22 in 22! Highlands Theater Department wins 7 awards in the Cappies ceremony.


Treiston Collins

Director Jason Burgess after the HHS Theater Department won Best Song and Best Musical.

Last night the Highlands High School (HHS) Theater Department made their way to the Cappies to participate in award ceremonies celebrating the featured plays, as well as musicals all over northern Kentucky and the lower Cinncinati area.

The HHS Theater Department had performed ‘Crazy for You’ for their spring musical in which they were nominated for 22 different Cappie awards. The Cappies is an Oscar-like ceremony where high school actors, singers, and other theatrical talents are recognized and awarded for outstanding performances.

Out of the 22 different nominationsHighlands had received, they secured 7 awards. The awards include; Lead Actor, Comedic Actor, Best Stage Management, Best Lights, Best Female Dancer, Best Song, and Best Musical.

The Cappies themselves are a student-based critic team in which students from all over the area go to different high schools to watch a variety of plays and musicals and write reviews on the shows. 

The experience of the Cappies Gala was an amazing night for so many students.

Sophomore Rowan Cavanagh, one of the assistant stage managers (ASM) for ‘Crazy for You’ said “It was awesome, the whole experience of the gala was cool.”  Cavanagh and his other crew members for stage management, Sophomores John Doughtery and Bradly Gronnik, had been nominated for ‘Best Stage Management’ and had won. 

“When I won, I had a feeling of pure joy and excitement. I wasn’t leaning on how likely it was I would win, I just wasn’t that caught up in it,” said Cavanagh.

Sophomore Jameson Zoller who started as Lead Actor, Bobby Child, in ‘Crazy for You’ had been nominated for and won the Best Actor award. On stage, during the ceremony, Zoller had mentioned how ‘Crazy for You’ had convinced him to change his career path from Financing to Theater.

“It feels really good to prove myself to myself and others that I dedicated myself to this and made it happen,” said Zoller

‘Bobby Child’ has been Zoller’s biggest role in his theater career

“This is the biggest role I have ever taken on, I have been leads in the past but nothing compares to the size and amount of things I did as Bobby.”

‘Crazy for You’ was a rollercoaster of emotions, jumping from somber moments to energetic dance breaks, however, the comedic factor played a huge part as well.

Junior Conner Defevers who played ‘Bela Zangler’ had been nominated and won the award for Most Comedic Actor. Connor had previously experienced Cappies the year Covid-19 had shut everything down in which HHS was nominated for their play ‘The Diary of Anne Frank.’

“I knew there was a chance for sure, I wasn’t super sure but I knew I had a shot, as the night went on I did, however, get more and more nervous at the competition,” said Defevers.

The director of ‘Crazy for You’, Jason Burgess, tries to go into Cappies with a blank slate every year, holding no expectations and just enjoying the evening.

“We had a great night, we got nominated for 22 and won 7, including Best Song and Best Musical,” said Burgess

Even with the lack of expectations going into the ceremony, Burgess was fairly confident in the nominations for Best Actor and Best Female Dancer.

Even though Highlands managed to come home as the ‘state champions’ of theater, they continue to work hard for the future, as well as find themselves attending the gala again.

Burgess looks into the future at the next possible nominations between the school play, which is yet to be decided, and next year’s spring musical, ‘Sweeney Todd’.

“When we have the drama club meeting next year, the department will decide which one they want for Cappies” Burgess has already made his predictions on which the department will choose. 

“If I had to guess, I would bet money the students would want it to be Sweeney Todd.”