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The Rita Moreno California High School Musical Honors Announce 2016 Nominees

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The regional awards competition recognizes outstanding achievement in high school musical theatre outside of the Los Angeles area; nominees to perform at San Jose's Center for the Performing Arts on Monday, May 23.

Two winners will be sent to The National High School Musical Theatre Awards in New York City where they will perform on a Broadway stage before industry experts and compete for scholarship opportunities to New York University's prestigious Tisch School of the Arts. SAN JOSE, CA (May 13, 2016) - The Rita Moreno California High School Musical Honors announced today the 2016 nominees who will compete in front of a panel of nationally recognized judges on Monday, May 23, 2016 at San Jose's Center for the Performing Arts. Sponsored by Children's Musical Theater San Jose and Broadway San Jose, a Nederlander Presentation, this regional awards competition recognizes outstanding achievement in high school musical theatre outside of the Los Angeles area. Tickets for The Rita Moreno California High School Musical Honors are $20 and available now by visiting www.ritamorenoawards.com or calling 800-982-ARTS (2787).

Judges for the evening of May 23 include casting director Michael Donovan, producer, director and choreographer Andy Ferrara, and actress Wendy Rosoff. Winners in the 'Best Performance by an Actor' and 'Best Performance by an Actress' categories that evening will join regional winners from around the nation at The National High School Musical Theatre Awards (NHSMTA) - also known as the Jimmy Awards - in New York City, where they will perform on Monday, June 27 on Broadway's Minskoff Theatre stage before industry experts and compete for scholarship opportunities to New York University's prestigious Tisch School of the Arts. 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.'

The 2016 National High School Musical Theatre Awards will debut new formatting for the program in order to accommodate more regional awards programs and provide opportunities for more students to experience Broadway and New York City. This year there will be 64 students representing 32 programs, compared to last year's 52 students representing 26 programs. The program will now take place over ten days.

The students will audition before a panel of judges early in the week, singing two prepared songs and participating in a dance call. Based on the audition results, the students will then be split into two tracks: The Medley Group and The Production Group, leading up to when all students will perform together in the opening and closing numbers on the Minskoff stage on Monday, June 27. The groups will continue to work together throughout the week and receive the same amount of coaching.

This year's nominated schools are:

Archbishop Mitty High School - San Jose, CA
Coalinga High School - Coalinga, CA
Franklin High School - Elk Grove, CA
Frontier High School - Bakersfield, CA
The Harker School - San Jose, CA
Marin School for the Arts - Novato, CA
St. Francis High School - Mountain View, CA
San Mateo High School - San Mateo, CA
Valley Christian High School - San Jose, CA

This year's individual nominees are:

OVERALL PRODUCTION:
Archbishop Mitty High School - San Jose, CA - Little Women
Coalinga High School - Coalinga, CA - Thoroughly Modern Millie
The Harker School - San Jose, CA - Bye Bye Birdie
Franklin High School - Elk Grove, CA - Into the Woods
Frontier High School - Bakersfield, CA - All Shook Up
Valley Christian High School - San Jose, CA - 42nd Street

LEAD ACTOR IN A MUSICAL: Ivan Bracy as Gaston Beauty and the Beast Archbishop Mitty High School Frank Demma as Alfred Doolittle My Fair Lady Marin School for the Arts Kyle Domalaon as The Baker Into the Woods Franklin High School Caleb Duarte as Julian Marsh 42nd Street Valley Christian High School Eric Gaydon as Billy Lawlor 42nd Street Valley Christian High School Mario Fong as Jack Into the Woods Franklin High School

LEAD ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL: Camryn Elias as Winifred Banks Mary Poppins St. Francis High School Talia Friedenberg as Eliza Doolittle My Fair Lady Marin School for the Arts Samantha Gorjanc as Jo March Little Women Archbishop Mitty High School Abhaya Krishnan-Jha as Estonia Dulworth Nice Work If You Can Get It San Mateo High School Belle Le as Peggy Sawyer 42nd Street Valley Christian High School Carolyn Thiess as The Baker's Wife Into the Woods Franklin High School

SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A MUSICAL: Walter Brinskele as Colonel Pickering My Fair Lady Marin School for the Arts Joseph Dennis as The Wolf Into the Woods Franklin High School Charlie Ibsen as Le Fou Beauty and the Beast Archbishop Mitty High School Chayce Perlis as Dennis All Shook Up Frontier High School

SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL: Zahra Budwhani as Mae Peterson Bye Bye Birdie The Harker School Sophia Rodriguez as Madame De La Boucher Beauty and the Beast Archbishop Mitty High School Megan Ruthford as Jack's Mother Into the Woods Franklin High School Gabby Singleton as Anne 42nd Street Valley Christian High School

The National High School Musical Theatre Awards was established in 2009 to elevate the importance of theatre 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 theatre competitions sponsored by presenters of Touring Broadway productions throughout the United States. Each year, winners of these regional programs travel to New York City to participate in the national competition.

Since its inception, NHSMTA has been the catalyst for more than $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 League Foundation, The Broadway League's charitable foundation. Its mission is to enlighten and increase the public's knowledge, appreciation and awareness of the theatrical arts and to provide a forum for the discussion of issues relating to the preservation and promotion of live theatre as a vital and culturally significant artistic medium.

Thanks to the support of its participating League member theatres and donors, NHSMTA continues to grow. In 2012, the program inspired preeminent broadcaster WGBH Boston to produce a 3-part documentary series called "Broadway or Bust," which followed students on a journey from their hometown competitions to their debut at the Minskoff Theatre. The series premiered in September 2012 and was showcased in 100% of PBS's Top 50 strategic markets, ranking as one of their most highly rated programs. It remains popular viewing at pbs.org.

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 theatres, school administrators are now directing both human and financial resources to improve the quality of theatre arts education in their districts. This renewed enthusiasm for the performing arts in schools is already helping to invigorate local theatres and the communities they serve. For more information, visit www.nhsmta.com.

Broadway San Jose - the northern California affiliate of the Nederlander organization - presents touring Broadway musicals at the San Jose Center for Performing Arts in partnership with Team San Jose, and is a member of the Broadway League. (www.broadwaysanjose.com)

Currently in its 48th season, Children's Musical Theater (CMT San Jose) impacts over 10,000 youth per season through multiple educational programs. CMT produces 10 shows a season encompassing 107 performances at the Montgomery Theater in San Jose. (www.cmtsj.org)

The Jimmy Award is named for legendary Broadway theatre owner and producer, James M. Nederlander, or "Jimmy" as he is known on Broadway. Mr. Nederlander is the Chairman of the Nederlander Producing Company of America Inc., the owner/operator of a vast chain of theatres, including nine Broadway houses, and a producer of distinguished entertainment for more than 70 years. Jimmy and his son, James L. Nederlander, also present Broadway shows in Chicago, Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside, San Jose, Tucson, Durham, and London. The Broadway League presented Jimmy with the Schoenfeld Vision for Arts Education Award in 2010 for establishing the National High School Musical Theatre Awards.



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