Mon, Mar 2

DPAC Presents Triangle Rising Stars 10th Annual Showcase and Awards

DPAC is proud to announce the event date and ticket information for Triangle Rising Stars - 10th Annual Showcase and Awards.  A qualifying competition for the National High School Musical Theatre Awards (NHSMTA), this exceptional regional event will light up DPAC’s stage May 28, 2020 at 7:30 PM. 


Triangle Rising Stars On Stage at DPAC


Triangle Rising Stars recognizes the outstanding achievements of area high school students and their musical theatre productions.  The top-20 finalists will perform songs from their recent high school productions on DPAC’s stage for a chance to be selected for the Triangle Rising StarsBest Performance by an Actor and Best Performance by an Actress.


Triangle native and singer/actor, Clay Aiken will once again return as guest host.  With years of experience stretching from the world’s concert stages to Broadway, Aiken brings a diverse repertoire of skills and knowledge to this host role, further enhancing the experience for each participant and guest.


Triangle Rising Stars is made possible by a $48,000 grant from DPAC. Additional community partners include ABC 11, Durham Arts Council, Durham Ballet Theatre, Durham Public Schools, and Wake County Public Schools.


This year, the Showcase and Awards event will also feature the world-premiere of an original song composed just for the event by Jeremy Schonfeld.  This opening number will feature students from 40 high school musical theater productions from across the Triangle and surrounding areas.


“It’s so exciting to be celebrating the tenth year of Triangle Rising Stars,” says Megan Rindoks, Community Engagement Manager at DPAC. “Our awards ceremony is going to be incredibly special this year, with representatives from each participating high school on the DPAC stage and more awards distributed than ever before. It will be a great night of celebrating the excellence of High School musical theatre in this region.”


As the official Central and Eastern North Carolina qualifying event for the National High School Musical Theatre Awards (NHSMTA), Triangle Rising Stars Best Actor and Actress winners each receive a $2,000 scholarship and are invited to compete in the national competition with an all-expense paid trip to New York City this summer.  In addition, awards for Best Musical, Best Ensemble, Best Singer, Best Dancer and ‘Triangle Shining Star’ (congeniality award) will also be presented at the May 28th event.


National Competition in New York City


The program in New York is the year-end culmination of awards programs across the country presented by dozens of professional theatre organizations just like DPAC. Finalists competing in New York were first named Best Actress or Best Actor at a regional competition, representing approximately 1,800 schools in over 40 cities.


While in New York City, participants experience a week of private coaching, master classes, and rehearsals with theatre professionals. Their week’s journey concludes with a panel of industry experts selecting exceptional students for The Jimmy® for Best Performance by an Actress and Actor. Students receive opportunities for merit scholarships, professional advancement, and other prizes. The Jimmy Award is named in honor of James M. Nederlander, legendary Broadway theatre owner and producer.


Their week of coaching, auditions and rehearsals concludes with a sold-out performance on Broadway at the Minskoff Theatre (home theatre of Disney’s The Lion King©).




Mirroring the mission of the National High School Musical Theatre Awards, Triangle Rising Stars (TRS) is a regional celebration of outstanding student achievement in high school musical theatre that recognizes individual artistry in vocal, dance, and acting performance, and honors teachers and their schools’ commitment to performing arts education. TRS focuses much needed attention on the meaningful work being done by dedicated teachers and students with wide ranging talents on and off the stage, engages families in the activities of their children, ignites new partnerships between theatres and the schools in their area, and contributes to the development of future audiences for live performing arts in communities across Central and Eastern North Carolina.


For more information about the Triangle Rising Stars, visit:   


For more information about the National High School Musical Theatre Awards/ JimmyAwards, visit:


Triangle Rising Stars – On Sale Thursday, March 12th, 2020

  • $15 per ticket
  • Online at
  • Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina - Ticket Center at DPAC
    • By phone: 919.680.2787
    • In-person: 123 Vivian Street, Durham NC

All proceeds benefit TRS scholarship awards for area musical theater students. 


About DPAC

Since its opening in 2008, DPAC (Durham Performing Arts Center) has become the center for live entertainment in North Carolina. Recognized for its contemporary design, DPAC features 2,704 seats, intimate sightlines and state-of-the-art sound and video. Ranked annually among the top-five theaters in America by three leading national magazines that cover live entertainment events and venues, DPAC attracts over 500,000 guests per year. 

With a mission of presenting one-of-a-kind live entertainment events, DPAC truly has “something for everyone,” hosting more than 200 performances a year, including spectacular touring Broadway productions, high-profile concert and comedy events, family shows and the heralded American Dance Festival. Owned by the City of Durham and operated under the direction of Nederlander and Professional Facilities Management (PFM), since 2011 DPAC has been listed as the #1 performing arts organization in the region by the Triangle Business Journal.

For more information please go to


About Clay Aiken

Clay Aiken most recently starred on Broadway, alongside Ruben Studdard, in Ruben & Clay’s First Annual Christmas Carol Family Fun Pageant Spectacular Reunion Show at the Imperial Theater. The New York Times called the production ‘A Christmas Miracle’. This came ten years after Clay’s critically lauded Broadway debut in Monty Python's Spamalot.


On the heels of Idol, he became the first artist in history to have his first single debut at #1 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart. His subsequent album, Measure Of A Man, also debuted at #1 with the highest first week sales by a debut artist. His 2004 holiday release, Merry Christmas With Love, set a record for the fastest selling holiday album of the SoundScan era and remains tied for the highest charting debut of a holiday album in Billboard history.


He served 9 years as a UNICEF Ambassador and in 2003, he co-founded, with Diane Bubel, what is now the National Inclusion Project to advocate and increase opportunities for children with disabilities to be included in extracurricular activities (such as summer camps and after-school programs) with their non-disabled peers.


Additional TV appearances include: 30 Rock, The Office, Scrubs, Days Of Our Lives, and Law & Order: SVU. Additional 2nd place finishes include: The Celebrity Apprentice in 2012 and the NC 2nd District US House race in 2014. Beyond all of his successes (and near successes) his proudest

accomplishment remains his son, Parker.