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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.


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.


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.


The Sound of Music, St. Andrew’s Episcopal School, Potomac, Maryland, February 23, 2019

Jack Child

Falls Church High School


There are few musicals in history more recognizable than Rodgers and Hammerstein's 1959 hit show The Sound of Music. At St. Andrew's Episcopal School, the tense political atmosphere of 1930's Austria in the midst of the Anschluss and the endearing love story of a warm, caring governess and a cold, discipline-obsessed naval captain came together to create a unique production of this dearly beloved tale. The Sound of Music, Rodgers and Hammerstein's last project together before Oscar Hammerstein's death in 1960, opened on Broadway at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre. It won five Tony Awards, including Best Musical and Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical, and inspired a 1998 Broadway revival at the Martin Beck Theatre and a hit 1965 film starring Julie Andrews, which won five Oscars. Since then, The Sound of Music has become one of the most iconic musicals of all time, with songs such as "Do-Re-Mi," "My Favorite Things," and "Edelweiss" gaining incredible popularity worldwide.


Highlighting St. Andrew's production of The Sound of Music was Devin Lucas, who showcased remarkable vocal ability in the challenging lead role of Maria. Lucas kept the youthful and energetic air of the young governess about her throughout the show, and her vocal prowess shone through every time she sang. Especially notable instances of this were in the songs "The Sound of Music," "Do-Re-Mi," and "The Lonely Goatherd." Opposite from Lucas was Oliver Bush in the role of Captain Georg von Trapp. Bush's uptight physicality, combined with his consistent accent, nicely reflected the commanding and no-nonsense nature of his character. It was nice to see the chemistry between Lucas and Bush grow as the show progressed, especially into Act Two, when the characters' romance blossomed. Another outstanding performance was delivered by Parker Dymond as the Mother Abbess. Dymond was a delight to listen to with her impressive control over breath and pitch and her beautiful vibrato. Cameron Behram in the role of Max Detweiler possessed a solid grasp of comedic timing, making the most out of his humorous lines and adding a note of laughter to otherwise serious scenes. Leia Terrenzi, playing Baroness Elsa Schrader, brought depth to her character, putting clear intention behind every line and keeping a stage presence appropriate for the socialite she portrayed.


Technical aspects added to the atmosphere of the show as well. The auditorium was decorated with large, beautiful paintings of the Austrian countryside and the Alps, which were painted by art students at St. Andrew's. These paintings worked with the set to create an enjoyable setting for the show to take place in. The set was impressive in its ability to embody different locations. Through movements of large set pieces, the stage became an abbey, Maria's bedroom, the von Trapps' patio, and the interior of the von Trapp house. Another unique technical element was the use of projections on the curtain. A projector was used to play a segment of a news report from World War II and to display curtains for the concert scenes. The news report added a nice touch of context to the story not contained in the script.


St. Andrew's Episcopal School's production of The Sound of Music was full of memorable acting performances and charming technical choices. This legendary musical has succeeded to captivate audiences for generations in all its incarnations, and the St. Andrew's Players' performance was no exception.

Savannah Gravitt

Annandale High School


Let's start at the very beginning, The Sound of Music is a musical based on Maria von Trapp's memoir of her own life. It's music and lyrics are by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, with the book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse. Most people may know the 1965 movie starring Julie Andrews as Maria, but it was originally a Broadway musical in 1959. This story is of Maria Rainer, sent by the nuns at the abbey to be a governess to the seven von Trapp children. While dealing with their menacing father, Captain and the Nazis looming invasion of Austria. The beautiful, heartwarming story of Maria von Trapp, Captain Georg, and their children brought to life by St. Andrew's Episcopal School will make the audience leave with a smile on their faces. All with "Do-Re-Mi" playing on repeat in their heads.


The cast in this production lit up the stage with their energy and vocals. When Maria Rainer  (Devin Lucas) entered behind the audience on the stairs, her powerful yet sweet vocals commanded the room. "The Sound of Music" didn't seem to just be in the hills, but within her performance throughout. Her stage presence helped elevate the rest of the ensemble, and her chemistry with Captain Georg von Trapp (Oliver Bush) was exciting to watch. Bush played the Captain superbly and his love for Maria, the children, and his home country were bright and clear underneath his stoic facade.


Mother Abbess (Parker Dymond) was full of life and poise. Her vocals for "Climb Ev'ry Mountain" moved the audience to tears. Her back and forth between a graceful nun and a funny yet supporting mother figure to Maria was clear and breathtaking. Max Detweiler (Cameron Behram) had hilarious comedic timing and good chemistry with all of his scene partners.


Of course, also worth mentioning are the von Trapp children. All of the kids worked so well together that it was hard to remember they were actually actors on a stage. Their relationships with each other and the adults were well-developed and adorable. Their songs with Maria, like "The Lonely Goatherd" and by themselves, like "So Long, Farewell" were high energy and warmed the hearts of every member in the audience.


The tech moved the story along with incredible attention to detail. The costumes, especially for Maria and the children were specific and portrayed the character's individuality perfectly. The pleasing lighting, especially the warm yellow lights, gave the audience a sense of hope and belief that these characters were indeed by the beautiful mountains. The set design was all-inclusive and detail-oriented and gave the actors wonderful scenery to work with.


The St. Andrew's Players' production of The Sound of Music was fun, moving, and definitely encouraged the audience to "follow every rainbow, till you find your dream."


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