X
GO

CAPPIES IS GOING VIRTUAL FOR THE 2020-2021 SEASON! SEE BELOW FOR DETAILS.

Applications for the 2020-2021 Cappies season are due by September 22, 2020. All Critic information must be included in the applications.

Need more information? Please contact AdminNCA@cappies.com.

  Join Now

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.
GET STARTED

CURRENT REVIEWS NOW AVAILABLE

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

AWARDS PREVIOUS SEASON

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

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.
CONTACT LIST
15Mar

Best written reviews for “Lucy in the Sky Alone” performed by Westfield High School in Chantilly, Virginia. Reviewed on March 13, 2021.

This show can be viewed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-aI9afO8Fs

 

Elizabeth Cheek

Justice High School

 

How do you find your place in the world, and how do you know when you've found it?

 

Growing up can be difficult, especially in this day and age. Westfield High School's original production of "Lucy in the Sky Alone" sheds some light on this idea by highlighting the transition from school to adulthood. With a distinctly relevant and inspiring narrative, the students have crafted an authentic yet relatable take on the uncertainty one experiences when finding one's purpose. Written and directed by student Beverly D'Andrea, "Lucy in the Sky Alone" follows college student Lucy Reiner within a week of graduation as she becomes unsure whether to follow a traditional path or pursue her dream career as a journalist. When she overhears a scheme involving her boyfriend's internship at a banking firm, she writes up the story in hopes that it will get published. Her decision to do so leaves their relationship strained, making her realize that she must pick either her boyfriend or her career.

 

Every character plays a pivotal role in the development of Lucy's identity as she contemplates her future, and every actor delivered a remarkable performance. The main role of Lucy was played expertly by D'Andrea, who showed a clear character progression with colorful facial expressions and a range of emotion that portrayed Lucy's inconclusiveness about a future with her boyfriend, John Lennon, and her ever-growing passion for journalism. Lennon, admirably played by Brian Purtell, appeared convincingly unsupportive of Lucy's aspirations while expressing utter disappointment when begging Lucy not to publish her work. Matthew Krelovich's skillful portrayal of both Philip and Mr. Lennon exhibited his versatility. The personality of an artistic journalism intern compared to that of a rigid and deceitful father contributed to the continuity of the piece with smooth transitions. It was particularly impressive considering the number of quick changes that occurred for the live recording.

 

The production carried well in a virtual format. The Beatles undertone, evident through character names and song references, provided a foundation upon which the play could build in addition to showcasing a sense of connection among the characters. The exceptional script was relevant to high school students, including those who created it. D'Andrea did a stellar job of integrating relatable aspects into the story as well as making it easy to tell which characters were intended to be in the same room using specific dialogue. Her work as a director is also extremely commendable. Moreover, Emma Anderson's effective costume work helped establish the different scenes and time of day, such as more formal attire late at night.

 

The ending reveals Lucy has grown up to become a successful journalist and left John, but the rest is rather ambiguous, leaving it up to the audience's interpretation. There are many different paths she can take or has taken, which can make it frustrating and stressful, but that's being imperfect, and that's being human. It's what keeps you on the ground - you don't have to be in the sky alone.


Kiran Drew

South Lakes High School

 

Uncertainty is something many college seniors deal with, especially with the rest of their lives laid out in front of them. Lucy in the Sky Alone, Westfield High School's original production, captures this very well, and examines the stress of choosing a path in life.

 

Written by Beverly D'Andrea, Lucy in the Sky Alone was a production that examined the hard choices college students must make when deciding the paths that they will take in life. The production followed Lucy Reiner, a college senior, who was faced with a dilemma of whether to pursue her passion for journalism or remain on the path she was currently on. As the story progresses, Lucy was pulled back and forth on which path to take, until the story finally culminates as Lucy chose the path she would take.

 

Beverly D'Andrea, along with writing the show, played Lucy, the story's protagonist, and portrayed the character with a wide variety of emotions. Throughout the play, D'Andrea truly captured the conflict Lucy was struggling with in her performance and made Lucy's climactic decision of the path she would pursue all the more believable. Through the interactions Lucy had with other characters in the story, she was able to further Lucy's character which eventually culminated in her decision about which path she would take in life.

 

The supporting characters helped to represent the conflict Lucy was struggling with, in the characters of John and Elise. John, played by Brian Purtell, is Lucy's boyfriend and represented what was holding her to the current path she was set on. Purtell played the character very balanced, as someone who cared about Lucy and her happiness, but also cared about his internship and the future opportunities laid in front of him. By playing the character in a balanced manner, it allowed for the audience to understand his motives more, and for him to be a more human character. Elise, played by Payton Kuhlman, served as a positive presence in Lucy's life, supporting her and pushing her to pursue her dream. Kuhlman portrayed the character as friendly and supportive, complimenting Lucy's work and reminding her that she should pursue what she wanted to, not what others wanted her to.

 

Even though this production had to be performed and recorded online, the cast did not let that detract from the story. Just like on a real stage, characters would enter in and out when they were present in scenes, making it easy to follow the characters who were present on stage at any given time. Along with having an original piece present at the beginning of the show, and the recording being taped continuously, it was evident that the technological setting of this performance was not covered up, but embraced, which benefited the show. While there were some moments with long pauses or breaks due to the nature of this recording, it did not detract from the production drastically.

Related

Best written reviews for Cowboy’s #2 performed by Herndon High School in Herndon, Virginia.  Reviewed on April 16, 2021.

Best written reviews for Cowboy’s #2 performed by Herndon High School in Herndon, Virginia. Reviewed on April 16, 2021.

Herndon High School in Herndon, Virginia, presented, Cowboy’s #2 to the Cappies Critics on April 16...

Read More >
Best written reviews for “Ramble” performed by Robinson Secondary School in Fairfax, Virginia.  Reviewed on April 10, 2021

Best written reviews for “Ramble” performed by Robinson Secondary School in Fairfax, Virginia. Reviewed on April 10, 2021

Robinson Secondary School in Fairfax, Virginia, presented, “Ramble” to the Cappies Critics on Apri...

Read More >
Best written reviews for “Growing Up” performed by Wakefield High School in Arlington, Virginia.  Reviewed on April 10, 2021.

Best written reviews for “Growing Up” performed by Wakefield High School in Arlington, Virginia. Reviewed on April 10, 2021.

Wakefield High School in Arlington, Virginia, presented, “Growing Up” to the Cappies Critics on Ap...

Read More >
Upcoming Shows