Both Woodson and Fairfax High have received Cappie nominations for their spring, theatrical productions. The winners will be revealed during the June 10 Cappies Gala at The Kennedy Center.
Woodson’s production of "Alice in Wonderland in Steampunk" garnered eight Cappies nods. They are: Supporting Actor in a Play, Peter Moses; Ensemble in a Play, Tweedledee and Tweedledum; Creativity, Arjun Baxter; Stage Crew, Katie Sosa, Robyn Smith and Isabel Jabaley; Special Effects and/or Technology, Kelsey Schwartzbach, Katie Sosa and David Willmore; Makeup, Brianna Weiner; Costumes, Ana Mendelson and Abby Deatherage; and Graduating Critic, Sophie Friedman.
"We had a record number of Cappie nominations this year, and that’s very exciting," said Director Terri Hobson. "We’re thrilled that we could share our work with the Cappies and the Woodson community and that they appreciated our efforts."
She’s especially pleased that the school received nominations in so many different areas, from performing to tech to critics. "It makes me very proud that our program is all-around strong," she said. "[But] theater doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Inviting patrons into Wonderland was such a creative and cooperative effort, involving every single person in the cast and crew."
Many of her students were brand new to theatre, such as Arjun Baxter who composed 15 original pieces of music for the show. "I’d seen Arjun playing his ukulele and making such amazing music come out of it that I introduced myself to him in October," said Hobson. "Then I asked him if he was interested in working on the project."
And there was the flight crew, several of whom hadn’t set foot backstage in the auditorium, but committed to working on the show. Since flying was such a big part of the play, Hobson said that commitment was crucial.
She also praised lead costumers Ana Mendelson and Abby Deatherage, who "trusted their crew of 23 students to use their creativity to create the costumes and come back with magic." Hobson said Brianna Weiner, in charge of makeup and hair, did likewise.
Regarding the actors, "There wasn’t a single character that wasn’t developed and committed, including puppeteers," said Hobson. "I’m so glad Peter Moses received much-deserved recognition for his supporting role. I think he’d agree that his scene partners were a part of his successful performance." She said Mitchell Kohlhaas as Tweedledum and Riley McGrath as Tweedledee also partnered well with Molly Jacob, as Alice, in their main scene.
"Even the Queen’s Cards got into the act," said Hobson. "The Stage Crew, also nominated, consisted of actors who used their brilliant characterizations to move not only the sets, but the scenes along. So I’m proud of each one of my kids who contributed onstage, backstage and everywhere else to bring pride to our school by producing a wonderful ‘Wonderland.’"
Parent Beth Whitehead, who acts and directs locally, mentored Woodson’s critics. "The team was dedicated, extremely hard-working and wonderfully creative – all qualities that theater folks have in abundance," she said. "They were timely in getting in their reviews and, most importantly, they took seriously the words they chose in order to critique the shows, praise the work and encourage all those involved. I am so proud of them."
Fairfax High received two nominations for "Sweeney Todd" – one for Alexandra Nicopoulos for Comic Actress in a Musical and one for Ally Pittman as a Graduating Critic.
"Of course, I’m over the moon about Alex’s nomination," said Director Wendy Knight. "She absolutely deserved it."
However, she added, "I believe there were many other students who also deserve recognition – such as our special-effects boy who built the barber’s chair and trap-door chute from scratch. As always, the Cappies nominations are a toss-up. Our show was stellar, and our students gave it their whole heart and soul. I could not be more proud of them."