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Paper Mill Announces 2012 Rising Star Award Nominations

High School nominees will learn the winners at a gala in June. Cranford High School students are among the nominees.

Paper Mill Announces 2012 Rising Star Award Nominations Paper Mill Announces 2012 Rising Star Award Nominations

From the Paper Mill Playhouse:

Since its inception in 1996 the Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star Awards for Excellence in High School Musical Theatre has ignited the careers of many notable performers, all of whom attended high school in New Jersey. 

    Among the former nominees and winners are Academy Award nominee Anne Hathaway, Tony award winner Laura Benanti and 2011 Tony Award winner, Nikki M. James.

    This year, the top nominated high schools are Summit High School with eighteen nominations, followed by Westfield High School with 12, Gill St. Bernard’s School with 11, Nutley High School with nine and Cranford High School, Don Bosco Prep High School and Union High School with eight nominations each.

    “There is a new energy and level of excitement in high school musical theater right now,” commented Mark S. Hoebee, Paper Mill Playhouse’s Producing Artistic Director.  “Due to television programs like Fox’s Glee and NBC’s Smash, there is a new, invigorated interest and enthusiasm surrounding these projects.  The culmination for many New Jersey high schools is the prestigious honor of a Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star nomination and we are proud to present these awards to New Jersey schools. Additionally, many of Paper Mill Playhouse's Rising Star nominees and winners are now working professionally and have also been nominees and winners of several prestigious industry awards while on Broadway or making films.”

    The Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star Awards - presented by the Investors Foundation - is modeled after the Tony Awards and serves the entire state of New Jersey with nearly 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 state 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.

    The 2012 Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star Awards ceremony is set for Tuesday, June 5th at the Millburn theater. Schools nominated for Outstanding Overall Musical and Leading Actor/Actress nominees perform at the event and award recipients are presented with an engraved crystal award from Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star Awards partner, Tiffany & Co.  

    "We are pleased to continue our involvement with Paper Mill Playhouse's outstanding Rising Star Awards program," said Investors Bank President and CEO Kevin Cummings, who also serves on the board of the Investors Foundation.  "The Playhouse should be applauded for its efforts to recognize, nurture, and acknowledge the exceptional performing arts talents of young people and educators statewide."

    Paper Mill Managing Director Todd Schmidt adds, "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 theatre technicians to be recognized for their achievements, while giving them access to thousands of dollars in scholarship money.  We consistently hear from top tier colleges and casting directors that the Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star Award is a significant accolade for an aspiring theatre artist.”

    The Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star Awards is one of several such programs sponsored by regional theatres around the country. The winning performers in the Lead Actress and Lead Actor categories will represent the Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star Awards at the National High School Musical Theatre Awards competition at New York University, which culminates in a Gala Ceremony in New York City. The National High School Musical Theater Awards (NHSMTA) is a celebration of outstanding student achievement in high school musical theater.

    The program recognizes individual artistry in vocal, dance and acting performance, and honors teachers and their schools’ commitment to excellence in performing arts education. The fourth annual National High School Musical Theater Awards will be held on Monday, June 25, 2012, at the Minskoff Theatre on Broadway. Activities will begin Wednesday, June 20, with rehearsals, master classes, private coaching and interviews with theater professionals leading up to the live awards show where the Jimmy Award for Best Performance by an Actor and Best Performance by an Actress will be presented. The program will conclude on Tuesday, June 26, 2012.

    The 2012 Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star Awards Ceremony will take place at Paper Mill Playhouse Tuesday, June 5th at 7:30 p.m.

    Paper Mill Playhouse also awards $5,000 in scholarships at the Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star Awards Presented by the Investors Foundation. Four $1,000 cash scholarships are given to outstanding individual students who plan to continue studying theatre in college, and a technical theatre scholarship of $1,000 is sponsored annually by Scaramouche Costumes, LLC. 

    A prize of $500 will be given to a school receiving the 2012 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, Paper Mill executives announced Tuesday.

    Through the Rising Star “Theatre for Everyone” Inclusion & Access Award and a partnership with VSA New Jersey and 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 will present a cash award of $1,000 to a 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 also seeks to recognize and reward a school that takes steps to ensure their performances are accessible to audiences with disabilities.  

    Lastly, 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 on the stage at Paper Mill Playhouse in our season finale concert, "New Voices of 2012:  It’s Our Time: a musical celebration of growing up and changing the world” on August 3 and 4.

     The 2012 Rising Star Awards - Presented by the Investors Foundation are also generously supported by the Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation, The Ambrose & Ida Fredrickson Foundation and The Bloomingdale’s Fund of the Macy’s Foundation. 

    Rising Star scholarships are made possible by John Burgio & Ruth Bedford in Memory of Jane Burgio, Scaramouche Costumes LLC, Douglas Michael Krueger Scholarship Fund Trust, VSA New Jersey, and the Cultural Access Network of New Jersey. 

     Additional major funding for Paper Mill Playhouse Education Outreach is provided by The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and MetLife Foundation.

    Paper Mill Playhouse programs are made possible, in part, by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.

    PAPER MILL PLAYHOUSE, a not-for-profit arts organization, is one of the country's leading regional theatres.  Paper Mill Playhouse is a member of Theatre Communications Group, the National Alliance for Musical Theatre, the Council of Stock Theatres and the New Jersey Theatre Alliance.

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    2012 Rising Star Awards Final Nominations and Honorable Mentions:

    Outstanding Overall Production of a Musical

    Final Nominations

    • Don Bosco Prep HS, THE WILL ROGERS FOLLIES
    • Eastern Regional HS, THE KING AND I
    • Gill St. Bernard's School, THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD
    • Nutley HS, CABARET
    • Summit HS, OKLAHOMA!
    • Union HS, A FUNNY...FORUM
    • Westfield HS, PIPPIN

    Honorable Mentions

    • Bergen County Academies, THE KING AND I
    • Cranford HS, BYE BYE BIRDIE
    • Mount Saint Dominic Academy, THE DROWSY CHAPERONE

    Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

    Final Nominations

    • Absegami HS, INTO THE WOODS, Morgan Kirner as “Cinderella”
    • Cranford HS, BYE BYE BIRDIE, Erica Morreale as “Rose Alvarez”
    • Don Bosco Prep HS, THE WILL ROGERS FOLLIES, Courtney Kofoed as “Betty Blake Rogers”
    • Eastern Regional HS, THE KING AND I, Sarah Cheatham as “Anna Leonowens"
    • Gill St. Bernard's School, THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD, Jessica Kundla as “Deirdre Peregrine/Rosa Bud”
    • Gill St. Bernard's School, THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD, Savannah Schechter as “Alice Nutting/Edwin Drood”
    • Sayreville War Memorial HS, JEKYLL & HYDE, Maggie Bera as “Lucy Harris”

    Honorable Mentions

    • Mount Saint Dominic Academy, THE DROWSY CHAPERONE, Lina Smorra as “Janet Van De Graff”
    • Nutley HS, CABARET, Sarah Cetrulo as “Sally Bowles”
    • Saddle River Day School, GYPSY, Skylar Gottlieb as “Rose”

     

    Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

    Final Nominations

    • Hillsborough HS, TITANIC, Scott Cesta as “Frederick Barrett”
    • Montclair Kimberley Academy, THE DROWSY CHAPERONE, Edward Rosini as “Man in Chair”
    • Ridge HS, THE SECRET GARDEN, Nick Siccone as “Archibald Craven”
    • Sayreville War Memorial HS, JEKYLL & HYDE, Michael Ferlita as “Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde”
    • St. Joseph Regional HS, CABARET, Connor Briggs as “Emcee”
    • Union HS, A FUNNY...FORUM, Darius J. Lee as “Pseudolous”
    • Westfield HS, PIPPIN, Matt Lynn as “Pippin”

    Honorable Mentions

    • Immaculata HS, LES MISERABLES, Matthew LeBoeuf as “Jean Valjean”
    • Morris Knolls HS, THE DROWSY CHAPERONE, Kevin Washington as “Man in Chair”
    • Mount Olive HS, THE SECRET GARDEN, Kevin Scimecca as “Archibald Craven”

     

    Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

    Final Nominations

    • Fair Lawn HS, NINE, Ilana Kitaigorodsky as “Claudia”
    • Gill St. Bernard's School, THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD, Jana Bernard as “Angela Prysock/Princess Puffer”
    • Nutley HS, CABARET, Taylor Lockwood as “Fraulein Schneider”
    • Princeton Day School, THE SECRET GARDEN, Kalyn Altmeyer as “Martha Sowerby”
    • Robbinsville HS, THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE, Abby Coggins as “Mrs. Meers”
    • Somerville HS, SINGIN' IN THE RAIN, Caitlin Cimino as “Lina Lamont“
    • Summit HS, OKLAHOMA!, Lynsey Newsham as “Ado Annie”        

    Honorable Mentions

    • Cicely L. Tyson School of Performing Arts, DREAMGIRLS, Cindy Edwards as “Lorrell Robinson”
    • Union County Academy for Performing Arts, LITTLE WOMEN, Morgan Kelleher as “Amy March”
    • Westwood Reg. Jr./Sr. HS, URINETOWN, Gabby DeNola as “Little Sally”

    Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

    Final Nominations

    • Bloomfield HS, JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, Jarred Lee as “Pontius Pilate”
    • Eastern Regional HS, THE KING AND I, Christopher Cortes as “Lun Tha“
    • Mount Saint Dominic Academy, THE DROWSY CHAPERONE, Vito Fiore as “Aldolpho”
    • Peddie School, INTO THE WOODS, Mason Quilty as “Cinderella's Prince”
    • Princeton HS, CITY OF ANGELS, Harrison Kaufman as “Buddy Fidler”
    • Thomas Jefferson Arts Academy, AIDA, Wakeem Jones as “Mereb”
    • Westfield HS, PIPPIN, Geoff Ko as “King Charlemagne”

    Honorable Mentions

    • Cicely L. Tyson School of Performing Arts , DREAMGIRLS, Damien Otchere as “James ‘Thunder’ Early”
    • Morris Hills HS, INTO THE WOODS, Kevin Nguyen as “Cinderella's Prince/Wolf”
    • Rahway HS, 42ND STREET, Nate Figueroa as “Billy Lawlor”

    Outstanding Performance in a Featured Role

    Final Nominations

    • Academy of the Holy Angels, FOOTLOOSE, Alexandra Ann Pagnozzi as “Rusty”
    • Bloomfield HS, JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, Aziz Naouai as “Simon Zealotes”
    • Don Bosco Prep HS, THE WILL ROGERS FOLLIES, Jaclyn Scerbak as “Ziegfeld's Favorite”
    • Moorestown HS, THE WEDDING SINGER, Alex Loftus as “Linda”
    • Point Pleasant Borough HS, BYE BYE BIRDIE, Bridget Flanagan as “Mrs. Mae Peterson”
    • Summit HS, OKLAHOMA!, Sam Goodstein as “Ali Hakim”
    • Westfield HS, PIPPIN, Rebecca Skowron as “Berthe”

    Honorable Mentions

    • Bergen County Academies, THE KING AND I, Sasha Paulovich as “Eliza”
    • Cumberland Regional HS, DISNEY'S BEAUTY & THE BEAST, Tyler Daddario as “Cogsworth”
    • Nutley HS, CABARET, Evan Patoray as “Ernst Ludwig”

    Outstanding Performance by a Featured Ensemble Group

    Final Nominations

    • Bergen County Academies, THE KING AND I, “The Small House of Uncle Thomas”
    • Cedar Grove HS, THE DROWSY CHAPERONE, “The Gangsters”
    • Cranford HS, BYE BYE BIRDIE, “The Sweet Apple Teens”
    • Eastern Regional HS, THE KING AND I, “The Small House of Uncle Thomas”
    • Newton HS, SEUSSICAL THE MUSICAL, “The Wickersham Brothers”
    • Nutley HS, CABARET, “The Kit Kat Girls”
    • Union HS, A FUNNY...FORUM , “The Courtesans”

    Honorable Mentions

    • Immaculata HS, LES MISERABLES, “The Students”
    • Point Pleasant Borough HS, BYE BYE BIRDIE, “The Sweet Apple Teens”
    • Princeton HS, CITY OF ANGELS, “The Angel City 5”

     

    Outstanding Performance by a Chorus

    Final Nominations

    • Bloomfield HS, JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR
    • Cranford HS, BYE BYE BIRDIE
    • Don Bosco Prep HS, THE WILL ROGERS FOLLIES
    • Gill St. Bernard's School, THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD
    • Rahway HS, 42ND STREET
    • Summit HS, OKLAHOMA!
    • Westfield HS, PIPPIN

    Honorable Mentions

    • Eastern Regional HS, THE KING AND I
    • Hillsborough HS, TITANIC
    • Mount Saint Dominic Academy, THE DROWSY CHAPERONE

    Outstanding Performance by an Orchestra

    Final Nominations

    • Howell HS, CABARET
    • Mount Olive HS, THE SECRET GARDEN
    • Princeton HS, CITY OF ANGELS
    • Ridge HS, THE SECRET GARDEN
    • Summit HS, OKLAHOMA!
    • Union HS, A FUNNY...FORUM
    • Westfield HS, PIPPIN

    Honorable Mentions

    • Cicely L. Tyson School of Performing Arts, DREAMGIRLS
    • Paramus HS, THE SOUND OF MUSIC
    • Somerville HS, SINGIN' IN THE RAIN

    Outstanding Achievement by a Teacher or Outside Director

    Final Nominations

    • Don Bosco Prep HS, THE WILL ROGERS FOLLIES, Jodi Capeless
    • Eastern Regional HS, THE KING AND I, Gregg Molotsky
    • Gill St. Bernard's School, THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD, Paul H. Canada
    • Nutley HS, CABARET, Michael Cundari
    • Summit HS, OKLAHOMA!, Anne Poyner
    • Union HS, A FUNNY…FORUM, James Mosser
    • Westfield HS, PIPPIN, Daniel Devlin

    Honorable Mentions

    • Bergen County Academies, THE KING AND I, Victoria Pero
    • Cranford HS, BYE BYE BIRDIE, Michelle Massa
    • Mount Saint Dominic Academy, THE DROWSY CHAPERONE, Dr. Darren Gage

    Outstanding Achievement in Music Direction

    Final Nominations

    • Eastern Regional HS, THE KING AND I, Katy Akinskas & John Stanz
    • Gill St. Bernard's School, THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD, Amy & David Southerland
    • Mount Olive HS, THE SECRET GARDEN, Matthew Vancini
    • Mount Saint Dominic Academy, THE DROWSY CHAPERONE, David Modero
    • Northern Highlands Reg. HS, THE WEDDING SINGER, Thomas Paster, Eugene Ryman & Theodora Sotiropoulos
    • Nutley HS, CABARET, Michael Cundari & Nicole Monte
    • Summit HS, OKLAHOMA!, Wayne Mallette & Steve Rapp

    Honorable Mentions

    •  Jackson Memorial HS, THE MUSIC MAN, Edmund Roberston & Jason M. Diaz
    • Midland Park Junior/Senior HS, THE DROWSY CHAPERONE, Donna Halliwell & Ilya Maslov
    • Morris Knolls HS, THE DROWSY CHAPERONE, Michael Semancik & Dan Schartz

    Outstanding Achievement in Choreography and Staging

    Final Nominations

    • Bergen County Academies, THE KING AND I, Laurie Crochet, Claudia Huelibig-Stein & Leanne Velednitsky
    • Bosco Prep HS, THE WILL ROGERS FOLLIES, Kimberly Galberaith
    • Gill St. Bernard's School, THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD, Margery Schiesswohl
    • Nutley HS, CABARET, Elliott Bradley & Eric Wdowiak
    • Rahway HS, 42ND STREET, Alison Dooley
    • Summit HS, OKLAHOMA!, Kelly Mott-Sacks
    • Westfield HS, PIPPIN, Samantha Hahn

    Honorable Mentions

    • Columbia HS, WEST SIDE STORY, Tricia Benn & Bethany Pettigrew
    • Eastern Regional HS, THE KING AND I, Felix Hess
    • Union HS, A FUNNY...FORUM, Jennifer Williams

    Outstanding Scenic Achievement

    Final Nominations

    • Absegami HS, INTO THE WOODS, Peter Avagliano & Stephanie Clineman
    • Gill St. Bernard's School, THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD, Paul H. Canada
    • Jackson Memorial HS, THE MUSIC MAN, Jamie Allaire, Gina Gagliano & Jessee Maline
    • Peddie School, INTO THE WOODS, Carrie Ballenger
    • Princeton HS, CITY OF ANGELS, Jacob Van Buren
    • Summit HS, OKLAHOMA!, Travis McHale
    • Union HS, A FUNNY...FORUM, Scott Aronow

    Honorable Mentions

    • Cranford HS, BYE BYE BIRDIE, Lynn C. Berry
    • Madison HS, THE WIZARD OF OZ, Brian Lynch
    • Nutley HS, CABARET, James Gardner

    Outstanding Lighting Achievement

    Final Nominations

    • Fair Lawn HS, NINE, Travis McHale
    • Gill St. Bernard's School, THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD, Joseph Skowronski
    • Madison HS, THE WIZARD OF OZ, Brian Lynch
    • Princeton Day School, THE SECRET GARDEN, Joshua Benghiat
    • Summit HS, OKLAHOMA!, Travis McHale
    • Thomas Jefferson Arts Academy, AIDA, Arianna Roman
    • Union HS, A FUNNY...FORUM, Justin Partier

    Honorable Mentions

    • Nutley HS, CABARET, James Gardner
    • Peddie School, INTO THE WOODS, Charles S. Reece
    • Westfield HS, PIPPIN, Lisa & Michael Kimmell

    Outstanding Costuming Achievement

    Final Nominations

    • Bergen County Academies, THE KING AND I, Terry Thiry, Victoria Pero & Janet Adamo
    • Don Bosco Prep HS, THE WILL ROGERS FOLLIES, Kathleen Martorano & Nancy Reynolds
    • Gill St. Bernard's School, THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD, Paul H. Canada & Beth Holland
    • Princeton Day School, THE SECRET GARDEN, Deb Sugarman
    • Rumson-Fair Haven Reg. HS, JEKYLL & HYDE, Carole Malik
    • Summit HS, OKLAHOMA!, Katherine Winter
    • Wallkill Valley Reg. HS, DISNEY'S BEAUTY & THE BEAST, Christine Molnar

    Honorable Mentions

    • Hillsborough HS, TITANIC, Mae Boucher-Langdon
    • Mount Saint Dominic Academy, THE DROWSY CHAPERONE, Carissa Caruso & Scaramouche Costumes, Inc.
    • Newton HS, SEUSSICAL THE MUSICAL, Greta Nappa

    Outstanding Hair and Make-up Achievement

    Final Nominations

    • Bergen County Academies, THE KING AND I, James Huelbig & Backstage Brigade
    • Madison HS, THE WIZARD OF OZ, Nancy Dugan & Maryann Post
    • Nutley HS, CABARET, Joanne Kirk & Nicole Monte
    • Princeton Day School, THE SECRET GARDEN, Deborah Sugarman & Gretchen Murtha
    • Rahway HS, 42ND STREET, not listed
    • Summit HS, OKLAHOMA!, Leslie Coates, Arlene Patrick & Haley Coates
    • Westfield HS, PIPPIN, Alexa Derman

    Honorable Mentions

    • Cranford HS, BYE BYE BIRDIE, Michelle Massa
    • Gill St. Bernard's School, THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD, Venus Nedd & Lee Amoroso
    • Rumson-Fair Haven Reg. HS, JEKYLL & HYDE, not listed

    Outstanding Achievement in Graphic Design

    Final Nominations

    • Madison HS, THE WIZARD OF OZ, David Jones & Caryn Elefante
    • Morristown HS, SWEET CHARITY, Brian Kievning
    • Mount Olive HS, THE SECRET GARDEN, France Van Stone
    • Nutley HS, CABARET, Carla Cucinotta & Natasha Redmond
    • Summit HS, OKLAHOMA!, Paul Buckley & Rona Machlin
    • Union HS, A FUNNY...FORUM, Paul Gaschler
    • Westfield HS, PIPPIN, Asher Horowitz

    Honorable Mentions

    • Hillsborough HS, TITANIC, LFS Printing
    • Howell HS, CABARET, not listed,
    • Montclair Kimberley Academy, THE DROWSY CHAPERONE, Lainey Bukowiec

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