MILLBURN, N.J., June 6, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Gill St. Bernard's spring production Little Women was honored Tuesday night with two major awards at the 18th annual Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star Awards ceremony. The school's performing arts troop, commonly referred to as the GSB Players, received awards in two of the seven categories in which it was nominated by the Paper Mill Playhouse evaluation committee this April, including:
- Jana Bernard '13, Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
- Paul H. Canada, Outstanding Costuming Achievement
Nearly 100 public, independent and parochial schools throughout New Jersey competed in this year's program. The winner of five Rising Star Awards in 2012—including Outstanding Overall Production of a Musical with The Mystery of Edwin Drood—GSB ranked among the top-five nominees for 2013 and competed for prizes in the following categories:
- Outstanding Overall Production of a Musical (The cast and crew of Little Women)
- Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role (Jana Bernard '13 as Margaret "Marmee" March)
- Outstanding Achievement by a Teacher or Outside Director (Paul H. Canada)
- Outstanding Achievement in Music Direction (Amy and David Southerland)
- Outstanding Scenic Achievement (Paul H. Canada)
- Outstanding Costuming Achievement (Paul H. Canada)
- Outstanding Hair and Makeup Achievement (Venus Nedd P '06, '09 and Lee Amoroso P '11, '13, '19)
Recognized for her outstanding performance as an actress in a leading role, Bernard, as well as Matthew Lynn of Westfield High School who won Outstanding Achievement by an Actor in a Leading Role during Bat Boy: The Musical, will represent the Paper Mill Playhouse at The National High School Musical Theater Awards in Broadway's own Minskoff Theatre in New York City on July 1. Also known as "The Jimmy's," The National High School Musical Theater Awards celebrates outstanding student achievement in high school musical theater. The competition recognizes individual artistry in vocal, dance and acting performance, and honors teachers and their schools' commitment to excellence in performing arts education.
Throughout her tenure with the GSB Players, Bernard has performed in eight productions, including Little Women. Also a member of Gill St. Bernard's School since the third grade, Bernard was honored with the 2012 Paper Mill Playhouse Award for Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role as "Angela Prysock/Princess Puffer" in the musical The Mystery of Edwin Drood.
An avid thespian since age seven, Bernard says she has enjoyed the breadth of her roles throughout the years. "It's not what part you're given, it's what you make of the part that you're given, and each was special to me in its own way." Bernard will pursue a double major in theater and neuroscience at American University this fall.
Since joining the GSB theater department in 1990, Canada has overseen more than four dozen comedies, dramas, mysteries and musicals as performing arts chair. Under his leadership, and through the dedicated work of his team of theatre professionals, students and countless volunteers, the GSB Players has earned more than 40 nominations and has received 16 Rising Star Awards for its work. Canada and team received the Rising Star Award for Outstanding Costuming Achievement six times since 2007 for the following productions: She Loves Me (2007), The Secret Garden (2008), Kiss Me Kate (2010), A Little Night Music (2011) and The Mystery of Edwin Drood (2012).
"We've been so fortunate to have such gifted groups of students over the past decade, whose dedication and enthusiasm both on stage and backstage has led to the creation of beautifully nuanced performances that, in my opinion, are all worthy of Rising Star recognition," said Canada.
About Gill St. Bernard's School (GSB):
Gill St. Bernard's School, established in 1900, is an independent college preparatory school located in Gladstone, NJ for grades Pre-K through 12.
About the Paper Mill Playhouse:
The Paper Mill Playhouse, a not-for-profit arts organization, is one of the country's leading regional theatres. Paper Mill Playhouse is a member of Theatre Communications Group, the National Alliance for Musical Theatre, the Council of Stock Theatres, and the New Jersey Theatre Alliance.
SOURCE Gill St. Bernard's School