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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.

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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.

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22Mar

Best written reviews for “Alice’s Looking-Glass Adventures Chapter 3” performed by Thomas A. Edison High School in Alexandria, Virginia. Reviewed on March 20, 2021.

This show may be viewed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-MPnyYJN24

 

Zoe Benton

Tuscarora High School

 

Riddles and rhymes begin to fill the air, as the audience hears a strange hatter and hare. It's always teatime here, you see, in Thomas A. Edison High School's "Alice's Looking Glass Adventures: Chapter 3!" This podcast was full of all the crazy and entertaining scenes of Wonderland from Lewis Carroll's beloved classic. From flamingo croquet to the Queen's deadly habits, this production was simply fantastic.

 

This podcast was based on Lewis Carroll's books "Alice in Wonderland" and "Alice Through the Looking Glass", which tell the imaginative tale of a young girl's trip through a fantastical world. Edison Theatre Company transformed the stage play adaptation of this world by Alice Gerstenberg into a 4-episode radio adventure. Chapter 3 followed Alice (Charlotte Chozick) as she encountered the Mad Hatter (Lars Irvin), the March Hare (Luke Pietrykowski), and the Dormouse (Landen Chanthaphanij) in their teatime, met a noisy Duchess (Tiffany Thompson), and played a very odd game of croquet with the Queen and King of Hearts (Isabelle Anderson and Campbell Wood).

 

This performance kept the audience engaged and intrigued. All of the audio lined up very nicely, and the sounds were well placed. Each of the performers presented a unique character, making it easy for the audience to distinguish who was who -- a feat that can be difficult in auditory performances.

 

Charlotte Chozick's portrayal of Alice provided all of the argumentative sass and charming intelligence of the classic character. Her vocal range conveyed emotion without being over the top and maintained the poise that young Alice is known for. That wacky and sometimes spooky Cheshire Cat (Dylan Tootle) left a strong impression on the audience with his mysterious voice and eerie laugh. Pietrykowski, Irvin, and Chanthaphanij worked well together as the March Hare, Mad Hatter, and Dormouse with their nonsensical riddles and tea shenanigans. Their unique voices brought the wacky scene to life.

 

The King of Hearts and his woeful longing for an attached head were expressed wonderfully by Campbell Wood. The beheading-obsessed Queen of Hearts, played by Isabelle Anderson, brilliantly conveyed the exciting hotheadedness of her majesty. Another lady of questionable judgement, the Duchess was played wonderfully by Tiffany Thompson, who expressed the discontent of the caretaker well.

 

The many sound effects of this show truly worked to create Wonderland. From clinking teacups to echoing narration, these creative commotions allowed the audience to visualize the performance without the set or costumes. Aiden Yancy did a fantastic job as the Sound Consultant on the production, and his hard work is what made this podcast rival professional work. One effect that truly set the tone of the scene was the echoing narration in the forest, which left a haunting impression.

 

Thomas A. Edison High School's 3rd installment of "Alice's Looking Glass Adventures" was a perfect balance of eerie, odd, and fun. It made the audience wonder what will come next and drew them in to find the next chapter in Alice's story. All four episodes of this production are available on YouTube through the channel Edison HS Theatre, and they are certain to be filled with all the oddities and fantasies of Wonderland.

 


Emilia Ermanoski

McLean High School

 

Curious to see what's on the other side of the looking glass? Follow the story of Alice, as she discovers the wondrous world of Thomas A. Edison High School's Alice's Looking-Glass Adventures: Chapter 3, a humorous, whimsical retelling of the legendary tale for all ages to enjoy.

 

The story opened with the third chapter of a four-chapter series, in which young Alice passes through a garden and wanders right into a tea party uninvited. There, she meets the bantering March Hare and Mad Hatter, along with a particularly sleepy Dormouse. After the tea party descends into madness, Alice is pulled into ever-stranger situations. From meeting a peculiar, vanishing cat to finding herself in a game of croquet with the Queen of Hearts, Alice encounters many more of Wonderland's most curious creatures along the way.

 

This radio-play was an inventive solution to the restrictions of creating a theatre production during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the fall, the students voted to produce a version of Alice in Wonderland, and the public domain stage play by Alice Gerstenberg, which was based on the books by Lewis Carroll, was just the right fit. Jeffrey Walker, the Edison theatre director, adapted this stage play into a podcast, cast the roles, and edited and produced the radio show. The show was split into four parts for rehearsal and was eventually organized into four chapters.

 

This podcast-take on a stage play exemplified the actors' ability to adapt and experiment with a different medium for performance. Each actor made their character's voices unique and differentiable. Charlotte Chozick, who played Alice, exemplified this through her clear and youthful voice. Chozick painted the perfect picture of Alice's wonder and bewilderment through her skilled diction and intonation. Another noteworthy performance was that of Landen Chanthaphanij, who portrayed the Dormouse. Chanthaphanij presented the nocturnal rodent with amusing snores and sleepy mutterings. And of course, Wonderland wouldn't be the same without the iconic charm of the Cheshire Cat. Dylan Tootle presented the up-to-no-good feline with a teasing voice and a shrill laugh. The Cheshire Cat's famous toothy grin could almost be heard through Tootle's inflection.

 

The show demonstrated an engaging style of performance, consisting of many creative ways to perform without the physicality of theatre. Its podcast style echoed that of a storyteller telling a story to an eagerly listening audience, as every voice and sound presented came together to help create an imaginative scene. The specific choice of music and sound effects (courtesy of Epidemic Sound) emphasized each scene's purpose. Whether it was the extravagant, jovial melodies or tableware shattering into pieces, each sound created a fitting ambiance for the play's comedic chaos. Additionally, the production team made an excellent decision to accompany the play with a slideshow, which decorated the screen with entertaining illustrations of scenes and characters.

 

The several months of production demonstrated the diligence of the cast and crew. As this play is audio-heavy, technical elements such as sound mixing and recording were crucial. Each voice part was recorded separately and then mixed with the music and sound effects, evidence of how detail-oriented the production team was. Aiden Yancy, the sound consultant, provided assistance for the show's audio quality, making for a delightful listen.

 

Take a moment to venture through the looking glass, and experience Thomas A. Edison High School's storytelling marvel.

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