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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.


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.

Little Shop of Horrors - Paul VI Catholic High School - Fairfax, Virginia - April 8, 2017

Alexandra Dauchess

Oakcrest School


Crumbling buildings, walls covered in graffiti, streets teeming with beggars and low lives: this is the town of Skid Row where world domination began and the most ruthless of beasts was born. Here the cast and crew of Paul VI High School are poised and ready to relate the tale of the Little Shop of Horrors that will leave you with one conviction: don't feed the plants.


Little Shop of Horrors, written by Howard Ashman and with music by Alan Menken, originated as a 1960s horror film, and was later converted into a musical of the same name that premiered in many Broadway and Off-Broadway theaters. It has enjoyed several national and global tours, including the most recent in 2016, and has spawned many other film and television adaptations with the same or similar plots.


This delightfully disturbing classic follows the story of orphan Seymour Krelborn, a plant enthusiast with dreams of making it out of the dingy ghetto, Skid Row and the failing Mushnik Flower Shop, and becoming a famous scientist. One day, on a stroke of luck, he finds a rare and interesting plant, a type of Venus Fly Trap, and soon discovers that the plant, which he names Audrey II after his long-time crush and fellow co-worker, is not like any other plant: this one is only eats human blood. With the allure of fame, fortune, and the love of Audrey hanging in the balance, Seymour must decide whether to feed the murderous desires of his ever-hungry plant, or destroy it and crush every hope of ever achieving his dreams.


The cast and crew of PVI did a wonderful job of bringing this difficult musical to life, with a lively and engaging ensemble, and stellar performances from the lead and supporting cast. The star of the show was, without a doubt, the lovably awkward Seymour Krelborn (Nathaniel Smith) who stole hearts with his energy, boyish charm, and impressive vocals. His leading lady Audrey, the wonderfully talented Caleigh Davis, also proved a true star as she dominated the stage with soulful ballads, such as "Somewhere That is Green," and the two shared effortless chemistry that made their love-story more convincing and heart-breaking. The supporting cast also gave some spectacular performances that helped bring the show to life. Among these was the egotistical and slightly sadistic motorcycle riding dentist, Dr. Orin Scrivello (Drew Goldstein), who was fearless and frightening, livening up the stage with his periodic howls and his comedic song, "Dentist!" Other stand-out performers include Tommy Kelleher (Mr. Mushnik) whose hilarious dancing and facial expressions during such songs as, "Mushnik and Son," delighted audiences, and Victor Perez-Sales (Audrey II Voice) who used his impressive vocals to bring to life the frightening Audrey II.


Although the cast did a spectacular job and delivered some phenomenal performances, the show wouldn't have been complete without the various technical elements that brought Skid Row to life. The set, designed by twins Bobby and Tommy Kelleher, was expansive, functional, and incredibly detailed, involving several moving parts and impressive backdrops. The puppeteer Matt Mooney, who controlled the mechanics of Audrey II, also deserves recognition for his hard work operating the ever-growing plant, before and during the show.


Despite some confusing costume choices and some problems with mics, the cast and crew of Paul VI High School's production of Little Shop of Horrors, that had audiences laughing, and crying, from curtain to curtain!


Sydney Copp

Langley High School


Telling a story of coincidental love, alongside a crazy man-eating plant, the energy runs high in Paul VI Catholic High School's production of Little Shop of Horrors.


Beginning as an off-Broadway production in 1982, Little Shop of Horrors follows the tale of a clumsy florist shop worker, Seymour Krelborn, who creates a seemingly beautiful and exotic plant- until he discovers the plant eats only fresh, human blood. Still vying for the love and attention of coworker Audrey, Seymour decides to continue giving into the plant's gory cravings.


The cast and crew of PVI's production did a spectacular job of keeping the audience entertained in this hilarious story. The strong character development and clear relationships between them left the audience with a great impression of the actor's abilities and the obvious hard work they put into making their production superb.


With a goofy smile and band-aid covered fingers, Nathanial Smith as Seymour Krelborn brought endless energy to the stage. His comedic timing was spot-on, and his commitment to the klutzy, lovesick florist was impeccable, adding to an immensely loveable character. Smith's character development was clear through his consistency in his facial movements and physical body language throughout the production. Additionally, his relationship with both Audrey (Caleigh Davis) and Mr. Mushnik (Tommy Kelleher) were honest and evident in his numbers, "Mushnik and Son" and "Suddenly Seymour".


Another stand-out character, Caleigh Davis as Audrey also stole the show. From her heart-breaking number, "Somewhere That's Green", to finally realizing her love for Seymour in the number, "Suddenly Seymour", Davis always engaged the audience, capturing their hearts through her silky-smooth voice. Her vocals were impeccable, always able to belt the highest notes without cracking or sounding strained. Davis impressively kept up her accent throughout the entire production, contributing to the believability of her naïve character.


An unforgettable character, to say the least, was Drew Goldstein as Dr. Orin Scrivello, DDS. Although he was in the production for a short amount of time, he stole the spotlight every time his greasy, nitrous oxide-loving character went onstage. Specifically, in his number "Dentist!", the audience got a glimpse into Goldstein's everlasting energy as the Dentist, who put the audience in a love/hate relationship.


The Audrey II Team, Victor Perez-Sales on vocals and Matt Mooney on puppetry, was fantastic. The work they both put into making Audrey II seem real and menacing was carried out perfectly. The plant moved with finesse, always having a purpose. The movements matched the vocals, to the point where it didn't seem like two people were operating the plant at once.


The run crew of the production was noteworthy, executing flawless scene changes from the streets of Skid Row to the interior of Mushnik's floral shop. They were dressed in costume, so not to distract the audience from the changes in venue. On that note, the sets were phenomenal. They transported the audience out of a regular auditorium, and into the kooky world of Skid Row.


For a fast-paced production with endless laughs and engaging characters, Paul VI Catholic High School deserves a standing ovation for their outstanding production of Little Shop of Horrors.


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