Two years ago the Cappies program was introduced to the Fairfax County Public Schools. With the initiation of this program, high school students were introduced to a program similar to the Oscars. That year the Cappies gala was held at Hayfield Secondary School, but the next year it was moved to The Kennedy Center, which truly was an unforgettable experience. From the gowns to the tuxedos to the red carpet, everything felt sparkling and glamorous. But there is more to the Cappies program than the Gala.
At the beginning of this school year, the South Lakes High School Cappie critics were selected. They include Stephanie Wolfe, lead critic; Alison Cole; Amy Lerner, DJ Cashmere, Amy Dellagiarino and Ross Oklewicz. After having enjoyed two Cappies nights and two Galas, it was time for us to become critics, to find out what the program was really about. Numerous meetings were involved, as were copious emails. We found out that the planning for the Gala begins months before any of the rest of the high school theatre world even finds out the date.
One of the best parts of Cappies has been the chance to see other high school shows that normally we would not attend, due to distance or timing. But being able to see the talent at other schools has been a wonderful experience, as well as being able to discuss the shows with mentor directors from other schools and other student critics. We have also experienced the challenge of working on a deadline to write our reviews, which are between 300-400 words. Just like the Oscars, nothing can describe the excitement of having your review chosen.
The season is not over yet, but so far it has been a fantastic experience that we hope to repeat next year.