Meridian High School recently received nine Cappie nominations for their production of “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) [Revised].” Nominations include best play, best ensemble in a play, best male role in a play, best female role in a play and more.
According to their website, the Cappies are “a writing and awards program that trains high school theatre and journalism students to be expert writers, critical thinkers, and leaders.”
Meridian is a member of the Cappies of the National Capital Area. Each participating school selects a show to attend where they have pre, mid and post-show discussions about the performance and write reviews based on both technical and performance aspects of the production. The best written reviews are then sent to local news outlets as well as the school that put on the performance.
“My favorite part of my experience with Cappies has been participating in the post-show discussions with fellow Cappies critics from all over Northern Virginia,” said Erin Tarpgaard, a junior at MHS and lead critic on the Meridian Cappies team. “These discussions allow me to meet and learn from writers, actors, and techies from many other high schools. Cappies is a very positive environment that is full of high schoolers recognizing the hard work of other high schoolers, and I have loved being the lead critic for Meridian’s Cappies team.”
This will be the first time the gala is in person since 2019. In 2020 there were no nominations as the pandemic hit halfway through the season and not every school had the chance to perform their spring plays. In 2021, the Cappies hosted a virtual event but MHS made the decision to opt out.
Their spring production received high praises from the critics in attendance.
“Meridian High School’s ‘The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) [Revised]’ was charming, hilarious, and perfectly bizarre,” said Alayna Steele from West Springfield High School in her review. “For a show attempting to capture all of William Shakespeare’s plays in just over 90 minutes, this play was expectedly chaotic in the most engaging way. With a non-existent fourth wall, the cast was able to interact with the audience hilariously and organically, and it was all pulled off by a troupe of 30 actors performing a play meant for three.”
“At the end of the jam-packed 97 minutes the audience was left with the kind of buzz that only comes from hours of laughter,” said Atticus Gregory from Heritage High School. “Meridian High School’s modernized retelling of ‘The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) [Revised]’ could not have been funnier and is a must see for all.”
Full reviews from Steele and Gregory can be found at cappies.com/nca.
Since MHS received a nomination for best play, they will have a chance to perform a 3 minute segment of their play at the event and reenter the rehearsal process.
“The real exciting part is getting to perform at the Kennedy Center as part of the gala like we did with ‘Spamalot.’ What I said to the kids then also was that [performing at the Kennedy Center] is the true award and the entertaining part,” said Shawn Northrip, a Film and Theater teacher at MHS and director of ‘The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) [Revised].’ “It was a great experience. When I talk to those students now, they still refer to it as one of the highlights of their lives.”
The Cappie Gala is set for June 6 at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Concert Hall.