Wednesday, June 4, 2003

Students pick best on prep stage

The Cincinnati Enquirer

MASON - Actors, actresses and students who played a variety of other roles in Tristate high school stage productions this year were honored in the second annual Cappies awards show.

Nearly 1,000 students, parents and community leaders attended the Tony Awards-style gala , honoring performers and technical crews in 35 categories. Nominees were from 25 high schools that participated in the Critics and Awards Program (Cappies) in which students critique their peers' performances. After the last show in May, the critics voted for nominees and winners in each category.

And the winners, announced Saturday night:

• Bridget Nurre, lead actress in a play, St. Ursula Academy, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. Critics said Nurre, in the title role, captured the subtleties of this alarming character with expert ease, earning the audience's attention and respect by creating a character that was fascinating to watch.

• Shane Murphy, lead actor in a play, St. Xavier High School, Jacob Marley's Christmas Carol. Critics said Murphy's Jacob Marley was a creepy, comical character, and that he brought Marley to life through facial expressions, emotion and acting ability.

• Brooke Rucidlo, lead actress in a musical, Turpin High School, Into the Woods. Critics said Rucidlo's energy, great voice and skilled acting as the Baker's Wife exploded onstage.

• Joe Sofranko, lead actor in a musical, Walnut Hills High School, Cabaret. Critics said Sofranko's portrayal of the Cabaret Emcee captured audience attention with energy and charisma.

Cappie award winners in the best actor and actress categories are invited to attend a theater workshop at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

Among other honors, Jeffrey Lynch of Cincinnati Country Day and Kelly Goldston of Mason won as best critics.

The Cappies program was founded three years ago in Northern Virginia to bring theater students the same type of recognition given to talented high school athletes.

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