Churchill: Best of the Pits

Churchill: Best of the Pits

Seventh annual Cappies gala honors best of the best in high school theater.

There’s finally something the Sharks and the Jets can agree on: Winston Churchill High School had an outstanding pit orchestra in its “West Side Story” production last fall.

That’s the way local high-school theater critics felt. They named Churchill the top pit orchestra at the

The seventh annual Cappies gala, honoring the best in high-school theater, was held Sunday night at The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

Nominees from 58 schools from throughout the Washington Metropolitan area donned their finest formal attire and cheered for their friends and classmates while eagerly awaiting the announcement of each winner.

Accepting the award was freshman Ethan Marks, 14, who played trumpet in the Cappies orchestra on Sunday night. He's played trumpet almost seven years. "It's great; I'm very happy. We played really well. We won last year, too, so I thought we had a good chance," Marks said.

AND WHEN the 3 1/2-hour ceremony was done, schools from Loudoun and Arlington counties walked off with the two top awards for the first time in Cappies history. H-B Woodlawn in Arlington won for Best Play with "The Marriage of Bette and Boo," and "Best Musical" honors went to Stone Bridge in Loudoun County for "Seussical."

Corey-Antonio Hawkins of Duke Ellington was Lead Actor in a Play for "The Laramie Project," and Abba Kiser of Chantilly High was Lead Actress in a Play for "Auntie Mame." Lead Actor in a Musical went to Stone Bridge's Mace Sorenson, and Lead Actress in a Musical went to Clifton's Nicole Smith of Seton for "Annie, Get Your Gun."

T.C. Williams in Alexandria won the award for Critics Team for the fourth year in a row. And Burke's Chelsea Cook, named Rising Critic, became the first home-schooled student to ever receive a Cappie.

Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va.), there to help present the Cappie for Props & Effects, praised the nominees in all the categories. "Each year, the level of performance just keeps getting better and better and better," he said. "Forget the Tonys; this is it, as far as I'm concerned."