Westfield Students Sweep The Stage at Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star Awards
Wednesday, June 6, 2012 • 11:21am
MILLBURN, NJ - The 17th Annual Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star Awards were held on Tuesday night. The lobby was sizzling with excitement as students from nearly 100 schools poured into the Paper Mill Playhouse. Proud parents snapping pictures only added to the energy in the room. Westfield took 9 of its 12 nominations, giving more meaning the phrase “break a leg.”
When asked what the evening meant to Westfield students, Director Daniel Devlin said “Its just awesome. They work so so hard and all the wins tonight were kids with the exception of Sam our Choreographer. But our graphic designer is a junior, our hair and makeup girl who worked so hard putting together a portfolio, all on her own, is a sophomore. And its just so validating for the work that they put in. Its amazing.”
And The Winner Is...
Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
Geoff Ko as “King Charlemagne”
Outstanding Performance in a Featured Role
Rebecca Skowron as “Berthe”
Outstanding Performance by a Chorus
Westfield High School
Outstanding Choreography / Musical Staging
Outstanding Hair and Make-up Achievement
Outstanding Achievement in Graphic Design
Student Achievement Award
Bernadette Hopen - Stage Manager
Alison Antonelli - Costume Designer
Other Westfield Nominees
Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
Matt Lynn as “Pippin”
Outstanding Performace by an Orchestra
Westfield, High School
Outstanding Lighting Achievement
Lisa and Michael Kimmell
Outstanding Achievement by a Teacher or Outside Director
Since their inception in 1996 the Paper Mill Playhouse (Mark S. Hoebee-Producing Artistic Director, Todd Schmidt-Managing Director) 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 former nominees and winners are Academy Award® nominee Anne Hathaway, Tony® award winner Laura Benanti, and 2011 Tony® Award winner, Nikki M. James.
The Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star Awards 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.
“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 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 is grateful for generous contributions from numerous corporations, foundations, and individuals.