Sunday, June 9, was a star-studded night at The Kennedy Center, as talented students from area high schools were honored at the third annual Cappies Gala.
The big winners were McLean High School, receiving five Cappies for its play, "David and Lisa," and Westfield High, capturing four awards for its musical, "Godspell."
McLean's honors were for: Best play; lead actor in a play, Ryan Caskie; featured actress in a play, Rachel Marshall; cameo actor, Paul Baumbusch; and ensemble, student patients.
Westfield was lauded for: Best musical; lead actor in a musical, Jon Lawlor; sound, Jimmy Lawlor and Lighting, Katie McElhaney.
Dressed to the nines in ball gowns and suits, the students promenaded on stage to wild cheers and applause at the start of the show.
And from then on, the crowd was only silent in those moments before each winner was announced.
Several dignitaries presented the awards, including Fairfax County Schools Superintendent Daniel A. Domenech, members of the county School Board and Del. Kenneth R. Plum (D-36th).
Praising the students — who performed selections from their shows in between pairs of awards — Domenech told them, "You don't just put on an awards banquet — you put on a heck of a show."
Theater-arts resource teacher Judy Bowns and Capitol Steps director Bill Strauss began the Cappies to celebrate high-school theater. High school students attend and write reviews of each show and later select the award nominees and vote for the winners.