Friday, January 2, 2009

Paper Mill to Award $60,000 in Scholarships

(Shown in the photo are winners of the Rising Star Awards in 2004.)

Education is one of the most important outreach areas for theatres all around the NYC area. This good news story comes to us from the New Jersey suburbs, where Paper Mill Playhouse has been serving its local community of Milburn for many decades.

Since their inception in 1996 the Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star Awards for Excellence in High School Musical Theatre have ignited the careers of many notable performers, all of whom attended high school in New Jersey. 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 public, private and parochial high schools. The musicals are adjudicated throughout the spring by a group of 65 Evaluators, with each school receiving four independent evaluations. The 2009 Rising Star Award gala awards ceremony at Paper Mill Playhouse is set for June 16th when the nominees perform and the award recipients are presented with a crystal award from Rising Star Award partner Tiffany's & Co. Any school that produces a musical between January 22nd and April 19th 2009, is eligible. Only the first 100 schools to apply will be entered into the program.

In addition to honors in performance, design and production categories, the Rising Star Awards recognize other aspects of the process. Special Student Achievement Awards (based on nominations made by teachers and evaluations by a select committee) and an Educational Impact Award (recognizing a school’s efforts to connect their musical production to the district’s curriculum) are presented each year. Paper Mill Playhouse also awards $60,000 in scholarship money at the Rising Star Awards. Three $1000 cash scholarships to outstanding individual students participating in entered Rising Star Award productions, who plan to continue studying theatre in college. A technical theatre scholarship is sponsored annually by Scaramouche Costumes, LLC. Paper Mill has also partnered with Westminster Choir College of Rider University in Princeton, New Jersey to offer a renewable scholarship worth $14,000 each year to a selected student participating in an entered Rising Star Award production wishing to major in musical theatre.

Lastly, students receiving final nominations in the lead and supporting acting categories automatically receive a full 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 on the stage at Paper Mill in our August season finale concert, "New Voices 2008."

There's much more information on Paper Mill's website.

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