New Jersey Stage
New Jersey Stage on social media


Did you know NJ Stage offers FREE Event Listings? All events are picked up by search engines. Be sure to add your events to our calendar and get your shows noticed!

Paper Mill Playhouse Announces
2019 Rising Star Award Winners

originally published: 06/05/2019

Paper Mill Playhouse Announces 2019 Rising Star Award Winners

(MILLBURN, NJ) -- As one of the nation’s leading professional theaters and recipient of the Regional Theatre Tony Award, Paper Mill Playhouse has a well-earned reputation for launching both performers and shows to Broadway. Since their inception in 1996, the Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star Awards for Excellence in High School Musical Theatre have ignited the careers of many notable performers, all of whom attended high school in New Jersey.  Among the early nominees and winners are Academy Award winner Anne Hathaway (Les Misérables), Tony Award winners Laura Benanti(Gypsy) and Nikki M. James (The Book of Mormon), Tony nominee Rob McClure (Chaplin), Shanice Williams, star of NBC’s The Wiz Live! and Olivier Award nominee Jared Gertner (The Book of Mormon)

The 2019 Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star Awards Presented by Investors Foundation ceremony took place at Paper Mill Playhouse on Tuesday, June 4, at 7:30pmfeaturing presenters from Broadway and beyond. The ceremony was broadcast live on television and online through Paper Mill Playhouse video partner, Hometowne Television (HTTV), of Summit, New Jersey.

Madison High School in Morris County took home the top prize of Outstanding Overall Production of a Musical for their production of Bright Star, along with five other trophies. Summit High School took home an impressive five Rising Star Awards and Harrison High School took home three trophies. Several schools won their very first Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star Award this year. See below for a full list of award winners and scholarship recipients.

Paper Mill Playhouse Announces 2019 Rising Star Award Winners

"Congratulations to this year’s Rising Star Award winners. All of the nominated students are winners. They have poured their hearts and souls into their performances and can take pride in their effort and dedication to their craft," said Investors Bank Chairman and CEO Kevin Cummings. "Investors is so proud to celebrate not just the talented students, but the committed high school programs, administrators, faculty, and parents behind them."

Paper Mill Playhouse also awarded $5,000 in scholarships at the Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star Awards Presented by  Investors Foundation.  Five $1,000 cash scholarships were given to outstanding individual students who plan to continue studying theater performance or theater education in college. Paper Mill Playhouse was pleased to award a prize of $500 to Perth Amboy High School receiving the 2019 Educational Impact Award, which acknowledges a school that successfully connects the musical to the district's curriculum, using the production as a teaching tool for the greater student body and local community.  Through the Rising Star “Theatre for Everyone” Inclusion and Access Award and a partnership with The Cultural Access Network of New Jersey, a project of the New Jersey Theatre Alliance and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, Paper Mill Playhouse presented a cash award of $1,000 to Carteret High School to recognize excellence in the promotion and practice of creative inclusion of students and adults with disabilities as performers, designers, musicians and production staff. Additionally, this award seeks to recognize and reward a school that takes steps to ensure their performances are accessible to audiences with disabilities.



The article continues after this ad

 


A total of 63 school districts received at least one nomination or honorable mention in 2019 out of the 100 entered schools. Among the top nominated high schools, Summit High School had 15 nominations, Morristown High School had 13 nominations, Madison High School had 12 nominations, Howell High School had 10 nominations, Hopewell Valley Central High School had 9 nominations, Delaware Valley Regional High School and Westfield High School each had 7 nominations, Academy of Holy Angels and Gill St. Bernard’s School each had 6 nominations and Chatham High school received 5 nominations. These totals did not account for Student Achievement Award nominations.

“We are very excited to celebrate excellence in high school musical theater with the students of New Jersey,” commented Mark S. Hoebee, Paper Mill Playhouse’s Producing Artistic Director. “For many New Jersey schools, the prestigious honor of a Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star nomination is the culmination of their hard work in a high school musical. Many of our Rising Star nominees and winners are now working professionally and have won esteemed industry awards while working in theater and film.” 

Paper Mill Playhouse Announces 2019 Rising Star Award Winners

Past Rising Star nominees and recipients recently appeared in My Fair Lady  (Laura Benanti), Beetlejuice (Rob McClure), American Psycho (Morgan Weed) Aladdin (Josh Dela Cruz, Jonathan Schwartz, Kathryn Allison), Les Misérables (Nikki M. James), Disney’s The Lion King (Jelani Remy), Beautiful: The Carole King Musical (Julia Knitel), Jersey Boys (Matthew Scott), The Phantom of the Opera (Julia Udine), London’s West End production of The Book of Mormon (Jared Gertner); the Public Theater's Grounded (Anne Hathaway). Shanice Williams, star of Hollywood Bowl’s Into the Woods, was nominated for a Rising Star Award in 2014.

Paper Mill Director of Education Lisa Cooney explains, "What's happening in high school musical productions here in New Jersey and around the country is remarkable. Programs like the Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star Awards raise the bar and create opportunities for student performers and theater technicians to be recognized for their achievements, while giving them access to thousands of dollars in scholarships and professional training. We consistently hear from top-tier colleges and casting directors that a Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star Award is a significant accolade for an aspiring theater artist.”

The Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star Awards Presented by Investors Foundation are modeled after the Tony Awards, and Paper Mill Playhouse's program serves the entire state of New Jersey, with a full 100 entered productions from public, private and parochial high schools. Paper Mill Playhouse conceived and created the awards in 1996 to give schools the opportunity to showcase their musical arts programs on a statewide level. The musicals are adjudicated by Paper Mill Playhouse throughout the spring by a group of 70 evaluators, with each school receiving four independent evaluations.  Schools nominated for Outstanding Overall Musical and Leading Actor/Actress nominees performed at the event, and award recipients were presented with an engraved crystal award from Tiffany & Co.

Students receiving final nominations in the lead and supporting acting categories receive a scholarship to Paper Mill Playhouse's competitive Summer Musical Theatre Conservatory, a professional training program, which, along with advanced classes in singing, acting and dance, offers the nominees an opportunity to perform in the season finale concert, "New Voices of 2019: Learn Your Lessons Well” on August 2 and August 3 on the main stage at Paper Mill Playhouse.

Paper Mill Playhouse Announces 2019 Rising Star Award Winners


2019 Rising Star Awards Winners

Featured Ensemble Group........................................... Dance Hall Girls, Westfield High School, SWEET CHARITY

Featured Ensemble Member........................................ Abigail Montesino, “Grace”, Fair Lawn High SchoolWORKING

Educational Impact Award........................................... Perth Amboy High School, 9 to 5

Inclusion & Access Award............................................ Carteret High School, FOOTLOOSE

Hair & Make-Up Achievement................................... Harrison High School, JAMES & THE GIANT PEACH

Costume Achievement................................................... Harrison High School, JAMES & THE GIANT PEACH

Scenic Achievement........................................................ Madison High School, BRIGHT STAR

Lighting Achievement.................................................... Harrison High School, JAMES & THE GIANT PEACH

Music Director.................................................................. Summit High School, PIPPIN

Orchestra .......................................................................... Summit High School, PIPPIN

Chorus………................................................................. Summit High School, PIPPIN

Performance in a Featured Role.............................Sara Bartoszek, “Peron’s Mistress”, High Tech High School, EVITA

Choreography/ staging.................................................. Summit High School, PIPPIN

Direction By A Teacher/Outside Director.............. Blake Spence, Madison High School, BRIGHT STAR

Actor In A Supporting Role......................................... Joseph Grisanzio, “Adolpho”, Howell HS, DROWSY CHAPERONE

Actress In A Supporting Role...................................... Alex Mroczko, “Margo Crawford”, Madison HS, BRIGHT STAR

Actor In A Leading Role............................................... Jaron Cole, “Jimmy Ray Dobbs”, Madison HS, BRIGHT STAR

Actress In A Leading Role ........................................... Kassi McMillan, “Alice Murphy”, St. Joseph Rg. HS, BRIGHT STAR

Overall Production of A Musical................................ Madison HS, BRIGHT STAR 


Paper Mill Playhouse Announces 2019 Rising Star Award Winners

Scholarship Awards


  • Investors Foundation Rising Star Awards Scholarship:  Matthew Green, Millburn High School

  • Douglas Michael Krueger Scholarship for the Rising Star Awards:  Emery Myers, Rahway High School

  • Jane Grey Burgio Memorial Scholarship for the Rising Star Awards:  Vicky Fleisch, Howell High School

  • Janet Sovey Scholarship for Rising Star Awards: Moses Hyman, Cicely L. Tyson School of Performing & Fine Arts

  • Mickey McNany Theater Education Scholarship for Rising Star Awards:  Lauren Mennen, Morristown-Beard School

  •  

Paper Mill Playhouse Announces 2019 Rising Star Award Winners

Student Achievement Awards


  • Patricia Vitug, Student Assistant Music Director, Carteret High School, FOOTLOOSE

  • Erin Quinn, Assistant to the Directors, Madison High School, BRIGHT STAR

  • Erin Cramer, Stage Manager, Moorestown High School, 9 TO 5

  • Deanna Swanson, Graphic Designer, Morristown High School, THE ADDAMS FAMILY

  • McKenna Moore, Stage Manager, Ridge High School, DISNEY’S HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL

  • Sarah Gorman, Pit Orchestra Keyboardist Rehearsal Accompanist, Scotch Plains-Fanwood HS, MAMMA MIA!

  • Sophie Li, Stage Manager, Summit High School, PIPPIN

  • Francesca Morella, Costuming, Voorhees High School, BIG FISH

  • Matthew Nowell, Lighting, Voorhees High School, BIG FISH

  • Brandon Rivera, Stage Manager, Perth Amboy High School, 9 TO 5


  •  

Rising Star Awards - Presented by Investors Foundation is generously supported by The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation.

Rising Star scholarships are made possible by Ruth Bedford in memory of Jane Burgio, Walt Santner in honor of Janet Sovey, and the Douglas Michael Krueger Scholarship Fund Trust. The Theatre for Everyone Inclusion and Access Award is supported by the New Jersey Theatre Alliance. The Mickey McNany Theater Education Scholarship is provided by Paper Mill Playhouse. Paper Mill Playhouse Education & Outreach are generously sponsored by The Goren Family & Harmony Helper.

Paper Mill Playhouse programs are made possible, in part, by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. Paper Mill Playhouse is grateful for generous contributions from numerous corporations, foundations, and individuals.

PAPER MILL PLAYHOUSE, a not-for-profit arts organization under the direction of Mark S. Hoebee (Producing Artistic Director) and Michael Stotts (Managing Director) and recipient of the 2016 Regional Theatre Tony Award, is one of the country's leading regional theaters.  Paper Mill Playhouse programs are made possible, in part, by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. Paper Mill Playhouse is a member of the National Alliance for Musical Theatre, the Council of Stock Theatres, and the New Jersey Theatre Alliance.

Paper Mill Playhouse Announces 2019 Rising Star Award Winners

ALL PHOTOS BY JERRY DALIA




More Articles You Might Like

The Simon & Garfunkel Story Comes To The Basie On January 23
The Simon & Garfunkel Story Comes To The Basie On January 23
Luna Stage Explores What It Means To Be American In 2019-20 Season
Luna Stage Explores What It Means To Be American In 2019-20 Season
East Lynne Theater Company presents "The Rainmaker"
East Lynne Theater Company presents "The Rainmaker"
CASTING CALL: For "Love & Let Love" - A Musical Adaptation Of Twelfth Night
CASTING CALL: For "Love & Let Love" - A Musical Adaptation Of Twelfth Night
NJ Rep Presents the World Premiere Of "Memoirs of a Forgotten Man"
NJ Rep Presents the World Premiere Of "Memoirs of a Forgotten Man"
Mary McDonnell To Star In "Gloria: A Life" at McCarter Theatre Center
Mary McDonnell To Star In "Gloria: A Life" at McCarter Theatre Center






Event calendar
Tuesday, Aug 20, 2019


MUSIC

THE YOUNG'UNS @ The Saint, Asbury Park - 6:30pm

SQUEEZE THE SQUEEZE SONGBOOK TOUR @ Bergen Performing Arts Center (bergenPAC), Englewood - 8:00pm

Beck and Cage the Elephant @ PNC Bank Arts Center, Holmdel - 6:00pm

Tuesdays on Broadway: Linda Miller & the Girls Next Door (Tribute to Girl Groups) @ Broadway Bandshell Long Branch, Long Branch - 7:00pm

Rock the Yacht 2019 @ Mayo Performing Arts Center (MPAC), Morristown - 7:30pm

WALTER TROUT @ Ocean City Music Pier, Ocean City - 7:00pm







COMEDY

CRAIG SHOEMAKER @ Howie Mandels Comedy Club at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Atlantic City, Atlantic City - 8:00pm

View all events











 






















For more on our awards, click here








New Jersey Stage © 2019 by Wine Time Media, LLC | PO Box 140, Spring Lake, NJ 07762 | info@newjerseystage.com

Images used on this site have been sent to us from publicists, artists, and PR firms.
If there is a problem with the rights to any image, please contact us and we will look into the matter.