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Southern Florida by John Lariviere

The 13th Annual Cappies Award Winners

Also see John's review of Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson

The 13th Annual Critics' Awards Program (or Cappies for short) recently celebrated outstanding achievement in high school theater, as students from 23 public and private schools throughout Broward and Palm Beach County vied for top honors in the Cappies Awards Gala held on May 19th at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts. Modeled after Broadway's Tony Awards, the Cappies Awards features songs and scenes from the top-nominated shows and recognizes the best in high school theater in 42 categories, encompassing awards for performers, designers, technicians, and critics.

Cappie Award winners are determined by votes from the students through a weighted peer review voting process. Nominations are made by student critics from participating schools who attend productions at rival schools and write reviews, which are then edited by theater educators and published on The schools with the most nominations this year were South Plantation High School, with 19 nominations for its musical production of The Addams Family, and Boca Raton Community High School with 16 nominations for The Drowsy Chaperone and three for criticism. Stoneman Douglas High School led in the play category with 16 nominations for their production of Twelfth Night.

In addition to awards, $500 scholarships were given to each of the students who were recognized as Senior Critic, Lead Actor in Play, Lead Actress in a Play, Lead Actor in a Musical and Lead Actress in a Musical. The full list of winners is below:

American Heritage School - Completeness
Comic Actress in a Play: Katrina Hickey
Sound: Rachel Banach

Archbishop McCarthy High School - A Few Good Men
Best Play Lead Actor in a Play: Eric Maltz
Supporting Actor in a Play: Matthew Salas
Featured Actor in a Play: Juan Arcila
Featured Actress in a Play: Alexandria Palazzo
Comic Actor in a Play: Kevin Fitzpatrick
Stage Crew: Christine Fanchini

Boca Raton Community High School - The Drowsy Chaperone
Lead Actor in a Musical: Brendan Feingold
Supporting Actor in a Musical: Trevor Wayne
Lighting: Loren Stoller, Paige Munguia, Joane Compas, and crew
Special Effects and or Technology: Valeria Castano, Daniel Martinez, Sofia Garcia-Sanchez, Matthew Moore and crew
Props: Emily Hunsucker, Allie Posner and Lorein Mones

Coral Glades High School - Pippin
Featured Actor in a Musical: Eli Flynn
Featured Actress in a Musical: Lena Armas
Female Dancer: Julia Mattos

Cypress Bay High School
Junior Critic: Nick Lopez

Deerfield Beach High School
Sophomore Critic: Maya Quinones

JP Taravella High School - Ragtime
Supporting Actress in a Musical: Leanne Antonio

North Broward Preparatory - Sideshow
Song: "Private Conversations"
Male Dancer: Mitchell Tobin
Male Vocalist: Miles McKee

Pine Crest School - Gypsy
Lead Actress in a Musical: Destiny Arlotta

South Plantation High School - The Addams Family
Best Musical
Comic Actress in a Musical: Kelly Walsh
Orchestra: Cousin It's Pits
Costumes: HannahSinger
Marketing and Publicity: Ashley Cador and Sydney Wheeler

The Sagemont School - The Miracle Worker
Lead Actress in a Play: Erica Merlino

Stoneman Douglas High School - Twelfth Night
Critics' Team
Senior Critic: Eden Skopp
Supporting Actress in a Play: Ana Hymson
Ensemble in a Play: Circus Performers
Creativity: Melissa Mauer (Directing)

University School of Nova Southeastern University - The Mystery of Edwin Drood
Freshman Critic: Erin Cary
Female Vocalist: Michelle Langone
Choreography: Sophie Septoff

West Boca High School - The Addams Family
Ensemble in a Musical: Ancestors
Sets: Matthew Fread, Ryan Hartman, Nick Morelli and Cristina Rodriguez
Make-up: Marianne Alex, Amanda Helbling, Cori Rosenthal and Missy Varela

West Broward High School - Legally Blonde
Comic Actor in a Musical: Kyle Valencia

This year's awards ceremony was presented with support from the Broward Center for the Performing Arts. "The Broward Center is a leader in arts in education and has hosted the awards since the South Florida chapter was founded in 2002," said South Florida Cappies Program Director Lori Sessions. "Students performing and being honored on its stage is a wonderful way to celebrate the culmination of the year's program."

The Broward Center for the Performing Arts is located in the Riverwalk Arts & Entertainment District at 201 SW Fifth Ave. in Fort Lauderdale. The Broward Center for the Performing Arts is one of America's premier performing arts venues. Presenting more than 700 performances each year to more than 700,000 patrons, the Center showcases a wide range of exciting cultural programming and events, and offers one of the largest arts-in-education programs in the United States, serving more than 150,000 students annually. The Broward Performing Arts Foundation, Inc. receives and maintains funds to sustain, develop and secure the future of the Broward Center. The Broward Center for the Performing Arts is located in the Riverwalk Arts & Entertainment District at 201 SW Fifth Ave. in Fort Lauderdale. For more information, visit

See the current theatre season schedule for southern Florida.

-- John Lariviere

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