RFH Theater Awards

June 1st, 2013

RFH Theater Awards

Performing a scene from “AIDA” are RFH Tower Players Jack Newsome as Aida’s friend and fellow captive Mereb, Clare Fitzgerald as captured Nubian princess Aida, and and Harry Best as Egyptian Army Captain Radames. Providing intrigue in the background are Ellie Halfacre as a Palace Dancer and Sean Loughran as Aida’s father Amonasro.




RFH Tower Players Celebrate Excellence in High School Theater

and Earn Awards from Count Basie, Bucks County, Mainstage, and

Montclair State Programs


Rumson — The Tower Players of Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School have

experienced an exhilarating and productive spring. The students participated and

performed in local and out-of-state venues celebrating excellence in high school theater,

and received a significant number of awards as well.


In keeping with tradition, the Tower Players participated in the Count Basie Awards as 

they have since the program was initiated in 2006. Along with twenty other Monmouth

County High Schools, RFH welcomed judges from the Count Basie Awards to its fall

drama and spring musical productions.


As a result of judging, the Tower Players earned a number of nominations for their fall

production of A Christmas Carol and for the spring musical, Elton John and Tim

Rice’s AIDA.


At the Eighth Annual Count Basie Awards ceremony held at the theater in Red Bank

on May 22, A Christmas Carol received the award for Overall Outstanding Dramatic

Presentation. The play’s Director, RFH faculty member Suzanne Sweeney, was

recognized for Outstanding Direction in a Drama.


The Count Basie Awards also recognized Jack Newsome as Outstanding Supporting

Actor in a Drama for his work in A Christmas Carol. Lighting Director Matthew Hervilly

and Assistant Director KasiAnn Sweeney were honored for Outstanding Lighting Design

in a Drama, and RFH faculty member Dino Pagano received the award for Outstanding

Set Design in a Drama.


AIDA was one of five high school productions nominated for Overall Outstanding

Musical Presentation by the Count Basie judges, earning cast members a spot

performing onstage during the awards ceremony. The Count Basie audience was

treated to a display of acting and singing talent as well as the production’s costume



On April 29, the Tower Players entertained the audience at the Bucks County Theater

Festival in New Hope, Pennsylvania. As a result of this performance, AIDA received

the award for Best Production. Clare Fitzgerald was recognized as Best Actress, and

the Pit Orchestra under the leadership of RFH Music Director Bill Grillo received  

Special Sponsor’s Spotlight Award.


The RFH troupe also performed at the Mainstage Theatre Arts Festival held at Camden

County College in Camden, New Jersey on April 27. At this event, AIDA earned the

award for Best Overall Production of a Musical and Sweeney was recognized as Best

Director of a Musical.


Also at Mainstage, Julia Mosby received the award for Best Actress in a Musical,

RFH senior Kristen Pellizzi was honored as Best Supporting Actress in a Musical, and

Newsome was recognized as Best Supporting Actor in a Musical. AIDA also earned

Mainstage Awards for Best Ensemble in a Musical, Best Chorus in a Musical, and Best

Choreography in a Musical


At the Montclair State University Theater Awards for Drama on held on April 26, the

Tower Players’ A Christmas Carol won the award for Best Overall Production. Hervilly

and Sweeney were once again recognized for Outstanding Lighting Design in a Drama.

The Tower Players is a student activities organization consisting of actors, singers,

dancers, set designers, lighting technicians, and costume designers. It is open to all

RFH students in grades nine through twelve.



Mary Ann Kampfe, RFHRHS Public Relations

mkampfe@rumsonfairhaven.org or 908-347-8885

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