With all the pomp and circumstance of the Oscars - including the red carpet and formal dress - area high school students strutted their stuff last night before their parental paparazzi.
The occasion was the second annual Greater Philadelphia Cappie Awards, held at Upper Darby High School Performing Arts Center.
The Critics and Awards Program or "Cappies," founded eight years ago in Washington, D.C., to recognize high school theater and journalism students, are now held in 16 cities in the United States and Canada. This year, more than 275 Philadelphia region students from 29 high schools were nominated in 38 categories to receive a coveted "Cappie."
The 135 journalism students wrote a total of 785 reviews after watching five of the 29 shows held in regional schools.
"And, I read every one of them," said Harry Dietzler, the program director, at the start of the ceremonies.
The ear-splitting cheers and an occasional standing ovation marked each new category as students' names were read out before the awards. Students in the program voted for the awards.
"It's our closing night. No one else can make it," said David Cullen, a nominee from St. Joseph's Prep who was making his second trip to accept an award for a missing castmate. "Hopefully, we will get to know each other by the end of the night."
Upper Dublin High School carried the night with a total of five awards, including the critics team award. And Cullen would return to the stage again as St. Joseph's Prep won in a total of four categories.
The award for lead actress in a play went to Megan Ort, of Methacton High School, for Macbeth; for lead actor in a play to Dan Bergels, Springfield High School, for Prelude to a Kiss; for lead actress in a musical to Sammi Kuhl of Upper Dublin High School for Oliver!; and for lead actor in a musical to Tim Lengel, of The Haverford School for Fiddler on the Roof.
St. Joseph's Prep took top honors for best play with Mister Roberts and The Haverford School for best musical with Fiddler on the Roof.
Undergraduate Female Critic: Julie Zauzmer, Upper Dublin High School.
Undergraduate Male Critic: Derek Schauer, Hatboro-Horsham High School.
Senior Female Critic: Genevieve Liberatore, Upper Darby High School.
Senior Male Critic: Jake Braithwaite, St. Joseph's Prep.
Critics Team: Upper Dublin High School.
Sound: Patrick Woody and Andrew Zebley, St. Joseph's Prep, Mister Roberts.
Lighting: Susanna Grundstein and Rosie Thompson, Lower Merion, The Crucible.
Sets: Student Stage Craft Class and Student Theatre Class, Academy of the New Church, Honk!
Costumes: Eileen Cella and Madeleine DiBiasi, St. Joseph's Prep, Mister Roberts.
Makeup: Renita Bennett, Laf-tefa Kee, Taleya Moore and Cindy Tapia, Lindenwold, Narnia: The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe.
Props and Effects: Matt Marsters and Jacquelyn Nestor, Methacton, Macbeth.
Stage Crew: Aven Rose and Lyndon O'Connor, Academy of the New Church, Honk!
Orchestra: High School Orchestra, Upper Dublin, Oliver.
Choreography: Myah Tolbert and Turquoise Wilson, Lindenwold, Narnia: The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe.
Creativity: Lea Wender, Lower Merion, The Crucible.
Ensemble in a Play: Three Musketeers, Phoenixville, The Three Musketeers.
Ensemble in a Musical: Who Will Buy Soloists, Upper Dublin, Oliver.
Cameo Actress: Victoria Mayo, Springfield, Prelude to a Kiss.
Cameo Actor: Brandon Kamin, Haverford High, She Loves Me.
Female Dancer: Arielle Ranalli, Upper Darby, Good News!
Male Dancer: Will Burden, Creative and Performing Arts, Singin' in the Rain.
Female Vocalist: Alex Davis, Holy Cross, Big River.
Male Vocalist: Steve Howarth, Marple Newtown, Little Shop of Horrors.
Comic Actress in a Play: Jo Evans, Delaware County Christian, Nicholas Nickleby.
Comic Actor in a Play: Steve Wood, St. Joseph's Prep, Mister Roberts.
Comic Actress in a Musical: Andrea Sharavsky, Plymouth Whitemarsh, Annie.
Comic Actor in a Musical: Timothy Barr, Monsignor Bonner, Seussical the Musical.
Featured Actress in a Play: Laura Piccoli, Lower Merion, The Crucible.
Featured Actor in a Play: A.J. Gagliardi, Upper Merion, The Dinner Party.
Featured Actress in a Musical: Meghan FitzPatrick, Merion Mercy, Thoroughly Modern Millie.
Featured Actor in a Musical: Andrew Dryden, Upper Darby, Good News!
Lead Actress in a Play: Megan Ort, Methacton High School, Macbeth.
Lead Actor in a Play: Dan Bergels, Springfield, Prelude to a Kiss.
Lead Actress in a Musical: Sammi Kuhl, Upper Dublin, Oliver.
Lead Actor in a Musical: Tim Lengel, Haverford School, Fiddler on the Roof.
Song: Sabbath Prayer, Haverford School, Fiddler on the Roof.
Play: Mister Roberts, St. Joseph's Prep.
Musical: Fiddler on the Roof, Haverford School.