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Madison Wins Best Play at Cappies

Local high school receives three awards.

Best Play: “Lend Me a Tenor,” James Madison High School, (from left): Anna Voyles, Allison Brandmark, Emily Wade and Matthew Lansdell.

Best Play: “Lend Me a Tenor,” James Madison High School, (from left): Anna Voyles, Allison Brandmark, Emily Wade and Matthew Lansdell. Photo by Steve Hibbard.

Madison High’s “Lend Me a Tenor” won the award for Best Play at the 14th annual Cappies Gala, Sunday night, June 9, at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Robinson Secondary captured the Best Musical honor for “Hairspray.”

Madison also received awards for Comic Actor in a Play and Costumes. And presenting the starry statuette for Best Play was Karen Garza, recently named superintendent of Fairfax County Public Schools.

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Costumes: James Madison High School, “Lend Me a Tenor,” (from left): Shannon Finney, Kate McHale and Samira Pakmeh.

“I’m so excited,” said cast member Allison Brandmark. “It’s amazing. We had some awesome actors and fabulous technicians who worked really well together to make the show what it was.”

“It’s a really entertaining show,” added Anna Voyles. “The actors were really great, and I’m a techie—so a shout-out goes to the techies, too.”

Sean Pedersen was honored as Comic Actor in a Play. “I feel great,” he said. “I thank my mom and moms everywhere for great parenting. I wouldn’t be involved in this without my mom’s constant support. She took a lot for the team. Even when she was being treated for Lyme Disease and couldn’t drive, she found rides for me to rehearsal.”

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Comic Actor in a Play: Sean Pederson, James Madison High School, “Lend Me a Tenor.”

When asked what made his performance stand out with Cappies voters, Pedersen gave the credit to his cast mates. “It’s because we were able to play the comedy off each other,” he explained. “So we all shared the spotlight.”

The Costumes award went to Shannon Finney, Kate McHale and Samira Pakmeh. “It’s amazing,” said Finney, a junior. “We worked so hard, and it’s such an honor to be recognized in front of all our peers and fellow thespians.”

Senior McHale said, “There’s no way we could have done it without the rest of our crew. I’m shocked, because I’ve never won a Cappie before.” Pakmeh, a junior, said, “The long hours after school really paid off.” But, like McHale, she said the victory wouldn’t have been possible “without everyone else in the production.”