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Belfry Club Wins Big at Cappies Gala

The Belfry Club, the nation's oldest, continuously-run high school dramatic club, scooped up three awards at the 15th Annual Greater Philadelphia Cappies Gala for its production of Chicago. The gala was held virtually this year on June 7, 2020. In total, 32 high schools in the Philadelphia area participated in the 2019-20 Critics and Awards Program (aka Cappies).

Technical Theater veterans Harry Mirabile '20 and David Savage '21 won for Sound. J. Fassler '20 topped the Featured Actor in a Musical category for her role as Master of Ceremony while Alex Kafrissen '20 won the Solo Dancer category for her fabulous dancing as Velma Kelly. (Full List of Recipients)

In total, the Belfry Club was nominated for nine Cappies. 

"We had a small, but mighty group of seniors in Belfry this year, and they definitely stepped up to the challenge," said Belfry Club Director K Richardson. "When the stage crew is doing their job as well as they do, it can appear seamless. I did get to work more with Harry Mirabile and Dave Savidge on sound than usual, and they were amazing with figuring out the new technology and rehearsing with the cast. We are all so grateful we had the opportunity to put our show in front of a live audience before everything went virtual. While Belfry would usually be done for the year, many of the students have wanted to keep meeting, and I am impressed every week at the fun activities they come up. I really love seeing all of their faces."

Belfry Club Nominations for Chicago:

  • Sound: Harry Mirabile '20 & David Savidge '21 - WON
  • Featured Actress in a Musical: Isabella Venziale '20
  • Featured Actor: J. Fassler '20 - WON
  • Solo Dancer: Alex Kafrissen '20 - WON
  • Dance Ensemble: Merry Murderesses for the Cell Block Tango: Brina Cartagenova '20, Maeve Diver '21, Jenna Nolan '22, Lauren Paynton '20, and Isabella Venziale '20. Other dancers who appeared in Cell Block Tango: Clara Alger '22, Tara Babal '20, J. Fassler '20, Alex Kafrissen '20, Christine Meng '22, Grace O’Malley 23, and Morgen Zighelboim '23.
  • Supporting Actress in a Musical: Sydney Hill '21
  • Lead Actor in a Musical: Will Cooper '22
  • Song: "My Own Best Friend"
  • Musical: Chicago

(Full list of nominees)

"What I enjoyed most about this production of Chicago was performing alongside some of my lovely and talented best friends!" said Rachel Roth '21, who starred alongside Kafrissen as Roxie Hart. "It's not very common to have the opportunity to perform in a show that fit each of us so swell, and I'm so grateful for that."

"I loved getting to be in a show with a larger cast!" noted Sydney Hill '21, who was nominated for a Cappie in the Supporting Actress in a Musical Category for her role as Matron “Mama” Morton. "In the past, the Belfry shows have mainly been fairly small, but this year, we had over 30 kids in the show and it was amazing! I got to know some of the underclassmen really well, and I’m so happy that so many kids decided to participate this year!"

The Philadelphia Independence Awards were canceled this year, however, the organizers did create a list entitled "Outstanding Achievements in School Performances" to recognize area students. Kafrissen was recognized in the "Outstanding Achievements by a Solo Dancer" category while Mirabile and Savidge were recognized in the "Outstanding Achievements in Sound" category. GA's featured dancers in "Merry Murderesses for the Cell Block Tango" were recognized in the "Outstanding Achievements by a Dance Ensemble" category. The GA ensemble included  Brina Cartagenova '20, Maeve Diver '21, Jenna Nolan '22, Lauren Paynton '20, and Isabella Venziale '20. Other dancers who appeared in Cell Block Tango: Clara Alger '22, Tara Babal '20, J. Fassler '20, Alex Kafrissen '20, Christine Meng '22, Grace O’Malley 23, and Morgen Zighelboim '23.

"I really loved being in “Cell Block Tango," said Nolan. "I was able to give a monologue and perform a challenging dance routine with the other five Merry Murderesses. It was one of the most fun numbers that I’ve ever had to do on stage...Chicago was definitely the most difficult show I’ve been a part of in terms of dancing. The cast had to spend a lot of time working on the numbers, even if it meant practicing on our own. It took a little while to get used to performing so many dance numbers consecutively, but the entire cast spent a lot of time getting used to the demanding dances."




Master of Ceremony: J. Fassler '20

Velma Kelly: Alex Kafrissen '20

Fred Casely: Adhi Gadre '23

Roxie Hart: Rachel Roth '21

Amos Hart: Michael Wood '20

Fogarty: Ali Ruane '23

Liz: Brina Cartagenova '20

Annie: Maeve Diver '21

June: Jenna Nolan '22

Hunyak: Isabella Venziale '20

Mona: Lauren Paynton '20

Matron “Mama” Morton: Sydney Hill '21

Billy Flynn: Will Cooper '22

Mary Sunshine: DJ Hernandez '23

Reporters: Amelia Reaume '23

Kitty: Malia Walton '23

Harry: Vance Thorpe '23

Judge: Janel Butler-Roberts '22

Harrison: Lizzie DiSandro '23

Clerk: Cameron Moore '23

Juror One: Annabel Hellman '22

Featured Dancers: Christine Meng '22, Clara Alger '22, Grace O’Malley 23, Morgen Zighelboim '23, Tara Babal '20

Chicago Ensemble: Clara Alger '22, Olivia Abraham '23, Tara Babal '20, Janel Butler-Roberts '22, Brina Cartaganova '20, Will Cooper '22, Nicole Curtis '23, Lizzie DiSandro '23, Maeve Diver '21, J. Fassler '20, Alissa Freeman '23, Adhi Gadre '23, Annabel Hellman '22, DJ Hernandez '23, Sydney Hill '21, Aisosa Idahosa '23, Zephyrus Kai Johnson '22, Alex Kafrissen '20, Christine Meng '22, Cameron Moore '23, Ruby Moyer '23, Jenna Nolan '22, Grace O’Malley '23, Lauren Paynton '20, Amelia Reaume '23, Elizabeth Riley '22, Rachel Roth '21, Ali Ruane '23, Logan Shallow '23, Vance Thorpe '23, Isabella Venziale '20, Malia Walton '23, Michael Wood '20, Morgen Zighelboim '23

Production Staff

Director & Producer: K. Richardson

Production Manager, Technical Director, Lighting Designer, Set Designer, Stage Manager: Paul Moffitt

Choreographer: Maria Jackson

Combat & Intimacy Director: Jacqueline Holloway

Costumer: Aileen McCullough

Music Director: Jim Wade


Sound Designer: Harry Mirabile '20

Assistant Sound Designer: David Savidge '21

Audio 2 and Backstage Manager: Seth Roth '22

Master Electrician, Light Board Operator: Perry Fraser '22

Spotlight Operators: Finley Wentz '23, Candice Medina '22, Jake Wezner '22, Asher Sasson '23

Constructed by the Foundations of Technical Theatre Class and the Advanced Honors Technical Theatre Class.

Production Manager, Technical Director, Lighting Designer, Set Designer, Stage Manager: Paul Moffitt