2016 Triangle Rising Stars Award Show & Program Recap

Along with Theatre in the Park, Playmakers Repertory Company and ABC 11, DPAC hosted this year’s Triangle Rising Stars Awards onstage on Monday evening, June 6. 

The Triangle Rising Stars (TRS) Awards is a program that brings together area high school musical theater students to perform together and compete against one another for educational scholarships. Over 80 applicants auditioned for the program this year, which was narrowed down to 20 finalists, including 10 women and 10 men. 

2015 Triangle Rising Stars Best Actress, Faith Jones, and Best Actor,  Alex Fernandez, presented the awards for Best Actress and Best Actor to this year's winner for Best Actress Ainsley Seiger and Best Actor Jacob Bush.

Getting to perform at DPAC was amazing enough, but winning Triangle Rising Stars was unimaginable! When my name was called, I was so stunned that I forgot I had to walk forward and make a speech. I am so honored and excited to represent DPAC at the Jimmy Awards in NYC,”  recalled Best Actor winner, Jacob Bush.

Best Actress winner, Ainsley Seiger, was equally excited to play on the DPAC stage and can’t wait to do it again at the Jimmy Awards saying,

I still can’t believe that it’s real to be honest. I can’t wait for New York!

Directed and choreographed by Freddie-Lee Heath, nearly 1,200 patrons witnessed the 20 finalists open with “Seize the Day” (Newsies). Diane Petteway, Music Director and Arranger, led a full band to accompany the student performances. In a Broadway medley, each student had their own chance to shine in solo performances from their individual high school musicals. After awards were presented, the entire cast of finalists closed out the evening with a moving rendition of “Seasons of Love” (Rent).


Photo Credit: HuthPhoto

2016 Finalists


  • Apex High School: Ainsley Seiger
  • Durham Academy: Lily Tendler
  • Enloe High School: Kelsey Willard
  • Hillside High School: Camryn Sherer
  • Holly Springs High School: Cameryn Bost
  • Millbrook High School: Gabrielle Goodman
  • Panther Creek High School: Kaylee Terrell
  • Southeast Raleigh High School: Taria Daughtridge
  • Ravenscroft School: Gabrielle Phillips
  • Riverside High School: Vanaya Henderson


  • Apex High School: Lucas Beckett
  • C.E. Jordan High School: Brandon Martin
  • Cresset Christian Academy: Daniel Madden
  • Clayton High School: Nicholas Kraft
  • Enloe High School: Ricky Hall
  • Fuquay-Varina High School: Leon Ray
  • Green Hope High School: Jacob Bush
  • Holly Springs High School: Andrew Peters
  • Northwood High School: Connor Lewis
  • St. Thomas More Academy: Aldani Herrera


  • In The Heights, C.E. Jordan High School
  • Fiddler on The Roof, Durham Academy
  • Into The Woods, Enloe High School
  • Cinderella, Holly Springs High School


  • The Addams Family, Apex High School
  • Thoroughly Modern Millie, Athens Drive High School
  • Grease, Cary High School
  • Beauty & The Beast, East Chapel Hill High School

2016 Winners

  •      Best Actress: Ainsley Seiger (Apex High School, The Addams Family)
  •      Best Actor: Jacob Bush (Green Hope High School, Chicago)
  •      Best Ensemble: Grease – Cary High School
  •      Best Musical: Into the Woods – Enloe High School

2016 Honorable Mentions

Honorable mentions were given to schools that had standout productions in areas of scenic design, orchestra, costume design and choreography:


Scenic Design:

  • Cresset Christian Academy, Les Mis
  • East Chapel Hill High School, Beauty & The Beast
  • Riverside High School, Once Upon a Mattress
  • Sanderson High School, Pippin
  • St. Thomas More Academy, In The Heights


  • Apex High School, The Addams Family
  • Eastern Alamance High School, The Wizard of Oz
  • Green Hope High School, Chicago
  • Millbrook High School, Annie Get Your Gun
  • Northwood High School, The Wedding Singer
  • Panther Creek High School, Mary Poppins

Costume Design:

  • Athens Drive High School, Thoroughly Modern Millie
  • Fuquay Varina High School, Shrek
  • Ravenscroft School, Once Upon a Mattress
  • Southeast Raleigh High School, Into The Woods
  • Wake Forest High School, Happy Days: A New Musical


  • Broughton High School, High School Musical
  • Cary High School, Grease
  • Clayton High School, Once on This Island
  • Hillside High School, Fame
  • Jordan-Matthews High School, Footloose
  • Voyager Academy, The Wiz

More Information on Triangle Rising Stars & the Jimmy Awards

The Triangle Rising Stars Awards is a member of The National High School Musical Theater Awards (NHSMTA), a national program that unites high school musical theater awards programs from across the country under one roof. The two student winners are provided with $1,000 academic scholarships along with an invitation to represent TRS in an all-expense paid trip to the National High School Musical Theater Awards in New York City for one week, June 19 – June 28, 2016. The students will train with real Broadway actors, directors and producers. Their week of coaching, auditions and rehearsals will conclude with each student’s life-long dream of performing on Broadway at the Minskoff Theatre. At this performance, a panel of judges will choose two students for the coveted Jimmy™ Awards for Best Performance by an Actor and Best Performance by an Actress.

Watch the Triangle Rising Stars 2016 Highlights Reel