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Third Annual Illinois High School Musical Theater Awards Announces Finalists; Ceremony Set for 4/25

Third Annual Illinois High School Musical Theater Awards Announces Finalists; Ceremony Set for 4/25

In celebration of outstanding achievement in high school musical theater performances, Broadway In Chicago is thrilled to announce the twenty-four finalists for the Third Annual Illinois High School Musical Theater Awards. The finalists (12 young actors & 12 young actresses) have been invited to participate in the Awards program, which will be held at the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place (175 E. Chestnut St.) on Friday, April 25, 2014.

Broadway In Chicago has crafted a full day of workshops with theatre professionals for these twenty-four finalists that culminates in a performance on stage at the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place. During the day, finalists will audition for a panel of casting agents and theater professionals who will choose the recipients of performance awards, as well as the newly-established honor for High School Musical Scenic Design. (The Grosh Scenic Design Award)

In addition to the day of workshops featuring the Associate Choreographer of NEWSIES, the twenty-four finalists will receive tickets to see NEWSIES in Chicago. (playing the Oriental Theatre Dec. 10, 2014 - Jan. 4, 2015)

From the twenty-four finalists, one actor and one actress will be chosen to represent Illinois in the finals in New York. These two talented young stars will be provided with an all-expense paid trip to participate in a performance enrichment program, representing the state of Illinois at the National High School Musical Theater Awards, on Broadway, on Monday, June 30, 2014.

The National High School Musical Theater Awards, also known as The Jimmy Awards, are named for legendary Broadway theater owner and producer James M. Nederlander. Broadway In Chicago is a Nederlander presentation, and is excited to join the network of theatres across the country participating in The Jimmys.


Kaitlin Feely

Buffalo Grove, IL

Adlai E. Stevenson High School

Jonah Rawitz

Buffalo Grove, IL

Adlai E. Stevenson High School

JT Snyder

Barrington, IL

Barrington High School

Julia Lindsey Whitcomb

Belvidere, IL

Belvidere North High School

Alexandra Oechsel

Naperville, IL

Benet Academy

Frank Zabilka

Lemont, IL

Benet Academy

Ben Love

Byron, IL

Byron High School

Dara Brown

Chicago, IL

Chicago High School for the Performing Arts

Jacquelin McCollough

Coal City, IL

Coal City High School

Sammy Ferber

Deerfield, IL

Deerfield High School

Katie Frye

Delavan, IL

Delavan Community Unit School District

Sarah Edmonds

Edwardsville, IL

Edwardsville High School

Ryan Serfas

Edwardsville, IL

Edwardsville High School

Zachary Palmisano

Wheaton, IL

Glenbard West High School

Molly Hernandez

Glen Ellyn, IL

Glenbard West High School

Colin Bokowy

Algonquin, IL

Harry D. Jacobs High School

Christian Klepac

Libertyville, IL

Libertyville High School

Marianna Veneri

Niles, IL

Maine East High School

Stephanie Simon

Chicago, IL

Mother McAuley Liberal Arts High School

James Nash

Kenilworth, IL

New Trier High School

Cari Schuette

Wilmette, IL

New Trier High School

Samantha Bonzi

Rockford, IL

Rockford Lutheran Jr/Sr High School

Stephen Steinheiser

Vernon Hills, IL

Vernon Hills High School

Alec Stadler

Palatine, IL

William Fremd High School

ABOUT THE NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL THEATER AWARDS: The National High School Musical Theater Awards (NHSMTA) was established in 2009 to elevate the importance of theater arts education in schools and reward excellence in student performance. The program impacts more than 50,000 students annually who participate in high school musical theater competitions sponsored by top professional theaters throughout the United States. Each year, winners of these competitions are flown to New York City to compete at Nationals.

The sixth annual National High School Musical Theater Awards will take place on Monday, June 30, 2014 when students will give it their all at The Jimmy Awards showcase at the Minskoff Theatre on Broadway. During this one-of-a-kind event, a panel of judges will choose two students for the coveted awards of Best Performance by an Actor and Best Performance by an Actress. Rehearsals for the National High School Musical Theater Awards will take place Wednesday, June 25, through Tuesday, July 1, 2014. The week's rigorous schedule will include group rehearsals and individual vocal and acting coaching by Broadway industry professionals, visits from special guests and discussions with working actors, a night out in Times Square for dinner and a Broadway show, and on the final day of the program, a session with casting agency Telsey & Co.

Since its inception, NHSMTA has been the catalyst for more $1,000,000 in educational scholarships awarded to deserving young performers. Also known as The Jimmy Awards, named for Broadway impresario James M. Nederlander, this year-round program is administered by the Broadway Education Alliance (BEA) a New York based non-profit corporation dedicated to supporting initiatives that inspire creativity, build confidence and stimulate critical thinking in America's youth. NHSMTA is BEA's first national initiative.

The depth, scope and education centric mission of NHSMTA coupled with its extensive television and media exposure has made participating in the program an aspiration for a growing number of high schools. Based on feedback from participating theaters, school administrators are now directing both human and financial resources to improve the quality of theater arts education in their districts. This renewed enthusiasm for the performing arts in schools is already helping to invigorate local theaters and the communities they serve. For more information, please visit www.nhsmta.com.

ABOUT GROSH BACKDROPS & DRAPERY: Grosh Backdrops & Drapery supplies schools and theaters with an extensive selection of backdrops and drapery at the most competitive pricing. A choice of sizes and beautiful scenes help you enhance any production. Two warehouse locations reduce shipping times and cost. Visit us online to view our entire inventory of 5,000 products in 75 unique categories, check pricing and availability, and to reserve your order today at www.grosh.com.

ABOUT BROADWAY IN CHICAGO: Broadway In Chicago was created in July 2000 and over the past 14 years has grown to be one of the largest commercial touring homes in the country. A Nederlander Presentation, Broadway In Chicago lights up the Chicago Theater District entertaining well up to 1.7 million people annually in five theatres. Broadway In Chicago presents a full range of entertainment, including musicals and plays, on the stages of five of the finest theatres in Chicago's Loop including the Bank of America Theatre, Oriental Theatre, Cadillac Palace Theatre, the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University and just off the Magnificent Mile, the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place.

Pictured: The 2013 IHSMTA Participants

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