brennan

Woodson High School


Once upon a time, in Bishop Ireton High School, a group of actors and crew set out on a journey Into the Woods. What followed was a complex show that was sometimes funny, sometimes heartwarming, sometimes sad, but always impressive.


"Into the Woods" premiered on Broadway in 1987, where it quickly became a smash hit. With music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and a book by James Lapine, this tale dares to ask the question: “What happens after happily ever after?” The story follows a childless baker and his wife who must find four special items to reverse a Witch’s curse. On the path through the woods, they encounter fairytale icons of Brothers Grimm fame.


The woods’ sinister enchantments were highlighted by The Witch, played by Elina Viana. Viana masterfully balanced the Witch’s harsh exterior with her soft interior. This was demonstrated in her scenes with the Baker (Donovan Furey) and his Wife (Lauren Allen) where she shrieked and cackled with devilish glee, followed by her scenes with Rapunzel (Reagan Lady) where she pleadingly begged Rapunzel to “Stay with Me” before her tenderness turned to fury. She especially shined with her heartfelt vocals in “The Last Midnight,” where the audience could feel her resignation and rage as she belted her beautiful voice before vanishing in a puff of smoke.


On the other hand, Gabby Viana (Milky White) lit up the stage without uttering (or “udder-ing”) a single line. Using an adorable cow puppet crafted by the props team, Viana added a much-needed comedic edge to her every moment on stage. Her hilarious expressions of joy, sadness, or anger helped her convey exactly what the boisterous bovine was thinking and solidified Milky White as a character rather than a plot device. She also developed a deep bond with her owner and best friend, Jack (Christian Burke), shown in the sweet and emotional number “I Guess This Is Goodbye.” Viana also stayed in character and committed for the entire performance, munching on leaves, or bickering with a magic harp when she wasn’t in focus. Her superior physical talents culminated in Milky White’s dramatic death, where the cow puppet leapt into the air while Viana herself dramatically crumpled to the ground, making the audience “die” of laughter.


All of these incredible actors’ performances were helped by the hard work of the costumes team, led by Claire Gibbons, Catherine Carow, and Iona McCluskey, who researched many different time periods to create a cohesive wardrobe for the show. They utilized color to show the bonds between characters, giving each family group their own color, such as The Witch, Rapunzel, and Rapunzel’s Prince (Julien Goulet) all wearing purple, or the Baker and his Wife wearing a deep blue. Another standout was The Wolf’s (Evan Jarosiewicz) costume, which looked like a hunting outfit with boots and a green overcoat, contrasting with the masquerade-style wolf mask he wore above his face.


Adding to the creepy atmosphere of the woods was the lighting, designed by Lauren Capistran, Bella Miller, and Carlos Guevara. They used colors to show the passage of time, with the cyc in the background changing from orange and yellow in the day to a deep blue for each midnight. They also utilized spotlights effectively, drawing focus to specific parts of the often-crowded stage.


Bishop Ireton High School created something truly special upon the storybook stage. Their fantastic fable encouraged the audience that “though it’s fearful, though it’s deep, though it’s dark,” the journey into the woods of life is always worth it.

Kaylee Williams

Fairfax High School


Bishop Ireton's production of Into the Woods transported audiences into a world where "no one is alone," weaving a magical tale of interconnectedness.


Into the Woods, a celebrated musical masterpiece intertwines the timeless tales of beloved fairy tale characters into a captivating narrative. With the book written by James Lapine and music and lyrics by the legendary Stephen Sondheim, the musical premiered on Broadway in 1987.


Drawing inspiration from the Brothers Grimm, Into the Woods ventures beyond the fairytale's conventional happy endings. The storyline seamlessly weaves together the journeys of Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack (and the Beanstalk), a witch, and a childless baker and his wife. As they embark on quests to fulfill their dreams, they encounter moral dilemmas, confront their fears, and ultimately discover the profound truths of life, love, and responsibility. With its enchanting melodies, witty lyrics, and thought-provoking themes, Bishop Ireton's production of Into the Woods enchanted audiences, leaving them contemplating the consequences of wishes.


In a spellbinding performance that left audiences breathless, Elina Viana brought unparalleled depth and brilliance to the role of the Witch. From the moment Viana graced the stage, attention was demanded with a commanding presence, outstanding vocals, and a nuanced portrayal of this complex character. With each haunting rendition of Sondheim's iconic songs such as “Last Midnight” and “Witch’s Lament,” Viana stunned the audience with unparalleled skill and artistry. The character was imbued with a perfect balance of menace, wit, and heart, drawing the audience into the emotional journey of the story. The powerful stage presence, coupled with impeccable delivery, allowed Viana to breathe new life into the role, leaving an indelible mark on the production.


In a production brimming with talent and charm, Julien Goulet as Rapunzel's Prince and Pierce Aldridge as Cinderella's Prince stood out as comedic highlights that had the audience in stitches. With impeccable timing and hilarious energy, the duo brought a delightful mix of wit, arrogance, and buffoonery to their roles, injecting humor into the intricate musical. In their duets “Agony” and “Agony (Reprise)” the princes showcased not only their impressive vocal prowess but also their remarkable chemistry on stage. Their comedic antics provided the perfect counterbalance to the darker themes of the production, ensuring that Into the Woods remained a joyous and unforgettable theatrical experience from start to finish.


The sets by Joseph Murray, Charlotte Rayder, Caroline Reams, Sarah Petz, and the Bishop Ireton Set Design Team were nothing short of magical, transporting the audience into a whimsical realm where fairy tales come to life. The incorporation of fairytale books as a part of the set design added a charming and nostalgic touch, evoking the enchanting worlds of beloved stories. The presence of a large bridge added a sense of grandeur, and the 16-foot-tall willow tree loomed majestically over the stage serving as a poignant reminder of the looming threats and challenges faced by the characters. The lighting design by Lauren Capistran, Bella Miller, and Carlos Guevara proved to be a masterful orchestration of mood and atmosphere, utilizing over 100 lighting cues to perfectly complement the ever-shifting tone of the show. Together, these elements created a visually stunning essence that enhanced the storytelling, immersing the audience into the fantastical universe of Into the Woods.


Bishop Ireton High School's Into the Woods was a delightful journey through fairytale realms, leaving audiences enchanted. As Cinderella notes, "Opportunity is not a lengthy visitor," and indeed, the cast and crew seized every moment to create theatrical magic.


Upcoming Shows