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Writing, Critical Thinking, and Love of Theater: Visitation Joins the Cappies

This performance season, the Georgetown Visitation Masqueraders joined the Cappies, a high school theater awards non-profit that helps students think critically about shows and is 100 percent student-driven. Recently, student critic Cathy Kolesar '20 was chosen from submitted reviews of Washington Liberty High School's "Noises Off" to be published in Insidenova - Sun Gazette.

"[The Cappies] is like the high school version of the Tony's," said Director of Performing Arts Neptune Pringle III, noting that throughout the year, students act as theater critics. "Some students are fully involved in theater. Some are just into entertainment. Some are into journalism. It brings different worlds together."

The National Capital Area chapter of the Cappies includes schools across DC, Maryland, and Virginia. Student critic teams of seven are assigned five performances to attend and review. After each performance, each student writes a review of the play or musical. These are reviewed by Cappies mentors, and only a few are selected to be published in area news. 

"It's a great opportunity to boost writing skills and meet other students who are into theater," said Pringle. "[The reviews] are published the following day. It's a real publishing deadline."

After seeing Washington Liberty High School's performance of "Noises Off," Kolesar typed up her required review and sent it off for submission. "Noises Off" was the first performance attended by the school's critic team, and therefore the first Cappies theater reviews written by Visitation students. Kolesar's piece was chosen as one of five student reviews to be published locally. 

"Since joining Tech Crew as a freshman, I have really come to love theater and seeing how other schools and directors interpret their shows," said Kolesar. "When Mr. Pringle asked me if I would like to participate in the Cappies this summer, I gladly took the opportunity to see other high school productions in our area. I’ve gotten to see plays that I had never heard of like 'Noises Off' and I will be seeing other shows that are some of my favorites like 'Legally Blonde' and 'Romeo and Juliet.'"

Later this year, Visi Cappies participants will be able to participate in and attend the Cappies' award show. Pringle anticipates the school will be up for an award for "Best Musical Number," following the spring musical, "Jesus Christ Superstar."

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