UNION, NJ – The 2016 Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star Award nominations were announced Monday morning live on HomeTowne Television. 

The Union High School Performing Arts Company received twelve Rising Star nominations for their production of Disney’s Mary Poppins.

For over twenty years, the Paper Mill Playhouse has been honoring excellence in high school theatre throughout the state of New Jersey.

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Six years ago, UHSPAC won Outstanding Overall Production for 2010’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.  Last year they received nine awards, the most in the history of the show, including Outstanding Overall Production for Duke Ellington’s Sophisticated Ladies.

Director James Mosser said, “it is amazing for our students to get a chance to share their work, and see what other students from across the state of New Jersey are up to.  Being with the students as the nominations were announced live was extra special.  The energy in the room was quite amazing.”

“We are thrilled to get a chance to perform on the stage of a theatre that has been recognized by the entire theatre community as a leader in the field with their 2016 Regional Theatre Tony Award,” continued Mosser.

Final Nominations:

Outstanding Overall Production of a Musical

Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role: Jonathan Duvelson as Bert

Outstanding Performance in a Featured Role: Lisette Serrano as Miss Andrew

Outstanding Performance in a Featured Role: Crystal Wright as Mrs. Corry

Outstanding Performance by a Featured Ensemble Group: The Sweeps

Outstanding Performance by a Chorus

Outstanding Achievement by a Director: James Mosser

Outstanding Achievement in Music Direction: James Mosser and Laura Muller

Outstanding Achievement in Choreography: Jennifer Williams

Outstanding Scenic Achievement: Diane Esquivel and James Mosser

Outstanding Lighting Achievement: Coby Chasman Beck

Outstanding Costume Achievement: James Mosser, Jennifer Williams and Leslie Laurino

Honorable Mention:  Outstanding Hair and Makeup Achievement

The awards ceremony will be held at the Paper Mill Playhouse on Tuesday, June 7, where the students of the UHSPAC will be performing a number from the show.  Lead actor nominee Jonathan Duvelson will also perform in a medley during the ceremony.  

Choreographer Jennifer Williams said, “the most rewarding part of my job is watching my students grow and shine, and this year has been no exception. It was very exciting listening to the nominations announced live and hearing Union High School’s name called out so many times.  I am so incredibly proud of everyone’s hard work and am very excited to get back into rehearsals with everyone for our performance. Thank you so much to the Paper Mill for everything they do especially the opportunities they give our students.”