May 26, 2017

SEVENTH ANNUAL TRIANGLE RISING STARS WINNERS ANNOUNCED

Along with Theatre in the Park, ABC 11, and Marchael Bayne, DPAC hosted this year’s Triangle Rising Stars Awards onstage on Tuesday evening, May 16.  The Triangle Rising Star Awards (TRS) is a program that brings together area high school musical theater students to perform together and compete against one another for educational scholarships. Last year’s winners, Ainsley Seiger and Jacob Bush, presented the awards for Best Actress and Best Actor, while awards were also given for Best Ensemble and Best Musical.

WINNERS:
     Best Actress: Kaylee Terrell (Panther Creek High School, Legally Blonde)
     Best Actor: Nicholas Kraft (Clayton High School, Catch Me if You Can)
     Best Ensemble: Bring It On: The Musical – Leesville Road High School
     Best Musical: Footloose  – Heritage High School

“I really appreciate everything that Triangle Rising Stars has to offer because it is an event that celebrates the arts in high schools all across the Triangle,” says Best Actor winner, Nicholas Kraft. “Winning Triangle Rising Stars was such an honor because I got to share this experience with so many talented people.” Best Actress winner, Kaylee Terrell, added, “When my name was called and the Best Actress award handed to me, the feeling was unimaginable! I am honored to get to continue playing Elle Woods in New York and represent such a phenomenal program! Here's to the Jimmy's and here we come, New York City!”

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

For special recognition in Outstanding Set Design:
Legally Blonde - C.E. Jordan High School
Guys & Dolls – Southeast Raleigh Magnet High School
She Loves Me – Durham Academy
Footloose – Heritage High School
Cinderella – Athens Drive High School
Tarzan – Green Hope High School
Oliver! – Wakefield High School

For special recognition of Outstanding Lighting Design:
The Wiz – Hillside High School
Aida – Enloe High School
Into the Woods – Cary High School
Tarzan – Green Hope High School

For special recognition of Outstanding Costume Design:
Thoroughly Modern Millie – Ravenscroft School
Aida – Enloe High School
The Phantom of the Opera – Holly Springs High School
Big Fish – Sanderson High School
The Sound of Music – Needham Broughton High School
The Sound of Music - Cresset Christian Academy

For special recognition of Outstanding Choreography:
Footloose – Heritage High School
Thoroughly Modern Millie – Ravenscroft School
Bring it On: The Musical – Leesville Road High School
Aida – Enloe High School
The Wiz – Hillside High School

For special recognition of Outstanding Student Orchestra:
Guys & Dolls – Southeast Raleigh Magnet High School
Cinderella – Rolesville High School
9 to 5 – Apex High School
Aida – Enloe High School
Into the Woods – Cary High School
Bring It On: The Musical – Leesville Road High School
Legally Blonde – C.E. Jordan High School

Directed by David Henderson and choreographed by Freddie-Lee Heath, nearly 1,300 patrons witnessed the 24 finalists open with “Get Ready / Dancing in the Street” (Motown). 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. Two additional group numbers were added this year, with the female finalists taking the stage to sing “I Can Hear The Bells” (Hairspray), followed by the male finalists performing “On Broadway” (Smokey Joe’s Café/Beautiful: The Carole King Musical). After awards were presented, the entire cast of finalists closed out the evening with a moving rendition of “Seasons of Love” (Rent).

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 27, 2017. The students will train with professional Broadway actors, directors and producers. Their week of coaching, auditions and rehearsals will conclude with each student’s life-long dream at the Minskoff Theatre on Broadway. At which, 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.

The Best Actor and Best Actress were awarded on Tuesday night after the audition process began this past fall. Representatives from DPAC, Theatre in the Park, and ABC 11, along with eight other judges attended high school musicals from area counties, including: Alamance, Chatham, Durham, Johnston, Orange and Wake Counties. Over 100 applicants auditioned for the program, which was narrowed down to 24 finalists, including 12 women and 12 men.