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Stars of Local High School Theater Shine on WETA TV 26

Local Public Broadcaster to Televise 2007 National Capital Area Cappies Awards Gala

Washington, D.C. — WETA TV 26 will air the 2007 National Capital Area Cappies Awards Gala on Sunday, August 26 from 1 to 4 p.m. The local chapter of the Critics and Awards Program for High School Theater, known as the Cappies, held their eighth annual gala on May 27 at the Concert Hall of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Representing 56 high schools in Northern Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C., student performers, technical crews and critics attended the glamorous and festive Tony Award-style affair to celebrate an exciting year and honor the recipients of 35 “Cappies” Awards.

This year’s honorees include Jamil Garner of Wakefield High School in Arlington, Virginia, winning Best Featured Actor in a Musical for "Dreamgirls;" directing team Nora Ives and Eric Schwartz of Washington International School in Northwest Washington, D.C., winning Best Creativity for "The House of Blue Leaves;" Katy Summerlin of Robinson Secondary School in Fairfax County, Virginia, winning Best Makeup for "Radium Girls;" and the Winston Churchill High School Orchestra from Potomac, Maryland, winning Best Orchestra for "Singin’ in the Rain."

High school teachers in the Greater Washington area founded the Cappies program in 1999 in an effort to promote a positive image of teenagers, particularly those engaged in journalism and the arts. The program’s mission is to encourage and draw attention to students’ development in writing, performance and technical crew.

Since the National Capital Area Cappies were founded, other cities and regions across the United States have launched their own chapters and highlighted student productions in a wide range of newspapers. The new Cappies International Theater program invites Cappie-winning lead actors and actresses from the United States and Canada to workshop plays in coveted venues such as the Kennedy Center.

High schools in each of the Cappies’ chapters submit upcoming productions for evaluation by their local Cappies critics. These critics — each a high school student trained to write reviews for local newspapers — nominate and vote for the most impressive performances, technical work, and various other categories. At the end of the academic year, each chapter hosts an annual gala to recognize outstanding productions, performances and production design. More information about the Cappies can be found by visiting their website at www.cappies.com/nca/.

WETA supports educational and culturally enriching opportunities for local students through programming and outreach workshops such as Reading Rockets and Ready To Learn. To find out more about these projects, visit WETA’s community website at www.weta.org/community.

The upcoming broadcast of the WETA and Florentine Films co-production "THE WAR" provides additional educational opportunity. The 15-hour Ken Burns film, directed and produced by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, premieres on WETA TV 26 September 23-26 and September 30-October 2. The documentary is accompanied by extensive efforts to encourage students across the country to collect and preserve personal histories of World War II. For more information about "THE WAR," visit WETA’s website at www.weta.org/thewar.

WETA TV 26 and Classical WETA 90.9 FM are public broadcasting stations serving Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia with a commitment to highlight the rich cultures, history and people of the Greater Washington area. WETA provides educational, cultural, and news and public affairs programming and related services. Productions include "THE WAR," a Ken Burns film and WETA co-production; WETA All Access; The WETA Guide; WETA Around Town; WETA Hometown Heroes and WETA Extras, spotlighting local people, places and events. WETA’s headquarters is located in Arlington, Virginia. WETA was founded by public television pioneer and Arlington luminary Elizabeth P. Campbell. For more information on WETA and its services, visit www.weta.org. Sharon Percy Rockefeller is president and CEO of WETA.

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