Tonight (Monday, June 26) the 14th Annual National High School Musical Theatre Awards, better known as the Jimmy Awards, named for Broadway impresario James M. Nederlander and serving as a catalyst for more than $6,000,000 in educational scholarships, took place live at the Minskoff Theatre to celebrate outstanding student achievement, recognizing individual artistry in vocal, dance, and acting performance by 96 nominees from 48 coast-to-coast regional awards programs, sponsored by presenters of touring Broadway productions throughout the US.
A program of The Broadway League Foundation Inc., the NHSMTA invites one Best Actress and one Best Actor nominee from each local regional ceremony to New York City for a week-long theater intensive that includes coaching sessions, training, and rehearsals led by some of Broadway’s most accomplished professionals (this year’s coaches were Jenni Barber, Max Chernin, Maryann Hu, Adam Kantor, Telly Leung, Howard McGillin, and Desi Oakley). Following all their combined efforts throughout the week, the nominees then perform in front of a live audience on the Broadway stage.
Hosted by Broadway’s Corbin Bleu, and directed and choreographed by Stephanie Pope Lofgren, the 2023 talent showcase included appearances by such special guests as Eva Noblezada, McKenzie Kurtz, and Andrew Barth Feldman, video segments, and production numbers, medleys, and solo performances by the student nominees, followed by the presentation of awards, as selected by a panel of judges (comprised of Khady Kamara, Joe Machota, Alecia Parker, T. Oliver Reid, Tara Rubin, Nick Scandalios, Thomas Schumacher, Bernie Telsey, and Sergio Trujillo), for Best Performance by an Actor and Best Performance by an Actress.
The recipients of this year’s Jimmy Awards are Langston Lee, Rouse High School, Austin, Texas, and Lauren A. Marchand, Jericho High School, NYC.
The evening also featured the Inspiring Teacher Award, presented by Wells Fargo and honoring a teacher who, during the previous school year, provided valuable guidance and encouragement for their students pursuing performing arts, in recognition of the importance of theater arts education in schools. The 2023 honoree is Vanessa Lock Gelinas, from Oakton High School in Vienna, Virginia.
Founded in 2009 by Nederlander Alliances LLC, Pittsburgh CLO, and Broadway Education Alliance (BEA), the mission of the NHSMTA is to raise the profile of musical theater in schools, to honor dedicated teachers, and to inspire the next generation of performers and enthusiasts. The Broadway League conducts the program through The Broadway League Foundation Inc., its philanthropic division. Donations to support the program can be made on the Jimmy Awards website.
The Jimmy Awards played on Monday, June 26, 2023, at 7:30 pm, at the Minskoff Theatre, 200 West 45th Street, NYC, and streamed live on Facebook and YouTube. The show will remain available for viewing online for three days, through Thursday evening, June 29.