Theatrically, when something becomes popular in our mainstream culture, people in the entertainment industry say that it has “BLOWN-UP!” At least that is the current expression that is often used.
The St. Louis Cappies has done just that this year. If you are not familiar with the STLC organization, let me explain. Cappies is an international organization, of which we are the St. Louis chapter. The original idea was to give the well-deserved recognition to high school theatre arts programs and its participants.
The way it works is theatre and journalism students sign-up to go to other high schools, see their shows and then write a critique of the production. The top reviews are then sent electronically to the entertainment editors of various publications, including the St. Louis Post Dispatch, Patch.com, The Beacon and ShowBizRadio.com.
After the high school theatre season is over, all of the critics get together and vote electronically in 40 different categories. The top five critic’s choices become the nominees for the annual awards gala. Last year 15 schools were chapter members. This means that 30 shows were reviewed by 135 critics resulting in nearly 700 written reviews!
Being published is a major accomplishment and is important to include on your resume, especially as a high school student.
This past year the STLC has literally “Blown-Up!”
Our chapter has made a quantum leap forward on several different levels. First, we brought Broadway to St. Louis. Two Broadway directors conducted a workshop for nearly 120 theatre students in the St. Louis metropolitan area. The workshop’s primary goal was to give students insight on “How to Audition” by putting students through the stringent audition process that is used on Broadway today.
Then students were able to audition for a chance to win a scholarship to attend a very exclusive workshop in New York City this summer, working for a week with some of Broadway’s elite. Everyone from Sutton Foster, multiple Tony award winner, to Julie Taymor, who created and directed Broadway’s “The Lion King” along with many other Pulitzer and Tony Award winning artists…including casting agents (wink).
Regarding college scholarships, this was the first year that Lindenwood University offered a $1,000 scholarship to ALL nominees and a $2,500 scholarship to all Cappies award winners. Previously, a scholarship of $1,000 was only offered to the winners. (cue explosion sound effect)
Another huge leap forward is the fact that this year’s gala presenters were all well-known theatre professionals who work in the entertainment industry. These first-class presenters include a wonderful actress that was on a popular television sitcom, from the Fox Theatre, the Muny, and Shakespeare St. Louis. One presenter is an Emmy Award winner.
Several other production companies presented awards including New Jewish Theatre, The Rep, Stages St. Louis, and The Black Rep. Both Lindenwood University and Washington University were also represented, among many other prestigious theatre professionals.
Therefore, the 11 performances, ten from the nominated plays and musicals and the eleventh, which was our traditional opening number were all seen by these top-notch theatre professionals. Talk about great “explosure!”
The STLC has made so much progress this year to directly benefit theatre and journalism students, there is too much to mention in detail here. But a quick list includes:
- Streamlined the Training and Voting Process
- Developed a Brand Image
- ShowBizRadio.com not only publishes critic
- reviews, but they also promote upcoming shows
- KDHX aired student-made radio commercials
- promoting your shows weekly
- Secured an additional grant for transportaiton expenses for Broadway Workshop scholarship recipients
- Added two additional awards: Marketing and
- Publicity and Special Effects/Technology
- Have a Facebook and Twitter account
If you want your school to be a member of a progressive theatre organization for high school students that honors and recognizes high school theatre students and their productions, plus provides a direct link to Broadway quality education and exposure, simply contact us by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org . Please ention the blog in your correspondence.