Rahway High School Wins 4 Rising Star Awards

MILLBURN—Rahway High School claimed four Rising Star Awards at a ceremony held at the Paper Mill Playhouse on Tuesday, June 16.

The Rising Star Awards are modeled after the Tony® Awards and Paper Mill’s program serves the entire state of New Jersey with 100 entered productions from high schools. Since their inception in 1996 the Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star Awards for Excellence in High School Musical Theater has ignited the careers of many notable performers, all of whom attended high school in New Jersey.  Among early nominees and winners are Tony® Award winner Laura Benanti who starred on Broadway opposite Patti LuPone in Gypsy, and Academy Award® nominee Anne Hathaway.

Rahway won awards for Outstanding Overall Production, Outstanding Costuming Achievement and Outstanding Chorus for the school’s production of the “Will Rogers Follies.” Rahway High School’s Alison Dooley also won an award for Outstanding Direction for her work on the show.

Several other Union County schools also won awards.

Union High School’s Matthew Corbin was named Outstanding Supporting Actor for his performance as “Billy Lawlor” in “42nd Street.” Paul Gaschler was honored for Outstanding Graphic Design, giving the school a second award.

Erica Morreale of Cranford High School was chosen as the Outstanding Supporting Actress for her portrayal of “Bonnie” in “Anything Goes.” Sebastian Moon and Rachel Jacquin received the Stage Technical Leader award for their work on the production.

Summit High School also won two Rising Star Awards for their production of “The Music Man.” Carol Hassert and Sherri Williamson were recognized for Outstanding Lobby Display, while “The Barbershop Quartet” was honored as Outstanding Ensemble Group.

Paper Mill Director of Education, Lisa Cooney said, “What’s happening in high schools musical productions here in New Jersey and around the country is remarkable.  Programs like the Rising Star Awards have raised 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 scholarship money.  Many of Paper Mill’s Rising Star nominees and winners are now working professionally and we consistently hear from top tier colleges and casting directors that the Paper Mill Rising Star Award is a significant accolade for an aspiring theater artist.”

Rising Stars—The cast, crew and creative team of Rahway High School won the Winners of Paper Mill Playhouse’s Rising Star Award for Outstanding Overall Production of a Musical, for “Will Rogers Follies.” (Photo by Jerry Dalia)

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