Casey Feldman Awarded an Honory Cappie; SHS Laramie Project Cast Wins Awards at the Cappies

Monday, June 21st, 2010

The Casey poster on display in the showcase at the 2010 Cappies Gala

Casey was awarded an honorary Cappie for her dedication to theater and journalism at the Greater Philadelphia Cappies Gala on May 23, 2010. Additionally, SHS, which dedicated their theater season to Casey, won three Cappies in conjunction with their performance of The Laramie Project.

 In 2005, The Greater Philadelphia chapter was established and Casey became the first lead critic from Springfield High School. Casey acted in 6 theatrical productions during her high school years and was nominated for a Cappie herself at the 2006 Gala. Casey played Gwendolyn Pidgeon in the Odd Couple and accepted the 2006 Cappie on behalf of the entire SHS cast that year for Best Play.

 In addition to dedicating their entire theater season to Casey this past year, Springfield High School held a special “pink performance” of The Laramie Project in November, 2009 as a special tribute to Casey.  A plaque in memory of Casey was dedicated prior to the performance and was hung in the SHS Knorr Theater. The Laramie Project was Casey’s first high school theatrical production in 2004.

  Coincidentally (or not?), at this year’s Cappies Gala, the SHS 2009 Laramie Project cast won the Cappie for Best Play! In addition, cast members Bridget Yingling won Best Supporting Actress in a Play and Sean Skahill, Best Supporting Actor in a Play! These awards came despite 35 area high schools participating, including direct competition from West Chester, which also performed The Laramie Project.

The SHS Laramie Project cast at the Cappies. Photo editing courtesy of the students.

At this year’s Gala, the Springfield High School men who performed in The Laramie Project wore pink vests and ties with their tuxedos in honor of Casey. Each of the SHS three acceptance “speeches” for a Cappie award included a thank you to both Casey and Mathew Shepard (about whom The Laramie Project was written).

 No doubt, both Casey and Matthew were with the SHS Laramie Project cast during their performances in the Knorr Theater  this past year and at the 2010 Cappies Gala. Most assuredly, Casey was beaming with pride as SHS accepted their awards and was humbled as her parents accepted the Cappie on her behalf.

Click on the video above to view the Cappie presentation to Casey.

Note:  The Cappies (Critics and Awards Program) was founded in Washington, D.C. eleven years ago, and is active in 18 cities across the U.S. and Canada today. It recognizes the accomplishments of high school thespians and the talents of high school journalists. Journalism and theater students review plays and musicals performed at high schools other than their own and submit their edited reviews for publication in local newspapers, including the Philadelphia Inquirer. During this process, the students vote for the performances deserving of special recognition. The entire year of performing and reviewing culminates in the Cappies Gala.

[View more photos from the 2010 Cappies Gala this year. Read the newspaper articles about the  2010 Cappies collected on the Casey Feldman Memories website.  View photos from Casey’s high school performances and the 2006 Cappies. View photos and videos from the “Pink Performance”  of The Larmamie Project in 2009 and the plaque dedication to Casey. Read the News of Delaware County article, “SHS Theater Family Remembers Beloved Actress” on  the Foundation News and Updates blog.]

The News of Delaware County: “SHS theater family remembers beloved actress”

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

By Amy A. Winnemore
LIFE EDITOR

Published December 16, 2009

Joel Feldman (right) speaks at the special "Pink Performance" of 'The Laramie Project' while SHS Theatre Director John Guildea and Dianne Anderson look on. The Springfield Theatre Workshop created a plaque in honor of Casey.

With smiles and tears, the Springfield High School theater family paid tribute to the memory of one of their brightest stars.

Casey Feldman, a 2006 graduate of Springfield High School, was walking to her job July 16 on the Ocean City boardwalk when she was struck and killed by a motorist.

“With Casey’s passing, our theater family lost one of its brightest stars. She was a beloved alumnus who radiated warmth, love and compassion for everyone around her. Casey was a star in life and she is now a star in heaven. She will always be there for us as our guiding light,” said SHS English teacher and theater director John Gildea.

L to R: Brooke Burdge, Marie Larson, Kelsey Butler, Dianne Anderson, Jamie Gallagher and Janine Repka at the reception before the performance

The Springfield Theatre Workshop (STW) season has been dedicated to Feldman’s memory. They recently finished a four-night run of “The Laramie Project,” the first show in which Casey performed in 2004 when she was a sophomore.

One of the shows, for only Feldman’s friends and family, was a special memorial performance in her honor.

“It was a beautiful tribute,” said Feldman’s mother Dianne Anderson.

STW has created a plaque to honor all of Feldman’s accomplishments, which will be hung on the Knorr Theatre wall, “so that she will always be guiding us throughout our rehearsals and performances,” said Gildea.

Throughout her high school acting career, Feldman appeared in every theater production including “Our Town” as Professor Willard, “Arsenic and Old Lace as Elaine Harper, “The Odd Couple” as Gwendolyn Pigeon and “The Mousetrap” as Mollie Ralston. Friends say Feldman brought leadership and experience to the theater department. She was a STW officer her senior year, served as the 2006 Cappies Team Lead Critic and was voted “Best Actress” that year.

Casey as Gwendolyn Pigeon in The Odd Couple

“She also brought kindness and compassion for everyone around her,” said Gildea.

To continue her spirit, her family has created The Casey Feldman Network and the Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation. The foundation was set up to provide financial support to individuals, groups and institutions that share Feldman’s interests, qualities and goals. The Foundation will also be sponsoring a scholarship in her name to give to a Springfield High School graduating senior. The recipient will showcase all the qualities that Casey possessed.

“When it came to acting, Casey was a perfectionist. She always made sure her lines were memorized quickly. She was always prepared for each rehearsal, and she also asked a lot of questions when she was unsure about her particular movements or how to say a particular line. Casey simply shined when she took the stage. She worked endlessly to make each of her roles memorable for the audiences,” said Gildea.

[Note: Click here to view photos and videos from the reception, plaque dedication and performance. Click here to view the High School Theater Galleries on the Casey Feldman Memories site.]