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Photo Flash: First Look at Paper Mill Playhouse's 2016 Rising Star Awards

BroadwayWorld brings you a first look at some of the winners of Paper Mill Playhouse's 2016 Rising Star Awards. Check them out below!

As one of the nation's leading regional theaters and producing partners for Broadway, Paper Mill Playhouse (Mark S. Hoebee-Producing Artistic Director, Todd Schmidt-Managing Director) has a well-earned reputation for launching both performers and shows for the Great White Way. The theater will be the recipient of the 2016 Regional Theatre Tony Award this Sunday. 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 MISERABLES), 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 2016 Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star Awards Presented by the Investors Foundation ceremony took place at Paper Mill Playhouse on Tuesday, June 7, at 7:30pm, featuring presenters from Broadway and beyond. The ceremony was broadcast live on television and online through Paper Mill Playhouse video partner, Hometowne Television, of Summit, New Jersey.

Summit High School took home the prize for Outstanding Overall Production for their production of Mary Poppins. The coveted award for Outstanding Actress in a Leading Role went to Claire Fitzpatrick who played the title role in Mary Poppins at Summit High School. The award for Outstanding Actor in a Leading Role went to Trevor Braun who played Charlie Chaplin in Chaplin: The Musical at Fair Lawn High School. Academy of Holy Angels High School in Demarest, NJ took home three awards for their production of Children of Edenincluding Outstanding Direction, Outstanding Music Direction and Outstanding Chorus. A complete list of winners is below.

"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."

Past Rising Star nominees and recipients recently appeared on Broadway in She Loves Me(Laura Benanti), Noises Off (Rob McClure), American Psycho (Morgan Weed) Aladdin (Josh Dela Cruz, Jonathan Schwartz, Kathryn Allison), LES MISERABLES (Nikki M. James), Disney'sThe Lion King (Jelani Remy), Beautiful: The Carole King Musical (Julia Knitel), Jersey Boys(Russell Fisher), 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 NBC's The Wiz Live was nominated for a Rising Star Award in 2014.

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 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 perform at the event, and award recipients are presented with an engraved crystal award from Tiffany & Co.

PAPER MILL PLAYHOUSE, a not-for-profit arts organization, 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. Paper Mill Playhouse is a member of the National Alliance for Musical Theatre, the Council of Stock Theatres, and the New Jersey Theatre Alliance.

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Photo Flash: First Look at Paper Mill Playhouse's 2016 Rising Star Awards
The company of Summit High School's Mary Poppins, winner of Outstanding Overall Production.

Photo Flash: First Look at Paper Mill Playhouse's 2016 Rising Star Awards
Todd Schmidt, Claire Fitzpatrick, Lisa Cooney and Mark S. Hoebee. Claire Fitzpatrick won Outstanding Actress in a Leading Role for her performance as Mary Poppins Summit High School's Mary Poppins.

Photo Flash: First Look at Paper Mill Playhouse's 2016 Rising Star Awards
Lisa Cooney, Todd Schmidt, Trevor Braun and Mark S. Hoebee. Trevor Braun won Outstanding Actor in a Leading Role for his performance as Charlie Chaplin in Fair Lawn High School's Chaplin.

Photo Flash: First Look at Paper Mill Playhouse's 2016 Rising Star Awards
Todd Schmidt, Lisa Cooney, Greg Lobo and Mark S. Hoebee. Greg Lobo won Outstanding Performance by a Featured Ensemble Member for his performance as Big Jule in Bernards High School's Guys and Dolls.

Photo Flash: First Look at Paper Mill Playhouse's 2016 Rising Star Awards
Patrick Parker and Paper Mill Playhouse alumna Shanice Williams presenting a 2016 Rising Star Award.

Photo Flash: First Look at Paper Mill Playhouse's 2016 Rising Star Awards
Paper Mill Playhouse alumna Ali Stroker presenting a 2016 Rising Star Award.

Photo Flash: First Look at Paper Mill Playhouse's 2016 Rising Star Awards
Cody Williams (Paper Mill Playhouse's West Side Story) and Alysha Umphress (Paper Mill Playhouse's Pump Boys and Dinettes) presenting a 2016 Rising Star Award.




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