Eastern High student selected again for prestigious DPAC program

Eastern Alamance High School senior Caroline Segars was nominated for a third time to appear in the Durham Performing Arts Center's Triangle Rising Stars program. She was nominated for this year's May 16 DPAC performance through her outstanding role of Kelli Mangrum in Eastern High's production of "Hands on a Hardbody." Segars, who earned numerous honors at last week's Eastern High academic awards ceremony, is attending Liberty University in the fall, with plans to enter the theatrical arts.

Eastern Alamance High School senior theatre arts student Caroline Segars received her third selection to the Triangle Rising Stars program earlier this spring, and made an appearance at the Durham Performing Arts Center along with her fellow Rising Stars participants in a special program on Thursday, May 16. 

Segars was nominated for this year’s DPAC Rising Stars through her excellent performance in the Eastern Alamance High School theatre program’s production of “Hands on a Hardbody.” 

“My role was Kelli Mangrum who was one of the contestants to try and win a new pickup truck,” Segars said in a recent interview. “Kelli is a down to earth type person who has dreams of getting out of her hometown.  She aspires to go to Hollywood and become an actress.  She has had a hard life and sings a song called “I’m Gone,” which describes her life and how she wants to get out of town.  She sings this with another contestant who also aspires to get out of town. This role was very different from any role I have done in the past and one of the hardest.  I had to really figure out who Kelli was.  This musical was based on a true story that happened in Texas.”

Segars has been acting in productions since the age of seven.  She has acted in over 35 productions over the years with organizations including Orange Community Players, Alamance Children’s Theater, Community Theater of Greensboro, Studio One, Woodlawn Middle School theater, and Eastern Alamance High School productions. She is an honor student at Eastern High, a member of the National Honor Society and Foreign Language Honor Society.  She is the Co-President for Project Unify at Eastern High School. In addition, she is a praise team leader for both the youth and the adult praise teams at her church, New Covenant Fellowship.  Her favorite Broadway actor is Corey Cott and her favorite actress is Sutton Foster, in which many people compare her to.  

Segars is one of only a handful of local actors and actresses who heads to college with three selections to the Triangle Rising Stars Program. 

“It was a different and amazing experience each year.  The first year I was the most nervous because I didn’t know what to expect, but everyone was so kind and helpful,” Segars said. “I learned so much through the directors/choreographers every year.  I was amazed at the talent that we have in the Central/Eastern area of our state. It was also a little intimidating because everyone was so good. I was so honored to be chosen as a finalist each year.”

“I learned what it is like to work on a production and put it together and learn the routine/songs/choreography in just a few short days,” she continued. “I learned what it feels like to be on a huge stage in front of a huge crowd.  This will help me as far as my nerves go if I make it to Broadway.    It is totally different when the curtain opens and you look out to such a big audience.  It is one of the most exciting things I have ever done. Even though I didn’t win, it didn’t mean that I was bad. It had a lot to do with what role you had and other various things.  I feel that we were all winners for just being chosen.  It helped me realize that not always winning or getting a part means you are not as good as others, but that sometimes they are looking at many different things as far as casting, etc.”

Along with her third selection to the DPAC Rising Stars Program, Segars received a slew of recognitions at last week’s EAHS’s 11th and 12th grade academic awards presentation. She was honored for Outstanding Academic Achievement for her weighted grade point average in excess of 4.0. Segars also received awards for Excellence in English IV Honors, Excellence in Theatre Arts Advanced, and excellence in American History II Honors. 

Segars is attending Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia in the falls, with plans to enter the theatrical arts as a profession. 

“I definitely am going to go into theatrical arts.  I know it is a hard career to choose, but it is my passion,” she said. “I plan on entering Liberty University in the fall of 2019 as a BFA in Musical Theater major.  My dream is to one day be back at DPAC, not as a finalist in a competition, but to be on stage as a lead actor in a national musical theater touring production.   My ultimate goal is be on a Broadway stage.  I would also love to stay involved in the music program for whatever church I attend in the future, and one day possibly be the music director for a church.”   

As she heads off to college in the late summer, Segars can take comfort in knowing that she’s helped put youth theatre in Alamance County on the map. Her various performances made her the first - and still the only - Alamance County actress selected to Triangle Rising Stars. 

“I actually was the first ever in Alamance County to be selected to Triangle Rising Stars,” Segars said. “My mom actually saw information about this competition in the back of a playbill when she went to a play there.  She inquired about it and registered me for the competition my ninth grade year (2016).  I didn’t get in my first year, but the judges told me to be sure and enter again the next year. I did and got in for the first time as Fairy Godmother from Cinderella.  At the time I first entered only counties in the eastern part of the State were involved.”  

“I think by me entering that I have helped our county get some recognition for musical theater in our high schools,” she added. “Last year Graham High School entered the competition and one of their male students became a finalist also. This was really neat to have someone in the same county as a finalist with me. I know now since entering as an Alamance County student there have been entries into the competition from Greensboro also. I feel Alamance County has one of the strongest children’s theaters in the state and I’m so glad we are getting recognized now by DPAC. We have some incredibly talented youth in our county. I hope in the future we will see more students from our county become part of this.”