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Saskia Hunter Wins the Best Supporting Actress in a Play Cappie

Hunter took home the win due to her impressive performance in The Miracle Worker.

Saskia+Hunter+with+Ms.+Young%2C+after+Hunter+won+the+Best+Supporting+Actress+in+a+Play+Cappie.+
Saskia Hunter with Ms. Young, after Hunter won the Best Supporting Actress in a Play Cappie.

Saskia Hunter with Ms. Young, after Hunter won the Best Supporting Actress in a Play Cappie.

Saskia Hunter with Ms. Young, after Hunter won the Best Supporting Actress in a Play Cappie.

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Saskia Hunter, a sophomore at Dominion High School, won the Best Supporting Actress in a Play Cappie for her role as Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker. Dominion’s Fall play which told the story of Anne Sullivan teaching Helen Keller, who is a deaf, blind, and mute six-year-old, how to communicate only using her sense of touch.

The Cappies Gala for the National Capital Area was held on Sunday, June 10th at 7 pm, and 60 schools came to the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. Dominion students were nominated in three categories: Best Actress in a Play, Best Supporting Actress in a Play, and Props.

Hunter said of the experience, “It was amazing, I was in shock if it hadn’t been for my sister I probably would have forgotten to go up.” Hunter’s sister, Noelle Hunter, is a senior at Dominion High School and was also nominated for a Cappie for Best Supporting Actress in a Play for her role as Anne Sullivan.

Ms. Young said, “We were all there to witness it and there are three thousand people there screaming their heads off at the concert hall at the Kennedy Center, 60 schools participate and compete against one another.”

Hunter did not expect her win due to the other competition saying, “I knew I had a chance but I was up against people who performed at all these art schools, so I was pretty sure that it was going to be them.” Despite this Hunter’s amazing performance as Helen Keller stole the show. Ms. Young said, “We, as a very small program, are right up there with some of the best in Loudoun County. There are some bigger schools who have been nominated and have never won and we have.”

When it came to the preparation for her impressive performance, Hunter said, “I watched the movie that they did of The Miracle Worker.” A fight choreographer also came into to teacher Hunter and Noelle Hunter a fight scene between their characters. An American Sign Language teacher also taught Saskia and Noelle Hunter sign language and what it is like to be deaf, dumb, and blind.

Ms. Young spoke of Hunter’s dedication to her role saying, “You know it is a very intense acting role so that believability had to come from her heart.” She also praised her work ethic, “She would work very hard every day and took it very seriously and grew so much as a person and as an actress. It was wonderful to work with her, [she was] very directable, very flexible, [and] willing to do whatever was suggested to her… she is just a natural.”

Hunter was very committed to her role, as Ms. Young described, “It takes a lot of guts to [portray] any role much less portray the role of someone who is deaf, dumb, and blind.” That commitment definitely paid off as, as Ms. Young said, “You 100% believed [her performance]… there were a lot of tears at the end of each performance, I mean she was very real.”

Ms. Young also talked about how the theatre program has changed Hunter. She said, “Saskia entered the program very timid and shy and quiet, and she came out a Cappie award winner.”

In the aftermath of her win, Hunter plans to keep acting. She said, “It just makes me want to keep going forward and improving my skills and maybe try out for some community theatre!”

Dominion has participated in the Cappies program for about eight years. Dominion has also had a very successful run at the Cappies winning three times and taking home 12 nominations after Ms. Young took over the program in 2009.

Cappies is a journalism and performing competition, which is student led and run. Each participating high school has a team of nine critics who write critics about the plays or musicals which allows those schools to be eligible to be nominated for a long list of awards.

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Saskia Hunter Wins the Best Supporting Actress in a Play Cappie