Dedicated Thespian and CFF Cappies Scholarship Recipient, Cassidy Lennick, Believes in the Power of Performance

By Samantha Matthews*

Cassidy Lennick

From a young age, Cassidy Lennick has held performing and writing about theatre close to her heart. “Something I love about theatre is that you can make someone happy or smile just by doing what you love,” Cassidy said of her experience onstage.  As the recipient of the 2020 Casey Feldman Foundation Greater Philadelphia Cappies* Scholarship, Cassidy is determined to continue to spread happiness through the power of theatre despite the cancellation of in-person performances —for the show must always go on. 

The Casey Feldman Foundation has been awarding one graduating Cappies participant a scholarship to help further their education since 2011, two years after Casey was killed by a distracted driver. The scholarship was created in honor of Casey’s love for theatre, journalism and the Cappies. The Cappies are an international awards program, much like that of the Tony’s, that recognizes high school theatre and journalism students who possess strong writing, critical thinking, and leadership skills. Like Casey, Cassidy joined the Cappies as an actor and critic where she was able to review different high school performances around Pennsylvania, as well as compete in performances of her own. Her freshman year, Cassidy was granted the award (a Cappie) as Best Ensemble member in Sweeney Todd. 

Cassidy Lennick at the 2019 Cappies Gala wearing her Cappie

According to Dianne Anderson, co-founder of the Casey Feldman Foundation, “Cassidy is clearly passionate about the performing arts and has a stellar academic record. What made her really stand out for us, though, was that despite a clearly hectic schedule, Cassidy took the time to be of service to others. Helping to coordinate a fundraiser for the California Hurricane Foundation, volunteering to teach dance to 3- and 4- year-old children and participating in the performance of a thank you video for frontline workers during this pandemic validated her nominating teacher’s comment that he had never met a more caring, respectful, hard-working, and kind student.”

Now a freshman working towards a BFA in Musical Theatre at Long Island University, Cassidy likes the connection theatre gives her to others during this time of worldwide separation.

During her senior year at Pennsylvania Leadership Charter School Center for the Performing and Fine Arts, Cassidy served as Vice President of the International Thespian Honor Society. Her final semester in high school was online due to the pandemic, nevertheless giving her the opportunity to be a part of a virtual performance of “Lean on Me” that was sent out to quarantined residents of old age homes and front-line workers in hospitals. She also initiated  similar virtual projects for the same audience in other organizations.

An avid dancer, Cassidy spends almost 12 hours a week at the dance studio

This passion Cassidy has for making people smile grew during her time on stage in high school. Cassidy became devoted to theatre and dance, acting in a total of nine performances and spending twelve hours a week at the Longwood Performing Arts dance studio. Her favorite role was Ariel in The Tempest. She said, “I really loved getting to delve into Shakespeare while singing and dancing.” 

Whilst spending her time on stage and maintaining a 4.2 GPA, Cassidy held many different leadership positions throughout school organizations, such as Vice President of National Honors Society, Treasurer of the Tri-M Music Honor Society, and Co-President of the National Dance Arts Honor Society. She joked, “a lot of my lunches were spent in meetings.” However, her ability to accomplish so much in a twenty-four hour day was what kept her going. “I like to keep myself busy and am so lucky I can spend time doing what I love,” she said.  Cassidy’s grit, passion, and incredible work ethic are the tools she hopes will one day allow her to live out her dream of being center-stage on Broadway.

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*Samantha Matthews is a sophomore at Fordham University at Lincoln Center, where she majors in Communications and Media Studies. She currently serves as the Features Editor at the Fordham Observer, and one day hopes to go to law school.

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