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What are the Cappies?

Updated: May 12, 2023


The Cappies (Critics and Awards Program) is an international program that recognizes, celebrates, and provides learning experiences for high school theatre and journalism students.

Redeemer participates in the Cappies because it strengthens our own drama program through introducing higher stakes and a critical (though friendly) audience. Sending a team of critics to review high school theatre also bolsters our writing program. Students practice and develop high-level writing skills. In addition, we engage with other local high schools which helps us be known in the community. This year, we had eight students, from Grade 9 through 12, on our Cappies team. They’re chosen primarily for their strong writing ability, as well as for their maturity and reliability. “We’ve had great success,” exclaimed Mr. Vance, Redeemer’s Cappies team advisor. “We’ve had our students’ reviews chosen seven times for publication, usually just an excerpt, but Kenda J. had her whole review published in the Citizen. Altogether, four of our Cappies had their reviews published.” Student reviews are edited and selected for publication by a teacher who can see only the reviews, not the names or schools of the reviewers. The Cappies program is a unique partnership involving the Citizen newspaper and 26 area high schools that uses high school critics to review high school theatre. Ms. Visser, who is on the board of directors of the Cappies, noted that all the students meet as a group at the beginning of the year for a full-day training session. “They learn how to write a good review, what to pay attention to in a show, as well as the rules of the program.” Redeemer students meet as a team periodically throughout the year to review each other's work and provide feedback. “Students learn to work under strict deadlines, to write in a tight and disciplined manner, and to critique in a gracious and constructive way,” said Mr. Vance. “They have worked hard in this program, and I’m really proud of them.”

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