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2021-2022 Roger Rees Awards For Excellence In Student Performance Winners Announced

Name Sophia O'Brien (Fordham Prep) and Liam Ginsburg (Pelham HS) have been named Outstanding Performers In Greater NY high school musicals.

2021-2022 Roger Rees Awards For Excellence In Student Performance Winners Announced

The Broadway Education Alliance Inc. presented the 12th annual Roger Rees Awards for Excellence in Student Performance yesterday at the Open Jar Studios on Broadway.

The event, sponsored by Disney Theatrical Group, was hosted by Sarah Alice Libby and Steven Telsey, 2014 Roger Rees Best Actress and Best Actor-winners. This award recognizes the importance of theatre arts education and celebrates Roger Rees' career-long commitment to mentoring young creative artists.

Rick Elice, the award-winning writer of Jersey Boys and The Addams Family, author of "Finding Roger," and Roger Rees' partner of 30 years, presented the 2021-2022 Roger Rees Awards for Outstanding Performers in a High School Musical in the Greater New York Region.

Sophia O'Brien, 16, received the Best Actress Award for her performance as Eponine in Les Misérables at Fordham Preparatory School (Bronx).

Liam Ginsburg, 15, received the Best Actor Award for his performance as Billy Cane in Bright Star at Pelham Memorial High School (Westchester).

Photo by Bruce Glikas for BEA

Sophia and Liam will represent The Roger Rees Awards at The National High School Musical Theatre Awards (aka The Jimmy Awards) which will be presented by the Broadway League Foundation, on Monday, June 27 at the Minkoff Theatre. For more information on the national awards, visit www.JimmyAwards.com.

Top performance honorees were selected by a panel of Broadway professionals that included Actress/Choreographer/Senior Teaching Artist for Disney in Schools, Kiara Brown-Clark; Actress/Producer/Recording Artist, Darilyn Castillo; Actor/Founder of Staged Workshops, Jarvis B. Manning, Jr.; Actor/Educator/Founder of the Black Theatre Coalition, T. Oliver Reid; and, Senior Casting Director at Tara Rubin Casting, Merri Sugarman.

Roslyn High School (Nassau) students were celebrated with awards in both the acting and choral performance category. Saydie Grossman, 17, was recognized as the Up-and-Coming Actress for her role as Sandra Bloom and Davey Fried, 17, was named Up-and-Coming Actor for his role as Edward Bloom in the Roslyn High School production of Big Fish. Both students will receive a tuition waiver to Marymount Manhattan College Musical Theatre Pre-College Summer Intensive.

Roslyn High School Royal Crown Players, under the direction of Cyndi Feinman, received the 2nd Annual Harmony Helper Award for Excellence in Choral Group Performance.

The 4th annual PLAYBILLder Award for Marketing, presented by Playbill Inc., was won by co-editors Rebecca Ploski and Serena Richmond for the New Rochelle High School production of Theory of Relativity.

For a complete list of participating schools, award finalists, and additional information about the awards program, please refer to the official Roger Rees Awards Playbill at www.RogerReesAwards.com.

The 12th annual Roger Rees Awards presentation was directed and choreographed by Theo Lencicki with Music Direction by Christine Riley. It was live streamed on www.Theatrely.com. To view the event, CLICK HERE.

The Roger Rees Awards is presented annually by the Broadway Education Alliance Inc., and Disney Theatrical Group, with the support from industry leaders including Rick Elice, Nancy Nagel Gibbs, BroadwayPlus.com, Broadway.com, Harmony Helper, Stacey Mindich Productions, Musical Theatre International, Nederlander of New York, Theatrical Rights Worldwide, WABC77/Red Apple Media and others.

Participation in the Roger Rees Awards is open to all high schools located in the Greater New York area. It serves as the regional award program of the National High School Musical Theatre Awards (aka The Jimmy Awards). Roger Rees Award-winners who have won top honors at the national awards include Ekele Ukegbu (2019), Andrew Barth Feldman (2018), and Marla Louissaint (2015). Mateo Lizcano (2021) was a national finalist and is now the Evan Hansen alternate in the Broadway production of Dear Evan Hansen on Broadway. Jeremy Fuentes (2019) won a merit scholarship.

The Broadway Education Alliance Inc. is a New York based 501(c)(3) organization supporting theatre arts education and enrichment programs that inspire creativity, build confidence, and stimulate critical thinking in children of all ages. For more information, visit www.BeAlliance.org.


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