McLean Theatre Company Performs ‘Big Fish’ at International Thespian Festival, as the Show Garners 21 Cappies Nominations with Encore Shows June 13 and 14th at McLean HS and June 20th at GMU by Brent Stone

The McLean High School Theatre Company (MTC) was invited by the International Thespian Association to perform the musical Big Fish at the International Thespian Festival, Lincoln, Nebraska on June 25, 2015.

Edward Bloom (Alex Stone) and Ashton townsfolk teach young Will (Linus Stroik) to
Edward Bloom (Alex Stone) and Ashton townsfolk teach young Will (Linus Stroik) to “Be the Hero.” Photo by Michelle Logsdon.

The company also recently earned 21 Cappie nominations, the most of any national Capital Area high school theater company. Led by Director, Amy Poe, and Music Director, Bobby McCoy, the award-winning group brings four encore performances of this big-hearted musical to DC area stages.

Karl the Giant (Matt Lucero) leads Ashton townsfolk
Karl the Giant (Matt Lucero) leads Ashton townsfolk “Out There on the Road.” Photo by Michelle Logsdon.

Big Fish Unhooked goes up Saturday June 13-14, 2015 at McLean’s Burks Auditorium.

Two performances of the even bigger rendition of Big Fish, prepared especially for the Thespian Festival, take place June 20, 2015 at George Mason University’s Harris Theater. Advance tickets available online.

Big Fish centers on Edward Bloom, a traveling salesman, who sweeps the audience into a fantasy as he recounts his seemingly impossible life stories. Edward’s far-fetched tales represent his unique outlook on the world; he sees life as an adventure and himself as the hero. This musical reminds us why we love going to the theatre for an experience that’s richer, funnier and BIGGER than life itself. Based on Daniel Wallace’s novel and the film directed by Tim Burton, Big Fish features music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa and book by John August.

Young Will Bloom (Linus Stroik) fights the dragons with help from dad, Edward (Alex Stone). Photo by Michelle Logsdon.
Young Will Bloom (Linus Stroik) fights the dragons with help from dad, Edward (Alex Stone). Photo by Michelle Logsdon.

“Throughout the year, we send screeners to evaluate shows being considered for coveted Thespian Festival main stage slots, with only about ten schools ultimately being selected to perform,” explains Nancy Brown, Thespian Festival director. “McLean High School’s production of Big Fish ranks among the best high school productions previewed by screeners. Festival delegates from across the United States, Canada, and beyond will enjoy this and the other wonderful productions presented during Festival week.”

Director Amy Poe.
Director Amy Poe.

MTC Director Amy Poe added,“It’s huge for us because it puts us on a national stage. Sometimes you think, ‘Wait, we think it’s really good, but maybe our family and friends are just being nice’ but to have somebody say,’No, you’re top ten in the nation’ makes us feel really, really great. [It shows] that what we spend all of our time doing is making a difference and actually working.”

Thespian representatives adjudicated MTC’s February 28, 2015’s Big Fish performance, the same show that welcomed nearly 70 Cappies critics as well.

DCMetroTheaterArts’ Joel Markowitz raved about the production in his 5-star review on February 20, 2015:

“Attention all Broadway producers of a musical that shuttered much too quickly on Broadway: bring that show to the ‘Show Doctors’ at McLean High School’s Theatre Company and let Surgeon/Director Amy Poe perform some CPR on your show and – voila! – you won’t believe your eyes and ears!…This new Big Fish – with its kooky (and sometimes confusing) duel storylines – felt fresh and heartfelt – all due to the knockout performances of its leads and its talented ensemble and dancers, and the fine musicians conducted by Musical Director Walter “Bobby” McCoy….McLean Theatre Company’s Big Fish is a huge undertaking and a major accomplishment by one of the most accomplished and honored theatre programs anywhere. I urge you to grab a few tickets and enjoy all the talent on and off the stage. There’s dazzling vocals, gorgeous costumes and design, and great dancing. You’ll be hooked like I was. Come on – just go  for the halibut!”

For the 2014-2015 theater season, MTC garnered a 21 Cappie nominations—the most of any national Capital Area high school company. Big Fish brought in 14 nominations – nine for the show’s technical elements and overall achievement and five for specific performances. Nominations highlights include for Best Musical, Lead and Supporting Actor, Choreography, and Ensemble. In addition, MTC received seven Cappie Critic nominations.

MTC is proud to bring four encore performances to DC area stages this June.  Big Fish Unhooked, a restaged, concert-style version, goes up Saturday June 13th at 7 p.m. and Sunday, June 14th at 2 p.m. at McLean’s Burks Auditorium.

Two performances of the even bigger rendition of Big Fish, prepared especially for the Thespian Festival appearance, take place June 20th, with shows 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. at George Mason University’s Harris Theater.

Advance tickets are available online.

Big Fish is presented through special arrangement with Theatrical Rights Worldwide (TRW).

McLean Theatre Company is comprised of students, parents and teachers at McLean High School working together to produce challenging and award winning theatrical productions. The home of McLean Theatre Company is the 600 seat Burks Auditorium and the more intimate 75 seat Black Box Theater – 1633 Davidson Road, in McLean, Virginia.

It's a
It’s a “Showdown” between Will Bloom (Jack Posey) and Edward Bloom (Alex Stone). Photo by Photo by Michelle Logsdon.

The Thespian Festival is an annual, weeklong event for high school theatre students, celebrating student achievement in theatre arts. The event features workshops presented by theatre professionals, individual and group performances, programs for technical theatre students, and opportunities to audition for college admission and scholarships. The Thespian Festival is currently held each June on the campus of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and is presented by the International Thespian Society (ITS), the student honorary of the Educational Theatre Association (EdTA).

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The Cappies (Critics and Awards Program) is an international program for recognizing, celebrating, and providing learning experiences for high school theater and journalism students and teenage playwrights. Created in the summer of 1999 by Bill Strauss, founder of the Capitol Steps, and Judy Bowns, the Fairfax County Public Schools theatre resource teacher, in co-operation with theatre, music and journalism educators in the Washington D.C. area.  There are currently 15 Cappies programs in the U.S. and Canada, ranging in size from five to fifty-five participating high schools.



Big Fish Creative Team

Director (Amy Poe)

Music Director (Walter (Bobby) McCoy)

Stage Managers (Breezy Johnson, Thomas Kelty)

Choreographers (Marielle Burt, Rebecca Stewart, Jamie Wertz)

Big Fish Lead Cast List

 Edward Bloom (Alex Stone)

Sandra Bloom (Rachel Lawhead)

Will Bloom (Jack Posey)

Josephine Bloom (Emma Gold)

Young Will (Linus Stroik)

The Witch (Helena Doms)

Karl (Matt Lucero)

Amos Calloway (Will Stockton)

Jenny Hill (Nicole Sheehan)

Don Price (Thomas Kelty)

Zacky Price (Jeffrey Nolan)

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                Cappies Nominations

For McLean Theatre Company’s Big Fish 

Sound (Zach Alvarez, Jared Jacknow, Emma Knapp, Max Speil)

Lighting (Tristan Froats, Jared Jacknow, Avery Madore, Max Speil)

Sets (Faris Assaadi, Ben French, Luke Gagorik, Joe Miller)

Costumes (Miranda Creason, Marzanne DeLapp, Breezy Johnson, Jessica Scarano)

Props (Camille Calderon, Havi Carrillo- Klein, Kevin Pfeil, Brittany Regas)

Special Effects and or Technology (Kate Callahan, Isabel Zapata)

Stage Crew (Marielle Burt, Breezy Johnson, Thomas Kelty, Blue Morph Suit Crew)

Choreography (Marielle Burt, Rebecca Stewart, Jamie Wertz)

Ensemble in a Musical (The Company)

Featured Actor (Matt Lucero)

Supporting Actor in a Musical (Jack Posey)

Lead Actor in a Musical (Alex Stone)

Song (“Be the Hero”)

Musical (Big Fish)


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