Four Rising Star Awards go to Essex County schools

MILLBURN, NJ — On Monday, June 4, the 23rd annual Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star Awards were presented for outstanding achievement by students and educators in the areas of performance, design, direction, choreography, technical production and overall production excellence.

The Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star Awards were created in 1996 to encourage and reward exceptional accomplishments in the production of high school musical theater. The awards, presented by the Investors Foundation, is a statewide competition of New Jersey high school musicals modeled after Broadway’s Tony Awards.

The Rising Star Award corps of evaluators, comprised of theater professionals, performing artists, designers and theater arts educators, had viewed 100 student productions from high schools across the state. Award-winners were presented with an engraved crystal award. Paper Mill Playhouse awarded four $1,000 cash awards to outstanding individual students participating in entered Rising Star Award productions, and who plan to continue studying theater or technical theater in college. A fifth cash scholarship of $1,000 was awarded in memoriam of Rising Star nominee Douglas Michael Krueger.

Lastly, students receiving final nominations in the lead and supporting acting categories won a scholarship to Paper Mill Playhouse’s competitive Summer Musical Theater Conservatory, a professional training program that, along with advanced classes in singing, acting and dance, offers the nominees an opportunity to perform on the Paper Mill stage in the annual New Voices Concert. Any New Jersey public, private or parochial school may enter by completing an application and being among the first 100 to apply.

The 2018 award recipients from Essex County are:

  • for Outstanding Costuming Achievement: Barbara Canace, Carol Rutledge and Suzanna Roghanchi from Columbia High School’s production of “Hairspray”;
  • the Student Achievement Award to Kaila Lewis for lighting design in Cicely L. Tyson School for Performing and Fine Arts’ production of “Into the Woods”;
  • the Student Achievement Award to Patricia Patalinjug for graphic design in Nutley High School’s production of “Pippin”; and
  • the Douglas Michael Krueger Scholarship Award to Marlon Soloman, from the Cicely L. Tyson School for Performing and Fine Arts.