Theatre Information

Survey Results: ShowBizRadio and the Cappies

By • Jan 3rd, 2009 • Category: ShowBizRadio

While starting to read through the results of our survey, I noticed a lot of people misunderstand the role ShowBizRadio plays with the Cappies. ShowBizRadio does not simply reprint the Cappies reviews that are provided to the Washington Post. Each Cappies reviewed production is attended by fifteen to forty Cappies reviewers. A Cappies reviewer is a high school student trained to review theater under the Cappies guidelines. Each review is judged by Cappies administrators and then the best reviews are submitted to local publications, such as the Post, ShowBizRadio, and the Connection Newspapers. Each publication is given a unique review to publish.

Our top ten most read articles posted in 2008 were:

  1. Review of Elden Street Players’ tick, tick…Boom
  2. Review of CCT with 2nd Flight Theatre Company’s Bare: A Pop Opera
  3. The WATCH Awards nominees for the 2007 season
  4. Review of Sterling Playmakers’ Oklahoma!
  5. Review of McLean Community Players’ Evita
  6. The Cappies Awards winners for the 2007-2008 season
  7. Review of the Arlington Players’ A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
  8. Review of Reston Community Players’ Urinetown: The Musical
  9. Review of the Little Theatre of Alexandria’s 1776
  10. Review of Duke Ellington School of the Arts’ The Wiz

Two of last year’s most read articles involved the Cappies. While we have receved feedback from our survey that the Cappies reviews and articles are “not at all useful,” ShowBizRadio will continue to support the next generation of theater professionals by publishing reviews of their productions, and by adding their production schedules to our web site. We are also encouraging the Cappies writers to submit news articles to us about the productions that their schools are doing, such as Emily O’Connell’s November article Behind the Scenes with Bishop Ireton’s Romeo and Juliet.

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started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College.

4 Responses »

  1. Mike and Laura…
    I LOVE this article and can’t help but think how proud Bill Strauss (Cappies Co-founder) would be that you have lent such solid support to the Cappies program…something for which we are VERY grateful!
    We will be drawing up a notice to the critics for the human interest ‘behind the scenes in Cappies’ articles, and I am certain you will be hearing from the critics! They love being published!
    Again, thank you for the tremendous show of support for high school theatre and the remarkable students and teachers who make magic on their high school stages both in the Metro area and across North America!

    Judy Bowns, Cappies Co-founder/Director

  2. Mike & Laura, this is your website and you’re certainly entitled to manage it according to your own personal opinions. And I commend you for making the effort to survey your readers to determine whether your content offerings is meeting the needs and expectations of your intended market. However, I’m confused why you would include a survey question about a stream of content that you had no intention to alter regardless of your solicited feedback?

    I do believe providing additional outlets for publication of worthy CAPPIES runners-up is commendable. But I stand by my stated opinion in my survey submission that clumping local high school productions with those of the highly regarded independent amateur/community producing groups does a disservice to the latter groups. Many of these productions are performed/staffed by individuals with extensive legitimate theatrical training and/or experience, a good number of whom could have pursued working careers in the professional theatre industry had not financial, family or other concerns prevented such as a viable option.

    I’ve always found it jarring to access your page to see your take on a production that may involve friends or colleagues of mine, only to have to scroll through a page of high school reviews. Could you not continue to provide alternate Cappies coverage on a separate page or under a separate banner to delineate between youth productions and adult amateur productions?

  3. Hi Blakeman, How do you maneuver through the SBR site that you are having to pass through the Cappies articles? Looking through our logs most people either read the category page (e.g. ) or simply by looking at the home page. A fair number of people use the search box, either on our site, or at Google, Yahoo, or Live to find articles.

    A couple people have suggested moving Cappies coverage to another site or sub-site. I’m not thrilled with that idea, as it makes a bit more work on us on maintaining the site(s). The next logical step to doing that would be to set up another site for adult professional coverage, which I definitely would not want to do.

  4. Oh, and the results of the questionnaire showed a pretty even split between people saying our publishing Cappies reviews was “not at all useful” and some degree of useful.

    I don’t like the argument that we shouldn’t clump Cappies articles with other articles of interest to community theaters. I could see professional theaters making a similar argument that their news and reviews shouldn’t be clumped in with “community theater” information.