The Fox Cities P.A.C. Announces 2024 Center Stage Program Honors

May 20, 2024

The Fox Cities Performing Arts Center is proud to announce the 2024 representatives of the Center Stage High School Musical Theater Program; Jennifer Duarte Castillo of Green Bay East High School and Noah Rass of Southern Door High School will represent the program at The Jimmy Awards®/National High School Musical Theatre Awards® in June in New York City. These nominees were announced at the Center Stage High School Musical Theater Showcase on Saturday, May 18.

Nominated for their leading performances at their high schools and chosen through a separate audition, they will represent the Center Stage High School Musical Theater Program at the national level and have the opportunity to learn from professionals in a week of workshops, compete for scholarships and perform on stage at the Minskoff Theatre, currently the Broadway home to Disney’s The Lion King.

Jennifer Duarte Castillo was nominated for her performance as Matilda Wormwood in Green Bay East High School’s production of Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical. Duarte Castillo is a senior at Green Bay East High School.

Noah Rass was nominated for his performance as Bert in Southern Door High School’s production of Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s Mary Poppins. Rass is a senior at Southern Door High School.

Recognition for the Influential Theater Educator was also given at the Center Stage High School Musical Theater Showcase on Saturday, May 18, 2024. The Influential Theater Educator recognition is given to an inspiring teacher who has displayed exceptional levels of commitment to students and other educators, making an outstanding impact on the performing arts and the theater community.

Andrea Gilson, director at Notre Dame de la Baie Academy, was recognized as the 2024 Influential Theater Educator. As an inspiration to her students, Gilson helps everyone, both on and off the stage, shine. Gilson impacts students’ lives as a director through her enthusiasm, positivity and compassion. By ensuring each person involved with the shows she directs recognizes their importance, Gilson leaves a lasting positive impression for her students in Notre Dame de la Baie Academy’s theater program.

Throughout the 2023-24 school year, approximately 2,000 students from 31 local high schools have participated in the Center Stage High School Musical Theater Program, an education initiative that celebrates and supports the achievements of high school theater programs in Northeastern Wisconsin.

This year’s participating high schools include Appleton East, Ashwaubenon, Brillion, Chilton, De Pere, Denmark, Fox Valley Lutheran, Green Bay East, Green Bay Southwest, Green Bay West, Hortonville, Kaukauna, Little Chute, Luxemburg-Casco, Manitowoc Lincoln, Menasha, Mishicot, Neenah, New London, Notre Dame de la Baie Academy, Oshkosh North, Oshkosh West, Preble, Pulaski, Shawano Community, Southern Door, St. Francis Xavier, St. Mary Catholic, Two Rivers, Weyauwega-Fremont and Winnebago Lutheran Academy.

During the program year, participating students had the opportunity to attend workshops with professional artists, to ask questions and explore different aspects of theater, giving them a deeper understanding of the live performing arts industry, focusing on a variety of skills including dancing, singing, technical theater, comedy and acting (monologue).

This season marks the 8th anniversary of the Center Stage High School Musical Theater Program building confidence, collaboration and creativity while supporting and celebrating the achievements of high school musical theater throughout Northeast Wisconsin. Participating high school students share their talents with the community at the end of each season in an evening of performances, recognition and a Tony Awards®-style red carpet experience, culminating in the Center Stage High School Musical Theater Showcase.

The Center Stage High School Musical Theater Program is an educational initiative of the Fox Cities P.A.C. with support from corporate partner Fox Communities Credit Union.

Additional partners in this program include Johnson Financial Group, Nicolet National Bank, Angelo & Jennifer Ninivaggi, Schneider Foundation, Skogen’s Festival Foods, WFRV and Wipfli. Programs like the Center Stage High School Musical Theater Program are also supported in part by contributions to the Center’s Annual Partner Campaign.

The Jimmy Awards®/The National High School Musical Theatre Awards® (NHSMTA®) program impacts approximately 130,000 students who participate in 51 regional high school musical theatre competitions sponsored by presenters of touring Broadway productions throughout the United States. Named for Broadway impresario James M. Nederlander, the program has been the catalyst for more than $6,000,000 in educational scholarships since its launch in 2009. Presented by The Broadway League Foundation, Inc., the NHSMTA invites two nominees from each local regional ceremony to New York City for a rigorous theatre intensive that includes coaching sessions, training, and rehearsing led by some of Broadway’s most accomplished professionals. Nominees will spend ten days in New York City from Friday, June 14, 2024, through Tuesday, June 25, 2024, and their efforts throughout the week will lead to one extraordinary talent showcase performed live in front of an audience on a Broadway stage. The fifteenth annual Jimmy Awards will take place on Monday, June 24, 2024, at the Minskoff Theatre. For more information, please visit