Wilson theater wins big at Cappies


Annette Leber and Ruby Mason

Wilson students received several awards at the Critics and Awards Program for High School Students (Cappies), a theater award ceremony hosted by the Kennedy Center on May 27. The ceremony celebrated nominees from 60 schools in DC, Maryland, and Virginia.

The Cappies have acted as the Tony Awards for high school students in the DMV area since 1999, recognizing the most talented students involved in theater. Throughout the year, teams of writers and critics from each school travel to watch various shows and write reviews about them, with the best reviews being published in local media outlets. The critics also submit names of people involved in the productions to be nominated for different awards presented at a formal gala.

The ceremony strives to inspire high school students to become involved in both theater and journalism. “I just feel that more people should join theater. I feel like theater is underrated and even though many people know about Broadway shows, not many people go to Broadway shows to have the full experience,” said freshman Zach Rakotomaniraka, a Wilson actor.

Wilson received a few nominations for the fall musical, “Rent.” Rakotomaniraka was nominated for Best Lead Actor for his character, Mark. Students were also awarded for their work as critics: the Wilson critics team was nominated for Best Critic Team, and junior Lily Perez received the Maryland Theater Guide Returning Critic award.

Perez said that she was “completely shocked” to have won an award. “There are varying levels of commitment, and for Wilson it’s hard because there are really only two schools in DC that are part of it, us and Duke Ellington,” Perez explained. As many of the other participating schools are located in Maryland and Virginia, members of the Wilson team must drive half an hour to an hour away to watch shows.

Perez is the lead critic of the nine-member Wilson Cappies team, which travels to other schools to review their plays. The critics from all of the participating schools vote for acting and stage awards, like the Best Lead Actor nomination that Rakotomanana received.

The success of Wilson at the Cappies will encourage the Wilson theater program to improve and thrive. Senior Olivia Greene, one of the stage managers of “Rent,” explained that, “if you do really well at the Cappies they want to see way more of you, so it’s always just a push to do a lot better.” The team hopes to continue to find success in the next Cappies season.