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Daniel Dollase is a senior at Morris Hills High School and is extremely honored to be receiving this Governor’s Award for his short film “Sharp” from NJ Thespians. Ever since he was a little kid he was fascinated with the cinema, his father being a former actor. It wasn’t until high school when he started making his own films, making multiple projects in his TV production class, starring and assisting in the production of a short film entitled “Lurk”, and starring, co-writing, co-producing, editing, and co-directing a feature film called “The Immortals”. He plans to expand his filmography at Northwestern University and beyond. He would like to thank his parents for their love and endless support, and his TV Production teacher Mr. Kasper for all the help along the way, as well anyone who helped in the production of “Sharp”, including his wonderful cast.


He is also extremely honored to be receiving the “Best Scene” Governor’s Award from STANJ alongside his fellow castmates. He has been active in the theater program at Morris Hills High School ever since he was a freshman, performing in the spring musical every year, as a featured ensemble member and Russian soloist in Fiddler on the Roof, as Hero in A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum, as Prince Eric in The Little Mermaid, and then finally this year singing two solo songs in Songs For A New World. As for the school’s fall play, he was a part of stage crew for the first two high school years, then became a part of the cast for 12 Angry Jurors as Juror #3 his junior year, and then as Bill in All In The Timing this year. He would like to thank his parents for their endless support and assistance, as well as Mr. Fahrer for helping him become the actor he is today and for making every rehearsal fun and engaging. He is so proud of all of his fellow scene partners for their hard work and he wouldn’t want to share this award with anyone else other than the 11 fantastic actors and actresses that he had the privilege of sharing the stage with. Finally, congratulations to all of the other Governor’s Awards winners!

The Governor’s Awards in Arts Education began in 1980 to promote awareness and appreciation of the arts, recognizing the creativity, talent and leadership of the award winners. Each year, awards are presented to approximately 20 educators and 80 students. National and statewide organizations select the students for their exemplary work in creative writing, speech, dance, music, theatre and visual arts and the leaders for their exceptional commitment and contribution to arts education. The program also recognizes arts educators and arts education advocates, whose leadership has helped nurture the development of students in the arts across the state.

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The Governor’s Awards event is a partnership of the Arts Ed NJ, the Department of Education, Art Pride New Jersey Foundation, the Department of State and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. Additional support is provided by: the Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics; Art Educators of New Jersey; Art Administrators of New Jersey; Dance New Jersey; New Jersey Council of Teachers of English; New Jersey Speech and Debate League; New Jersey Music Educators Association; New Jersey Performing Arts Center; Writer's Theatre of New Jersey; Speech and Theatre Association of New Jersey; New Jersey Thespians and Young Audiences of New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania. The cooperating organizations, award sponsors and individual members of the planning council dedicate their time to make sure that excellence in the arts is rewarded, and work tirelessly throughout the year to plan this special event. The Governor's Awards in Arts Education ceremony are a major collaborative effort of the arts, education and state government.