The 18th Annual Cappies Gala honoring high school theater was held Sunday, June 11 at The Kennedy Center in the District. Winning the top prizes for the Best Musical was West Potomac High School for “Billy Elliot," and winning Best Play was Duke Ellington School of the Arts for “The Bluest Eye.” This year's Masters of Ceremony were Judy Bowns and Janie Strauss with Erich DiCenzo and Phil Reid as Lead Players.
The show included 59 public and private high schools in Fairfax County, Arlington, Fauquier, Loudoun, Montgomery, and Prince William counties, and the Cities of Falls Church, Alexandria, and Washington, D.C. This year’s awards were pretty much evenly distributed across all of those regions. The Cappies season extended from late October to early May.
Cappies shows were attended, on average, by 45 student critics who wrote 300-599 word reviews. More than 300 student-written reviews were published or broadcast in local newspapers, including The Connection, Patch, Falls Church News Press, Times Community Newspapers, Loudoun Now, Maryland Theatre Guide, and Fairfax County Public Schools and other media.
The Cappies program was launched in the summer of 1999 by Judy Bowns, the Theatre Arts resource teacher with FCPS, and the late Bill Strauss (director, Capitol Steps), in cooperation with area theater teachers, for the purpose of celebrating and bringing public acclaim to high school theater.