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Columbus City Schools Shines at 2024 CAPA Marquee Awards, Celebrating Talent and Dedication

marquee stage

June 12, 2024 —The 2024 Columbus Association for the Performing Arts CAPA Marquee Awards was an exceptional evening for Columbus City Schools. Held at the Ohio Theatre, the award ceremony acknowledged and celebrated excellence in theater. Eastmoor Academy and Whetstone High School stood out among the winners, securing five awards.

"Tonight is a celebration of the arts," said Christopher Ray, theater director at Whetstone High School. “Tonight marks for us that we are an actors on stage accredited theater program. We hope that will make people come to Whetstone and believe we are really good at storytelling.” 

This year marked a significant milestone for the Whetstones theater program, Whetstone Academy of Performing Arts (WAPA), as it was their first year being nominated and winning awards from CAPA Marquee. Under the dedicated leadership of Ray, whose hard work and commitment to excellence were instrumental in this achievement, WAPA has made a remarkable impact, making it a tremendous honor for Whetstone.

"I am incredibly proud of my Whetstone family," said Cayla Weston, a member of the Whetstone Academy of Performing Arts. "Our director never fails to remind us that it 'takes a village' to create productions, and his words cannot be more true."

CAPA Marquee celebrated and showcased these 'villages' in high school musical theater throughout the Columbus Metropolitan area. On stage and backstage, they recognized winners in 13 different categories , including an inaugural Spirit of the Marquee Award to Eastmoor's Tylen Gordon for his dedication to theater. 

"[Gordon] has been a gift to the Eastmoor Academy Drama Department," said Seth Harms, Eastmoor Academy Drama Specialist. "I have worked with Gordon since he was in the eighth grade. He has developed into a genuine triple threat; he can sing, dance, and act with the best of them." 

Gordon has made history as the first student to participate in the CAPA Marquee Awards for all four years of his high school career. His unwavering dedication and passion for musical theater make  him a shining example of what the CAPA Marquee Awards represent. 

"Being part of CAPA all four years has been an amazing experience that I would not trade anything for," said Gordon. "Thank you [CAPA] for all the support you have shown me and all the other theater kids who have participated in this program."

The District would like to recognize the following staff and students on their awards:

  • Best Musical Production - Whetstone High School, Little Shop of Horrors

  • Best Direction - Christopher Ray, Whetstone High School, Little Shop of Horrors

  • Backstage Excellence - Props & Costume Management Crew, Whetstone High School, Little Shop of Horrors

  • Best Actor in a Supporting Role - Gage Freshour, Whetstone High School, Orin Scrivello in Little Shop of Horrors

  • Spirit of the Marquee Award - Tylen Gordon, Eastmoor High School

"It is truly an honor to receive the [Best Actor in a Supporting Role] award," said Freshour. "I would like to thank WAPA and Ray for giving me the opportunity to pursue theatrical arts."

Students from Columbus City Schools demonstrated outstanding dedication and hard work throughout the year. Their commitment to excellence in musical theater was evident in their performances and contributions to the program. Congratulations to our students who are concluding their year on such a high note, exemplifying the exceptional talent and determination present in our schools. 

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