Previews: The Broadway Star of The Future Awards Showcase at Straz Center

The awards program will be presented on May 19.

By: May. 15, 2024
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Previews: The Broadway Star of The Future Awards Showcase at Straz Center

As the curtains rise and the lights dim, the Straz Center for the Performing Arts becomes a beacon of aspiration for the young and talented performers of Tampa Bay. The Broadway Star of the Future Awards Showcase, set to dazzle audiences on May 19, 2024, is not just an event; it's a celebration of potential, a testament to the hard work of high school theatre performers, and a glimpse into the potential future of Broadway.

During the school year, judges watched high school musicals and gave feedback to the Straz Center for Performing Arts. High schools start applying at the beginning of the year to have their shows reviewed.

Out of 81 high schools that joined, one hundred seventy-five students were considered for awards, like best actor, actress, technical design, orchestra, and set design. The Best Actor and Actress category nominees were submitted to perform, and seventy-five will compete in the Broadway Star of the Future Award Showcase at the Straz Center.

Fashioned after the Tony Awards,® The Broadway Star of the Future Awards Showcase is the Tampa Bay area's regional awards program affiliated with the National High School Musical Theatre Awards (NHSMTA) or the Jimmy® Awards, named in honor of James M. Nederlander, renowned Broadway theater owner, and producer. Twelve students will be eligible to go to the Jimmy® Awards.

Straz Patel Conservatory Theatre Department Manager Ryan Began explained, "This year, there are new achievement awards: creative casting, collaborative chemistry, and outstanding aerial skills. We try to shout out the things that don't necessarily fit into a box."

To ensure diversity, there was a push to reach other schools beyond the magnet art schools and recruit for the program school groups that might not know about the opportunity. To be considered, a school applies, pays the adjudication fee, and is on the reviewer's schedule. Within two weeks of the review, the school receives feedback critique from the adjudicators.

 "We ensure everything is educational, informative, and constructive, and the teachers share the critiques with the students," he explained.

Began says contemporary musicals like Mean Girls, Adams Family,  Mamma Mia, and SpongeBob are trending.

To keep the annual event fresh each time, the team looks to highlight the schools and Broadway.
"We always try to find an exciting opening number that celebrates everybody and sets the tone for the year, tie it into what's been happening on Broadway this season, and celebrate the schools."

The Broadway Star of the Future Awards is more than just a night of performances. It's a stepping stone to greater heights, as educational scholarships are awarded to support the dreams of these young artists. Two winners will represent the Straz Center at the Jimmy® Awards in New York. Presented by The Broadway League Foundation, The Jimmys® recognizes outstanding vocal, dance, and acting performances and offers the opportunity for nominees to work with professional directors, coaches, and producers, meet with agents and casting directors, and be considered for several recognitions, including a college scholarship. The Jimmy® Awards has students from all over the nation. Each performing arts center selects one boy and one girl to go to New York to represent their district, and two are chosen from the Jimmy Awards.

Began says that any musical actor aspiring to be considered for The Broadway Star of the Future Awards should "work hard and keep reaching for high achievement. It will pay off in the end."

The Broadway Star of the Future Awards is May 19 at 630 pm at Straz' Ferguson Hall. Learn more and buy tickets at


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