The 15th Annual Greater Philadelphia Cappies Gala was a virtual hit! Although the Gala was forced away from Unionville High School and into everyone’s living rooms, the night still showcased the brilliant theatre that happened in the Philadelphia Area this year.
The night began, appropriately with a word from the founder of the Greater Philadelphia Cappies chapter, Upper Darby’s own, Mr. Harry Dietzler. He was excited that the Cappies was still going strong after fifteen years, and he remarked on the importance of celebrating high school theatre, the mantra of the Cappies program. “Theatre is important and I thank you for making it happen this year in whatever form it happened.”
With that, Noelle Ackland, the Program Director of GPC started the awards announcements, and the show was off and running! The night was filled with announcements of awards, “Fan Videos” that showcased the nominees for Play, Musical and Song, and the honoring of special Cappies critics.
The most crucial part of the Cappies program is the student critics. Each school chooses three to six students who travel to schools across Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware to watch shows, write reviews, and nominate performers and crews for Cappies nomination consideration. The top reviews are posted here on this blog. This year, Oakley Blinman (Harriton High School – 9th/10th grade), Fiona Moser (Agnes Irwin School – 11th grade), and Patrick McCann (Harriton High School – 12th grade) received the top critics honors for their grade level. Oakley and Patrick spear-headed Harriton High School as their school also took home the Cappies Award for Critics Team!
For performances categories, none shined brighter than Conestoga High School whose production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat took home twelve Cappies Awards including Set, Orchestra, Male and Female Vocalist (Will Dusinberre and Emma Krapels, respectively), Song (“Those Canaan Days”), and the coveted Musical award among their haul. Conestoga continues their incredible streak of taking home four of the last five Cappies Award for Musical. Ridley High School’s production of The Drowsy Chaperone took two of the top performing awards by scoring awards for the Lead Actor in a Musical (Ethan McKeller) and Lead Actress in a Musical (Mackenzie Cannon).
For the Play categories, Episcopal Academy took home three Cappies awards for their production of Walk Two Moons. The performance earned them the Lead Actress in a Play (Katie Locke), Comic Actor in a Play (Arnav Shiva), the top award by winning the Cappies Award for a Play. Lead Actor in a Play (Ian Duane) went to Friends Central School’s production of Shakespeare’s Love’s Labours Lost. Friends Central School and Interboro High School, with their production of The Curious Savage, both earned three Cappies Awards each for their school productions.
Another special moment of the night was presented by Joel Feldman, the co-founder of the Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation. Casey Feldman was a published critic and actress for the Cappies program, and she was tragically killed by a distracted driver. Each year, the foundation honors a Cappies critic who embodies Casey’s celebration of life, love for theatre, and most importantly, the spirit of giving and sharing that made her shine on and off stage and as a Cappies critic. This year, the Casey Feldman scholarship was awarded to Cassidy Lennick of the PA Leadership Charter School Center for Performing and Fine Arts. Cassidy was described as “An outstanding academic student with a long track record in excellence in dance, theatre, and volunteerism… with a huge heart with a love for theatre.” Congratulations to Cassidy and best wishes for your promising future. And the Cappies appreciates everything the Casey Feldman Foundation has done for the Cappies program over the years.
The complete list of nominees and winners can be found here.
Thank you for a memorable, interesting, fun year of theatre. We are looking forward to celebrating another year of high school theatre in the fall!