MILLBURN, NJ - The Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star Awards for Excellence in High School Musical Theatre were awarded on Monday night, with Katie Adams winning the Outstanding Costuming Achievement and Matt Mruz and Grace Prachthauser winning Student Achievement Awards for the Morristown High School (MHS) production of  Anything Goes.
 
MHS had 5 nominations; Union High School was the top school with 12 nominations. 

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. The award program began in 1996.

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“We are very excited to celebrate excellence in high school musical theater with the students of New Jersey,” commented Mark S. HoebeePaper 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.” 

Students receiving final nominations in the lead and supporting acting categories receive a scholarship to Paper Mill Playhouse’s competitive Summer Musical Theatre Conservatory, a professional training program, which, along with advanced classes in singing, acting and dance, offers the nominees an opportunity to perform in the season finale concert, "New Voices of 2018: From Sea to Shining Sea" on July 27 and July 28 at Montclair State University.

Paper Mill Director of Education Lisa Cooney explains, "What's happening in high school musical productions here in New Jersey and around the country is remarkable. Programs like the Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star Awards raise the bar and create opportunities for student performers and theater technicians to be recognized for their achievements, while giving them access to thousands of dollars in scholarships and professional training. We consistently hear from top-tier colleges and casting directors that a Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star Award is a significant accolade for an aspiring theater artist.”

The full list of 2018 Rising Star Award Winners is as follows:

Outstanding Hair and Make-up Achievement
Danielle Garritt and Keleyn Wraga, Toms River High School North
THE ADDAMS FAMILY

Outstanding Costuming Achievement
Katie Adams, Morristown High School
ANYTHING GOES

Outstanding Costuming Achievement
Barbara Canace, Carol Rutledge, and Suzanna Roghanchi, Columbia High School
HAIRSPRAY

Outstanding Lighting Achievement
Coby Chasman-Beck, Union High School
PETER PAN

Outstanding Scenic Achievement
Jamie Allaire, Jackson Memorial High School
DISNEY'S BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS

Kaila Lewis
Lighting Designer
Cicely L. Tyson School of Performing and Fine Arts
INTO THE WOODS

Ellis Stanton
Light Board Operator
Delaware Valley Regional High School
GREASE

Matt Mruz and Grace Prachthauser
Sound/Film Designer
Morristown High School
ANYTHING GOES

Andrew Laudor
Lighting Designer
Mount Olive High School
CATCH ME IF YOU CAN

Patricia Patalinjug
Graphic Designer
Nutley High School
PIPPIN

Rakesh Potluri
Assistant Lighting Designer/Master Electrician
Princeton Day School
BAT BOY THE MUSICAL

Costume Crew
Summit High School
LEGALLY BLONDE

Matthew Nowell
Technical Director/Sound Designer
Voorhees High School
FOOTLOOSE

Morgan L. Eng
Graphic Designer/Pit Orchestra
Westfield High School
FOLLIES

Daniel Suriel
Lighting Designer/Board Operator
Carteret High School
IN THE HEIGHTS

Educational Impact Award
Summit High School
LEGALLY BLONDE

"Theatre for Everyone" Inclusion & Access Award
Madison High School
FOOTLOOSE

Outstanding Choreography / Musical Staging
Jennifer Williams, Union High School
PETER PAN

Outstanding Music Direction
Charles Santoro, Fair Lawn High School
ONCE

Outstanding Direction
Jeff Hogan, West Morris Central High School
THE PIRATE QUEEN

Outstanding Orchestra
Fair Lawn High School
ONCE

Outstanding Chorus
Princeton Day School
BAT BOY THE MUSICAL

Outstanding Featured Ensemble Group
The Lost Boys, Union High School
PETER PAN

Outstanding Performance in a Featured Role
Alyssa Carbonell as "Tiger Lily"
Union High School
PETER PAN

Outstanding Performance by a Featured Ensemble Member
Joshua Nilsen as "Eugene Florczyk"
Delaware Valley Regional High School
GREASE

Outstanding Actress in a Supporting Role
Caroline Herbert as "The Chaperone"
Hopewell Valley Central High School
THE DROWSY CHAPERONE

Outstanding Actor in a Supporting Role
Nick Scafuto as "J. Bowden Hapgood"
Bridgewater-Raritan High School
ANYONE CAN WHISTLE

Outstanding Actor in a Supporting Role
Matthew Losco as "Igor"
Vernon Township High School
YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN

Outstanding Actress in a Leading Role
Mira Mookerjee as "Lilli Vanessi/Katharine"
Moorestown High School
KISS ME, KATE

Outstanding Actor in a Leading Role
Jovanni Aparicio as "Usnavi"
Carteret High School
IN THE HEIGHTS

Outstanding Overall Production
Union High School
PETER PAN

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