Casey Feldman Foundation 2013 Cappies Scholarship to Annina Baker; John Gildea Recognized; Springfield High School Wins Best Play

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

Annina Baker at the Cappies Gala. Photo Credit: Gavin Baker Photography

This years local “Tony Awards” night for theater students from some 39 participating area high schools – the Greater Philadelphia Cappies Gala – included the third annual Casey Feldman Foundation Scholarship which went to Annina Baker of Upper Merion High School.

An added bonus at the Gala came when Casey’s teacher and theater director, John Gildea, was given an award by the Cappies organization for his years  as a theater director at Springfield High School  and his  tireless efforts with the Cappies organization.  In addition, Springfield High School (SHS) won a Cappie for Best Play for their performance of Our Town, a play in which Casey also performed when she was at SHS.

The Cappies honors high school theater and journalism students. The Cappies Gala, which comes at the end of the school year, is an awards ceremony for the schools’ theater productions, in categories ranging from lighting, sound, set, and costume design, to comic actor, dancer, vocalist, and lead actor, to the coveted play and musical awards. Cappies critics, who write reviews of the schools’ shows throughout the year, are also nominated for awards. The presentation of the awards is interspersed throughout the evening at the Gala with performances from the schools nominated for Song, Play, and Musical, who perform selections from their shows. The students enter the Upper Darby Performing Arts Center on a red carpet and are clad in evening gowns and tuxedos.

The Feldman family established the Casey Feldman Foundation Cappies scholarship to honor Casey’s memory, since Casey was heavily involved in theater, journalism and the Cappies while in high school. “I am so pleased that Annina’s English and drama teacher, Laura Ebersole, nominated Annina for our scholarship,” said Joel Feldman, Casey’s father.

A surprised John Gildea from Sringfield High School accepting a Cappie award for his years of service to the theater arts

Annina has starred in musicals and plays at her school and has been a Cappies nominee twice for Comedic Actress in a Play. “On stage, Annina excels at singing, dancing, and acting. Her leading roles in Our Town, Moon Over Buffalo, and Seussical demonstrate Annina’s versatility as an actress,” wrote Laura Ebersole in her nomination. Annina has also been the Cappies lead critic from her high school and has had eight reviews published in the Philadelphia Inquirer and Times Herald , leading to a Cappies nomination for Undergraduate Female Critic.

Annina is President of her school’s National Honors Society, participates in her school’s advanced choir, and is also a member of Octagon, her school’s community service club; all while maintaining a 3.95 GPA.

Annina used her senior graduation project requirement to further delve into the arts but also help out those in need. Her “Princess Project” blended together theater and charity to entertain sick or special needs children, sharing her love of the arts with those in need. She also furthers her studies by volunteering as a Historical Interpreter at Valley Forge National Park, and participates in other community service events such as Relay for Life, benefitting the American Cancer Society.

Annina’s  scholarship will aid in her enrollment this fall at Villanova University, where she will be majoring in mechanical engineering.

“I couldn’t think of a more deserving recipient than Annina Baker for the 2013 Cappies scholarship that we established in Casey’s memory,” said Dianne Anderson, Casey Feldman’s mother.

“I am also so thrilled that John Gildea’s hard work and dedication to his students and the theater arts was recognized and that SHS won the Cappie for Best Play.”, added  Dianne. “There is  a special place in my heart for both John Gildea and the Springfield Theater Workshop. With also having the opportunity to meet our scholarship recipient, Annina Baker, I couldn’t think of a better ending to the evening.”

Please contribute to the Casey Feldman Foundation so that additional, deserving students may benefit from scholarships.

 

Related Links:

Roll out the red carpet for the Cappies awards gala,  Philly.com, May 20, 2013

Eighth annual Great Philadelphia Cappies Gala this Sunday, Delco News Network,  April 28, 2013

The Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation, Gavin Baker Photography, May 6, 2013

YouTube video –  Opening Performance at 2013 Cappies, Season of Love, from Rent

Meg Boeni Receives Second Annual Casey Feldman Foundation Cappies Scholarship, Casey Feldman Foundation News and Updates, October 2nd, 2012

Chris Price Receives First Casey Feldman Foundation Cappies Scholarship Award,  Casey Feldman Foundation News & Updates, May 17th, 2011

Casey Feldman Awarded an Honory Cappie; SHS Laramie Project Cast Wins Awards at the Cappies, Casey Feldman Foundation News & Updates, June 21st, 2010

  Photos of Casey’s high school performances and the 2006 Cappies

SHS theater family remembers beloved actress, The News of Delaware County, December 16, 2009

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.]