Columbia High School student Mac Silverstein was one of three actors honored with awards for Outstanding Performer in a Featured Role at the 2023 Paper Mill Rising Star Awards on June 13 in Millburn.
Silverstein won for his performance as Brother Jeremiah in Something Rotten!, produced by Columbia High School this past March.
The prestigious Rising Star awards celebrate the best performances in high schools throughout New Jersey and have helped ignite the careers of many professional performers, including Academy Award-winner Anne Hathaway (Les Misérables); Tony Award-winners Laura Benanti (Gypsy), Nikki M. James (The Book of Mormon), and Rob McClure (Mrs. Doubtfire); Olivier Award-nominee Jared Gertner (The Book of Mormon); and Jelani Remy (The Lion King, Ain’t Too Proud) and Shanice Williams, star of NBC’s The Wiz Live!.
Although Silverstein was the only CHS production member to receive an award, CHS’s Something Rotten received a whopping 13 nominations in the 2023 Paper Mill Rising Star Awards — the most of any high school.
In addition to being nominated for Outstanding Overall Production of a Musical, Something Rotten was nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Chorus, Outstanding Achievement by a Teacher/Director and for Choreography and Staging for Bethany Pettigrew and Tricia Benn, Outstanding Musical Director for Jake Ezzo, Outstanding Scenic Achievement for Louis J. Medrano, Outstanding Lighting Achievement for Tara Marie Abbondante and Outstanding Costume Achievement for Barbara Canace.
“More than 150 students are involved in the CHS musical, whether on stage or behind the scenes,” said Pettigrew. “They work together every year for a common goal and always create something magical. We are thrilled to be acknowledged and so proud of our amazing students and creative team.”
Silverstein accepted his award in person, and — although they didn’t win — Benn and Pettigrew were interviewed on the red carpet before the event. Watch here: