Sunriver Stars Community Theater announced the recipients of its inaugural scholarship, Stars Scholars, to two local high school students, Andrew Whitworth and Samuel Soyster.

“Sunriver Stars was a big start in helping me gain confidence in my acting and most importantly, my singing,” Whitworth said. “Hanging out with all the people there made me feel comfortable and safe within their community.”

The mission of Stars Scholars is to reward young students seeking to pursue theater arts who have been active with SSCT, whether in kids’ camp, acting or working behind the scenes as stagehands and crew. Applicants were required to list the program or school they intended to use the scholarship toward and describe how it would advance their education in theater performance or production skills.

“The idea for a scholarship was born from our board’s discussions about the importance of our children’s drama camp and how we could take it to the next level,” said Alan Zalewski, SSCT Director of Development. “We wanted to encourage students who were interested and had participated in Sunriver Stars productions.”

Soyster and Whitworth, who are homeschooled and close friends, each participated in the Sunriver Stars 2022 production of “Oz” and have served as volunteers for kids programming. Both students used the scholarship to help with expenses from their recent trip to the National Fine Arts Festival in Columbus, Ohio, where they joined more than 65,000 junior and senior high school students for a time of learning through evaluations, workshops and interaction with other students. Additional funds will be used toward their involvement in Ovation Performing Arts’ 2024 production of “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.”

“It was an amazing opportunity and great experience,” Whitworth said. “It means so much to me that I was chosen for this scholarship.”

For more information or to support Sunriver Stars, please visit