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Previously known as Triangle Rising Stars, The DPAC Rising Star Awards is a program designed to celebrate outstanding achievements in high school musical theater throughout Central, North Carolina. The program focuses attention on the meaningful work being done both on and off stage by dedicated teachers and students.


2023/2024 Handbook


The DPAC Rising Star Awards will take place at DPAC on May 9, 2024. The event will celebrate high school musical theater achievements made throughout Central, North Carolina this school year, and will feature twenty student finalists as they compete live for their chance to advance to the national level at the Jimmy Awards in New York City. In addition to these Top 20 Student Finalists, student representatives from each participating high school will perform on DPAC's stage in an unforgettable Opening Number. Throughout the course of the evening, 11 awards will be presented recognizing excellence in a broadway range of categories. You can look forward to special appearances from last year's Best Actor Noah Colvin, and Best Actress Lilly Pritchard who will return to perform and to help announce the two students who will go on to compete nationally this year. Hosted by Clay Aiken, and adjudicated live by a panel of esteemed judges, this event will not be one to miss. 



  • Best Actor
  • Best Actress
  • Best Dancer
  • The DPAC Shining Star


  • Best Ensemble
  • Best Musical
  • Best Costume Design
  • Best Student Orchestra
  • Best Set Design
  • Best Choreography
  • Best Lighting Design

2023/2024 Participating Musicals

Needham B. Broughton High School - 9 to 5: The Musical

Garner Magnet High School - Aida: School Edition

Carrboro High School - Anything Goes (2022 Revision)

CE Jordan High School - Disney's Beauty and the Beast

West Johnston High School - Disney's Beauty and the Beast

Harnett Central High School - Disney's Beauty and the Beast

Jordan-Matthews High School - Disney's Frozen: The Broadway Musical

South Garner High School - Footloose The Musical

Wakefield High School - Guys and Dolls

Clayton High School - High School Musical

Durham School of the Arts - Into the Woods

Durham Academy - Into the Woods

Penn-Griffin School for the Arts - Into the Woods

Panther Creek High School - Into the Woods

Longleaf School of the Arts - Les Misérables

Enloe High School - Les Misérables School Edition

Seaforth High School - Little Shop of Horrors

Athens Drive Magnet High School - Little Women

Wake Forest High School - Mamma Mia!

RJ Reynolds High School - Mamma Mia!

Heritage High School - Matilda the Musical

Oak Grove High School - Matilda the Musical

Christ Covenant School - Newsies The Musical

Millbrook High School - Singin' in the Rain

Southern School of Energy and Sustainability - Sister Act

Heritage High School - Six: Teen Addition

Weaver Academy for the Performing Arts - Something Rotten

Apex Friendship High School - The Addams Family

Heritage High School - The Addams Family

Green Level High School - The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical

Knightdale High School - The SpongeBob Musical

Western Harnett High School - The SpongeBob Musical

Longleaf School of the Arts - The Wiz

Ravenscroft - You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown (Revised)

Student Stage Management

The DPAC Rising Star Awards will be selecting a small number of students to serve as Stage Managers for the live awards ceremony. Those interested in applying for this special opportunity must be available for every rehearsal, tech and the performance. 

To apply, student stage managers should send their resume, cover letter, and references to mrindoks@DPACnc.com. Deadline for applications is April 1, 2024.

Opening Number Invitation

Each participating school will be invited to send two (2) student representatives to perform in the Opening Number at The DPAC Rising Star Awards. School representatives will be asked to determine who those two students are by April 16, 2024. DPAC will send an email to each school representative in early April with instructions on how to submit these two selected students. 

Opening Number rehearsals are mandatory for these specially selected students. These rehearsals are scheduled for April 20 and April 21, 2024. 

Only two representatives from each school will be invited. If your school is submitting more than one musical this year, you will not be eligible to submit additional students. This opportunity is for each participating school, not each participating musical. It is up to each school to determine how these students are selected. 

Visual Arts in partnership with Durham Art Guild

NEW THIS YEAR! The DPAC Rising Star Awards will be working with Durham Art Guild to celebrate achievements made by high school visual art students. 

Only students from participating high schools will be eligible. Information will be emailed to each participating high school after the registration deadline concludes in December of 2023. 

One student from each participating high school will be selected to have their work featured in a pop-up gallery in DPAC's lobby at The DPAC Rising Star Awards on May 9, 2024. 

Each student whose artwork is selected will receive one complimentary ticket to The DPAC Rising Star Awards on May 9, 2024. 

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