West Potomac High Earns 19 Cappie Nominations for Their Production of MONTY PYTHON’s SPAMALOT
Putting on a production that allows students to improve their singing, acting and design skills and “wows” audiences is impressive. Getting 19 National Capitol Area Cappie Awards nominations for your efforts is a feat that deserves attention. However, that is exactly what the team at West Potomac High School in Alexandria, Virginia did in their recent production of MONTY PYTHON’S SPAMALOT. We are honored that they chose selections from our SPAMALOT backdrops collection. (And we are proud to play a small role in their scenery and overall production!)
What Does it Take to Earn 19 Cappie Nods?
The Cappies “Critics and Awards Program” is an annual awards gala. Each year, the 13 chapters across the US and Canada nominate high school level theatrical programs within their region for awards for various aspects of their productions. The Cappies leave no aspect of theater out. Awards span technical, creative, and performance categories. Ultimately, the experience teaches students more about the theatrical community and assist them in properly critiquing productions. Furthermore, the awards also give school theatre programs exposure in the high-profile national and regional publications that publish their Production Reviews. Being nominated for any one award one is an honor. Being nominated for 19, however, really speaks to the hard work and dedication put into the show.
How Did West Potomac do it?
Philip Lee Clark leads the theatre department at West Potomac. He directs shows that their young casts and tech crews produce under the flag of the Beyond the Page Theatre Company. Clark knew he wanted a script that incorporated comedy, great musical numbers, and a variety of scenic settings. Finally, he decided upon MONT PYTHON’S SPAMALOT. He knew that his team would have a lot of script memorization, rehearsal, and set design to tackle in order to make the production a success. He quickly got to work, casting students and assigning roles. Clark made sure not to leave out a single a scene or musical number of Python-esque pun.
The costumes and makeup that Clark and his team put together were truly professional grade, easily rivaling any touring production. They chose TheatreWorld Backdrops’ SPAMALOT inspired Castle Portcullis, Stylized Vegas Wedding Chapel Castle, Dark and Extremely Expensive Forest and Red and Gold Drapes. They then combined these with our Feathered Fairy Tale Sky and Breaking Through the Clouds sky backdrops. Next, their scenic team finished off the job with a variety of superbly crafted set pieces.
Finally, after diligent rehearsals, painstakingly detailed scenic design sessions, and, no doubt, a good amount of laughs, Clark’s team shared one of Broadway’s most decorated shows with audiences of all ages.
The Reviews are In!
The young critics and mentors from the national Capitol Area Chapter of the Cappies attended the show and were immediately enthralled. Alexander Warren of George Mason High School had this to say about the show:
“What really took this show over the top however was the talent bringing it to life. The young actors, actresses, singers, dancers, builders, painters, choreographers, costume designers, and whistlers of West Potomac High School devoted themselves to pushing their respective crafts as far as they could go. Everything was simply superb. The cast was truly all singing, all dancing. There was no noticeable weak link, even in the largest of spectacular group numbers. Boy, were they spectacular. Fringe, glitter, sparkles, beautifully painted backdrops, rising to reveal wonderfully crafted, rotating sets, a gigantic Trojan Rabbit, a bedazzled yarmulke, a bedazzled baby carriage, a neon Star of David a story high, beautiful girls in revealing clothing, scrawny boys in clothing that revealed even more, girls dressed as men, men dressed as girls, a killer bunny rabbit, a quadriplegic Black Night, a wedding, tap routines, whistling routines, elaborately choreographed umbrella routines. I would dismiss that description as one of Stefan’s hottest clubs in New York if I hadn’t seen it yesterday with my own eyes. The only sad thing about the whole affair is that not everyone in the DMV was able to see it. “
Good Luck, Beyond the Page Theatre Company!
With reviews like that, it is no surprise at all that this production received 19 National Capitol Area Cappie nods. The production received nominations for all facets of a theatrical production, from acting, to set design to choreography. Additionally, the chapter nominated student critics from Beyond the Page Theatre Company. (Get the full list of nominations here.) The awards ceremony is this Sunday, June 8, 2014 in the Concert Hall of the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. Student actors and tech crew members will be on-hand at the gala. Additionally, the cast will perform “You Won’t Succeed on Broadway” live for the audience. Please join us in wishing West Potomac High’s entire theatrical team the best of luck at the awards gala. Their hard work and dedication is certainly worthy of the recognition that they are, undoubtedly, in store for.