Congratulations 2021 Triangle Rising Stars

Elena Holder and Joshua Messmore

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The Triangle Rising Stars Virtual Showcase and Awards Show on Thursday evening, May 20, was hosted by Triangle native and singer/actor Clay Aiken.  As the official Central and Eastern North Carolina qualifying event for the National High School Musical Theatre Awards®, Triangle Rising Stars brings together area high school musical theater students to perform and compete for educational scholarships and the titles of Triangle Rising Stars Best Actor and Best Actress. This year, the Top 20 Finalists were adjudicated by an esteemed panel of guest judges with Broadway experience, including Lisa Jolley, Dirk Lumbard, Yolanda Rabun, and Clay Aiken.

The two nominees selected as Triangle Rising Stars’ Best Actor and Actress went on to compete on a national level among 70 other nominees from across the country in the twelfth National High School Musical Theater Awards (Jimmy Awards®). The ceremony, hosted by Corbin Bleu with a special appearance from Mandy Gonzalez, was presented entirely online on July 15, 2021.

The coveted Jimmy Awards® for Best Performance by an Actress and Best Performance by an Actor were presented to Elena HolderTriangle Rising Stars (Durham, NC) and Bryson BattleThe Blumey Awards (Charlotte, NC). Both winners will receive a check for $25,000 to further their education, and incredible national exposure.

To watch Elena's award-winning Jimmy Awards® performance, please visit: 2021 Jimmy Awards Winner Elena Holder. 

Watch the Full TRS Showcase & Awards Show


  • Best Actress: Elena Holder (The Witch, Into the Woods, Durham School of the Arts)  
  • Best Actor: Joshua Messmore (Laurie, Little Women, St. David’s School)

Thank you to our community sponsors and partners!


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