Arts & Entertainment

James Caldwell High School Student Completes Prestigious Paper Mill Playhouse Summer Musical Theater Conservatory


WEST CALDWELL, NJ — During the final week of July, James Caldwell High School rising senior Mollie DeFilippo starred in the Paper Mill Playhouse performance “New Voices of 2016: Everything Old is New Again!” as the finale to the prestigious summer musical theater conservatory she was entered into earlier this year. 

DeFilippo was nominated for the 2016 “Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star Award” for her performance in James Caldwell High School’s spring musical “Seussical the Musical.” Although she did not win the category, she was automatically entered into the performing arts center’s summer musical theater conservatory by being nominated. 

The competitive group of young performers selected for the summer musical theater conservatory is comprised of 120 students from around New Jersey. Over a span of five weeks, the students attend classes and workshops, and put together an originally directed and choreographed performance—this year’s being “New Voices of 2016: Everything Old is New Again!”

Sign Up for E-News

James Caldwell High School Vice-Principal John Bertollo attended the Saturday matinee showing, which was one of three performances DeFilippo was featured in through the weekend.

“Being fortunate enough to have a student get nominated for a Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star Award alone was an amazing feeling for JCHS,” said Bertollo, who was also in the crowd for the awards ceremony. “Although Mollie didn't win her category, it was still a surreal feeling to see her perform on such a big stage. To go back a second time and see her perform with 120 of the most talented students in New Jersey was something I had never experienced before other than at a Broadway show.” 

Bertollo said it is amazing how much talent the state of New Jersey has and that it gives him “such pride for the school” to know one of its students is in the conversation.

“Mollie is a great kid and can really go places if she continues to work hard,” he said. “She got to see the level of competition first hand and I think it'll push her to work even harder.”

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

West Essex

Essex County Freeholders Celebrate African-American History Month

February 22, 2018

NEWARK, NJ – At its 2018 African-American History Month Celebration on Wednesday at the Hall of Records in Newark, the Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders commemorated the heritage, culture, resilience, and spirit of the African-American community.

Brendan Gill, board president and Freeholder At-Large, first acknowledged African-American contributions, both past and present, in ...

Shouts of Racial Slurs During "Black Panther" Bring Police to Sparta Theatre

February 21, 2018

SPARTA, NJ – Sparta police were called to the New Vision Sparta Theater on Sunday night because of a woman shouting slurs in a screening of Black Panther.

Former New Jersey Assembly candidate Michael Grace was in the theater when two people started yelling racial slurs including “look at these ‘n-word’” and “can you believe these ...

Upcoming Events


Sat, February 24, 10:00 AM

Rock “N” Joe Coffee Bar, Caldwell

Caldwell Coffee With a Cop

Police & Fire


Sun, February 25, 2:00 PM

West Caldwell Public Library, West Caldwell

Concert with Stephen Fuller Quartet

Arts & Entertainment

Free Cardiac and Concussion Screenings for Young Athletes

February 22, 2018

WEST ORANGE, NJ — The Matthew J. Morahan III Health Assessment Center for Athletes (MJM) at RWJBarnabas Health will provide free cardiac and concussion baseline screenings to young athletes on Saturday, March 3, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at South Mountain Recreation Complex, Codey Arena, 560 Northfield Avenue, West Orange, NJ.

When preliminary testing to identify serious cardiac ...

Let the Games Begin

I am truly awed by the Olympics.  Watching these superb young athletes on TV inspires me to renew my membership to the gym and pursue my lifelong dream of taking home the gold.  


The problem is that in my deluded head, I can see actually see myself standing atop the podium.  I am wrapped in a puffy designer ski coat with a huge piece of bling slung around my neck ...