Hill Country Community Theatre awards scholarships to two young performers

Hill Country Community Theatre scholarships

LEFT: Hill Country Community Theatre Executive Director Mike Rademaekers surprises Riley Gisi with a $1,000 scholarship before the opening curtain of Disney’s “The Little Mermaid Jr.” on July 25.  LEFT: A second award of $1,000 went to talented vocalist Abigail Strom. Courtesy photos

The Hill Country Community Theatre awarded the Phyl Holbert College Scholarship to two recipients this year. Riley Gisi and Abigail Strom will both receive $1,000 for their outstanding contributions to the nonprofit theater in Cottonwood Shores.

Gisi began her HCCT stage career in the theater’s Youth Summer Theatre Program in 2015 and went on to star as Jojo in “Seussical” that same year. She appeared in “Annie Get Your Gun” as well as talent shows, fundraisers, camps, and as The Cat in the Hat in last year’s “Seusical Jr.” for the theater.

At camp this year, Gisi was a counselor in training. She has volunteered many times at the theater. She is also a talented flutist and is going to the University of Hawaii in September with plans to major in music. 

Strom first graced the Hill Country Community stage as Margy Frake in “State Fair” in 2018. Since then, whenever asked, she has always returned to the theater to share her incredible singing talent at its fundraisers. 

Strom will be attending Ball State University in Indiana to study theater.  

“We wish both these superlative young women to ‘break a leg’ in their college careers,” said Mike Rademaekers, the theater’s executive director.

Phyl Holbert was a co-founder of Hill Country Community Theatre along with Gigi Fischer, and the Phyl Holbert College Scholarship Fund enables young people to pursue careers in technical theater or performing arts. To contribute to the fund, visit thehcct.org or call the box office at 830-798-8944.

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