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Peer critics pick best of high school theater.

Byline: The Register-Guard

Thanks to his performance in "The Fantasticks," recent Springfield High graduate Jonathan Matthews is Hollywood-bound this summer - provided he can raise the funds to cover his expenses.

On June 15, Matthews was awarded a Cappie as best lead actor in a local high school musical. The judges were student critics from Churchill, Elmira, Junction City, North Eugene, South Eugene, Springfield and Thurston high schools.

The award guaranteed him a spot in the Hollywood National Youth Summer Stock Company. The monthlong program will include a musical tribute to Richard Rodgers and several smaller shows.

The summer program is a joint production of the Los Angeles-based American Center for Musical Theater and the national Cappies organization, a group launched by Capitol Steps founder William Strauss to spotlight the talents of high school thespians.

If he can raise an estimated $2,000 for his entrance fee, travel and living expenses, Matthews will join other Cappies best actors and actresses from El Paso, Texas, Cincinnati, Las Vegas and Washington, D.C., to form the summer company.

South Eugene's Amy Preitauer, voted best lead actress in a musical for her performance in "Anything Goes," also was invited to join the youth summer stock company. However, she already had committed to an Arizona musical theater camp this summer.

Drama teacher Jonathan Siegle called Matthews "the most talented young man I've worked with in 20 years at Springfield High."

"He has tremendous, tremendous range, both as an actor and as a singer," Siegle said. "He has a four-octave range. ... In terms of his acting, he can do everything from comedy to tragedy."

Matthews also has been accepted at New York's American Musical and Dramatic Academy. He is working two jobs in order to raise money for his tuition; he hopes to enter the academy in January.

Contributions toward his summer stock expenses can be sent to Matthews at P.O. Box 525, Springfield, OR 97477.

Other local Cappie winners:

Sound: Eric Munch, Jacob Sutton (North) for "The MaKiddo"

Lighting: Candice Ganson, Steve Harley (Churchill) for "The Musical"

Sets: Jacob Stroukel (North) for "The 1940s Radio Hour"

Costumes: Maria Korinek (Springfield) for "The Taming of the Shrew"

Makeup: Christine Rolly (Springfield) for "The Taming of the Shrew"

Props and Effects: Alicia Forbis, Shaina Levy (Springfield) for "The Fantasticks"

Stage Crew: Jeff Barker, Meghan Cummings (Thurston) for "Quilters"

Orchestra: Kat Ryan (North) for "The 1940s Radio Hour"

Choreography: Anna Freedman (South) for "Much Ado About Nothing"

Ensemble in a Play: The Watch (South) in "Much Ado About Nothing"

Ensemble in a Musical: Characters (Thurston) in "Quilters"

Cameo Actress: Lilli Turner (South) in "Anything Goes"

Cameo Actor: Paul Terzenbach (South) in "Much Ado About Nothing"

Female Dancer: Lauren Ruff (Churchill) in "The Musical"

Male Dancer: Lafa Taylor (Churchill) in "The Musical"

Female Vocalist: Sam Cairnes (Churchill) in "The Musical"

Male Vocalist: Eric Munch (North) in "The 1940s Radio Hour"

Comic Actress in a Play: Rachel McCoy (Junction City) in "Wind in the Willows"

Comic Actor in a Play Drew Wheeler (Elmira) in "The Sting"

Comic Actress in a Musical: Allison Kettwig (Thurston) in "Quilters"

Comic Actor in a Musical: David Gallic (South) in "Anything Goes"

Featured Actress in a Play: Lynde Rose (Springfield) in "The Taming of the Shrew"

Featured Actor in a Play: Hellder Lima (Springfield) in "The Taming of the Shrew"

Featured Actress in a Musical: Margaret Gilmore (South) in "Anything Goes"

Featured Actor in a Musical: Jonathan Beedle (South) in "Anything Goes"

Lead Actress in a Play: Melanie Moser (Churchill) in "The Taming of the Shrew"

Lead Actor in a Play: Ezra LeBank (South) in "Much Ado About Nothing"

Song: "The Gypsy in Me" (South) in "Anything Goes"

Play: "The Taming of the Shrew" (Springfield)

Musical: "Quilters" (Thurston)

Male Critic: Javier Hernandez (North)

Female Critic: Mary Pilon (Churchill)

Critic Team: North Eugene High School
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Title Annotation:Cappies: Students from South Eugene and Springfield capture top acting honors.; Entertainment
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Jun 24, 2002
Words:640
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