High school theater students from 14 public and private schools throughout Broward and Palm Beach counties took home awards from the 14th Annual Cappies Awards Gala held on May 24 in the Au-Rene Theater at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts.
American Heritage School in Plantation and West Boca High School tied for the most awards with six each. The most honored play was Falling produced at American Heritage School while there way a three-way tie for the most honored musical between Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Boca Raton Community High School), Shrek (Stoneman Douglas High School) and Chicago (West Boca High School).
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 FloridaTheaterOnStage.com.
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 each received a $500 scholarship.
Additionally, two scholarships were awarded to three Cappies nominees who submitted an application detailing their goals in pursuit of future education and a biographical essay describing their experiences in the program.
Two Melinda Clarke Spotlight scholarships which funds $750 for college or future theatrical training were awarded to Taylor Barth and Carlo Feliciani. One Stagedoor Manor Performing Arts Training scholarship that funds tuition, room and board for one session at Stagedoor Manor in Loch Sheldrake, NY was given to Hagan Oliveras.
Etai Benson and Randi Kleiner, the first ever recipients of the South Florida Cappies for Lead Actor and Actress in a Musical held in 2003, returned to host the Gala this year.
The awards ceremony was presented with support from the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, which has hosted the event since the South Florida chapter of the Critics and Awards Program (Cappies for short) was founded in 2002 as a part of the national non-profit organization honoring high school theater programs.