Paper Mill Announces Rising Star Award Nominations
Among the former Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star Awards for Excellence in High School Musical Theatre nominees and winners are Academy Award nominee Anne Hathaway, Tony award winner Laura Benanti and 2011 Tony Award winner, Nikki M. James.
“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 are modeled after the Tony® Awards and Paper Mill Playhouse's program 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 are 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 commence on 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.