BWW Feature: TRIANGLE RISING STARS Award Winners Announced at Durham Performing Arts Center
If the Triangle Rising Stars showcase is any indication, the future of musical theater is bright.
On Tuesday night, 20 students representing 13 high schools across the Triangle and beyond performed at the Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC) as part of the 2018 Triangle Rising Stars program.
DPAC established Triangle Rising Stars (TRS) in 2011 as part of The National High School Musical Theatre Awards (Jimmy Awards). Throughout this school year, a panel of judges attended 39 high school musical theater productions across the region and selected 20 regional finalists to compete for the coveted Best Actor and Best Actress Award. The winners of this award receive $2000 in scholarship money and an opportunity to go to New York to compete at The Jimmy Awards.
Triangle Rising Stars Director David Henderson says the program is top notch and the level of commitment of the kids is unparalleled.
"Each year has its unique surprises," he says. "What is interesting each year is the commitment of the kids grows stronger and stronger."
This year, Mya Ison won the award for Best Actress. Ison won for her portrayal of Sarah in Enloe High School's production of Ragtime. She is graduating this June and plans to attend Boston University in the fall.
Sterling Jones won the award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Gaston in Broughton High School's production of Beauty and the Beast. Jones is a rising senior and plans to attend the University North Carolina School of the Arts next year.
In addition to Ison and Jones, Cary High School won the Best Ensemble Award for their production of The Secret Garden. Enloe High School won the Marchael Bayne Award for Best Musical for their production of Ragtime. Both schools received $1000 for their drama programs.
Ison and Jones spoke to me backstage after Triangle Rising Stars (see video below) and both say they are looking forward to going to New York and performing on a Broadway stage this summer.
The Jimmy Awards will be held June 25th at The Minskoff Theatre. Tony Award Winner Laura Benanti will host the awards ceremony.
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