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How to Participate


You will find all 2016 Rising Star Awards information and e-application forms here as of November 18, 2015. Applications are due by Monday, January 11, 2016 by 5:00pm.

The following forms and documents are posted at the bottom of this page:

Rising Star Awards Application

Rising Star Awards Rules & Guidelines

Rising Star Awards Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

All other applications (scholarships, support material, auxiliary awards) will be posted at a later date.

Click on the link to the form you would like to download and follow the prompts to save the file on your computer. Save the file in a place you will remember like your desktop or in a specially created Rising Star Awards folder.

A few things you need to know about these forms are:

  • A) The forms are in Adobe Reader format (PDF) and are protected so that you can type, select numbers or check boxes only in the designated areas.
  • B) The form is simple to use, but for it to function properly, you must download the latest version of the free Adobe Reader software, available at Even if you already have this program, it’s a good idea to visit the site and make sure your version is up to date.
  • C) If you experience problems with the form, contact Jason Gillis, Education Program Manager, at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

To use these forms, please follow the directions below:

  1. Download the files and save them in a place you will remember easily, like your desktop, or create a “Rising Star Awards” folder to store your files.
  2. You should open up the forms in Adobe Reader and immediately save the file as another name by selecting "SAVE AS" from your FILE menu. Please give your application a name that relates to the school you are representing and the type of form. For example, you can title your application: “HSnameRSAapp.pdf".
  3. Once you’ve created the new file (HSnameRSAapp.pdf) you may begin filling out the form by clicking in the first form-field. The form-field will become clear, and you may begin typing in this field. From there you may [TAB] to the next gray-shaded form-field, and so on.
  4. Please follow the directions for each section of the form. Please read the entire form and answer every question. If you do not yet have a final license agreement for your show title, or if your dates are yet to be confirmed, you may enter “TBA” in those fields and email the information to Paper Mill Playhouse as soon as you have an answer. Schools should not delay applying to the program while waiting for these details. Send the application with TBA listed where necessary.
  5. Save the report periodically as you work on it in case your computer crashes. Always keep a back-up copy of the completed application on your computer. It is possible that we may request a duplicate copy of your application at some point, so please save a copy!
  6. Once you’ve completed the school‘s application form, save the file and email it back to Paper Mill Playhouse as an attachment.

    Email the completed application to the following two separate email addresses:

    Jason Gillis, Education Program Manager: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

    AND This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

    We will always reply to your email confirming we have received and can open your electronic application. If you do not receive a confirmation message within 24 hours, please call the Paper Mill Education office as it may mean that we did not receive your application. It is the school’s responsibility t o ensure that their application arrived at our office. Schools should follow up with a phone call. You may confirm with Jason Gillis, Education Program Manager, directly at (973) 315-1668.
  7. Finally, if you are not paying by credit card, we ask that you mail a check, money order or purchase order for the appropriate application amount to the Paper Mill Playhouse Education office within 10 days of submitting your application. Mail may be sent to:

Paper Mill Playhouse
22 Brookside Drive
Millburn, NJ 07041
Attn: Rising Star Awards

Only a school official may enter a production in the Rising Star Awards. The digital signature on the application must be that of the coordinating teacher/director or a school administrator. Student or parent digital signatures are not accepted.

Rising Star Awards - Presented by the Investors Foundation is also generously supported by The Merck Foundation and MetLife Foundation. 

Rising Star scholarships are made possible by Ruth Bedford in memory of Jane Burgio, Walt Santner in honor of Janet Sovey, and the Douglas Michael Krueger Scholarship Fund Trust. The Theatre for Everyone Inclusion and Access Award is supported by VSA New Jersey and the New Jersey Theatre Alliance. Rising Star Awards is made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.

Paper Mill Playhouse is a not-for-profit arts organization.