Heritage Wins Big at the Cappies – But what is a Cappie?

Elise Woodfolk, Staff Writer

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Having your school recognized for an amazing performance is a rewarding result for months of long, hard work. Unknown to some, the Cappies (Critics and Awards Programming) is an organization that recognizes and shines a light on high school creativity and performances. It was created by Capitol Hill co-founder, Bill Strauss and the Fairfax County Public School administrator, Judy Bowns in 1999. While the program had previously started in Fairfax county it quickly spread to the Washington D.C. area, which boasts the largest amount of participating schools. By 2002 the Cappies were recognizing schools nationwide.

In the fall, a school must choose a show they would like Cappies critics to attend and form a team of volunteers to prepare a performance for them. Between 20-90 critics evaluate a high school’s show before, in the middle, and at the end of the performance. Later, a gala is held to host all the schools participating in the awards. They allow schools to showcase a show song before announcing the awards in each schools nominated category. The Cappies have theater and journalism students write reviews, compose nominations, and decide the winners to build future leaders and provide long-lasting experience.

Pride Productions at the Cappies Gala

Pride Productions produced an exceptional performance in their spring musical, Mamma Mia! Heritage participated in the Cappies and received  eight nominations in the following categories: Best of Marketing & Publicity, Orchestra, Choreography, Stage Crew, Female Dancer, Lead Actress in a Musical, Song, and Best Musical. At the gala Pride Productions received awards for Orchestra, Choreography, and Female Dancer. Of the 60 schools involved, Heritage was one of eleven chosen to perform at the Cappies Award Ceremony because of their nomination for Best Show.