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Orange County Cappies

is part of Cappies, Inc. headquartered in Washington D.C. and founded by William Strauss, Esq., a lawyer, author, and playwright. Cappies in Orange County began in 2003 with the support of the Orange County Department of Education, the Center for Excellence in Education and the OC Register.

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OC Steering Committee

Elise Ybarra  Chairperson

Lisa Goins  Program Director

Steering Committee Members

Cheryl Des Palmes  

Ranae Bettger   

   Cambria Graff      

Chelsea Skoien


The Critics and Awards Program strives to recognize the Orange County student writers, performers, and technical crews. High school theatre students who participate in the Cappies program are trained as critics, attend shows at other schools, and write reviews. The top three reviews from each show are published online. 


At the end of the school year, the student critics vote to give awards to their fellow students for outstanding productions, group and individual performances, and achievements in technical categories. The critics vie for the Best Critic and Best Critic Team Award. Awards are presented at the annual Cappies Gala at the The National City Grove of Anaheim. 

The OCC Steering Committee is comprised of Orange County theatre teachers who volunteer their time to train critics, mentors, advisors and show directors. 

The Committee is responsible for the planning and organizing of the Cappie Nominees and Commendees Reception and the OC Gala held each spring to celebrate high school theatre.

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OC Cappies is part of The Center for Excellence in Education, a 501C Non-profit organization.  The CEE board members include: Scott Fitzpatrick (OCDE), Jim Thomas, Heide Janssen, Troy Botello,  Blake Gould, and

Ranae  Bettger.

2023-2024 Important Dates
September 9- Lead Critic Training @ Tesoro HS

September 30 - Critic, Advisor, Mentor Training
@ Ocean View HS

February 10 - Lead Critics Meeting
@ Corona del Mar HS

April 26 - Last Day for Shows

April 30 - Voting Day 

May  - Nominees and Commendees Reception
@ 5pm

May 21  (Tuesday) -  OC Cappies Gala
@ The Grove of Anaheim 6pm

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