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Westfield Students Win Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star Awards

The Alternative Press Staff

Monday, June 9, 2014 • 11:39am

MILLBURN, NJ — Two students from Westfield High School brought home awards from the Paper Mill Playhouse’s Rising Star Awards Ceremony June 3: Senior Alexa Derman for Student Achievement in Hair & Make-up Design and Samantha Gruskin for Student Achievement in Stage Management. Both awards were for work done on the school’s spring musical, “Anyone Can Whistle.”

John Brzozowski, vocal teacher at Westfield High School, was recognized with an honorable mention for musical direction.

“These awards are well deserved,” said Director Daniel Devlin. “I congratulate the awardees as well as the entire cast, crew and pit orchestra for their continued outstanding work.”

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”) and UK Olivier Award nominee Jared Gertner (“The Book of Mormon” - West End).

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