Winners of the 2024 Jimmy Awards

Tonight (Monday, June 24), beginning at 7:30, the 15th annual National High School Musical Theatre Awards, better known as the Jimmy Awards (named for the late Tony-winning producer James M. Nederlander), celebrated outstanding student achievement in vocal, dance, and acting performance. Presented at the Minskoff Theatre by The Broadway League Foundation and Pittsburgh CLO, the evening, hosted by multi-award nominated singer, actor, and songwriter Josh Groban, showcased the talented students selected through regional awards programs across the US, in production numbers, medleys, solo performances, and the presentation of the awards.

Andrew Barth Feldman. Photo courtesy of The Broadway League.

Broadway stars Victoria Clark, Justin Cooley (2021 Jimmy Award finalist), Ayana Jackson, and Andrew Barth Feldman (2018 Jimmy Award winner) served as special guest presenters throughout the evening, introducing various awards, musical numbers, and tributes. Official media partner WABC-TV streamed its Live Intermission Show from the theater with exclusive interviews by Joelle Garguilo with Telly Leung, Langston Lee, Lauren Marchand, and Casey Likes, and student reporters Ricky Ragazzo (Houston, TX) and Nicole Scimeca (Chicago, IL), selected from a nationwide submissions process of aspiring high-school journalists, covered the Jimmys on social media, providing an inside look at the final preparations for the evening performance, then conducting interviews with the 2024 Best Actor and Best Actress winners following the awards ceremony.

This year, a total of seventeen awards and scholarships were presented to participants. The award winners and finalists were chosen from the group of 102 nominees by a panel of judges comprised of notable theater professionals including Tony Award-winning producers, award-winning casting experts, and industry leaders (Montego Glover, Kenny Leon, Joe Machota, Marc Platt, T. Oliver Reid, Tara Rubin, Nick Scandalios, Bernard Telsey, and Lia Vollack, along with this year’s special guest judges James Monroe Iglehart, Alan Menken, and Thomas Schumacher).

And the winners, each presented with a check for $25,000 by the Nederlander Organization to further their education, are:

Best Performance by an Actor – Damson Chola Jr., Broadway Dallas High School Musical Theatre Awards (Dallas, TX);

Best Performance by an Actress – Gretchen Shope, Sutton Foster Awards (East Lansing, MI).

Damson Chola Jr. and Gretchen Shope. Photo courtesy of The Broadway League.

Along with the two main acting awards, the other six finalists each received a $5,000 scholarship toward their future education, presented by MJ: Fabiola Caraballo Quijada, Broadway Dallas High School Musical Theatre Awards (Dallas, TX); Peter Dessert, Blue Star Awards (Kansas City, MO); Catherine Dosier, Spirit of the MACY Awards (La Mirada, CA); Luke Martin, Nevada High School Musical Theater Awards (Las Vegas, NV); Samia Posadas, The Monte Awards (Tucson, AZ); and James Thibault, The Stephen Sondheim Awards (New Haven, CT).

And special awards winners each received a $2,500 scholarship for the following:

SCAD Achievement Scholarship, presented by Savannah College of Art and Design – Fabiola Caraballo Quijada, Broadway Dallas High School Musical Theatre Awards (Dallas, TX);

Rising Star, presented by The John Gore Organization, for impressive advancement during the Jimmy Awards program – Samara Follette, Nebraska High School Theater Academy (Omaha, NE);

Best Dancer, presented by The Shubert Organization, for excellence in dance and movement – Alana Hogan, Broadway Star of the Future (Tampa, FL);

Spirit of the Jimmys, presented by Thomas Schumacher, for embodying the spirit of this musical theatre celebration – Hayden Poe, Georgia High School Musical Theatre Awards – Shuler Hensley Awards (Atlanta, GA);

Outstanding Performance in an Ensemble, co-presented by M·A·C and No Guarantees, for outstanding collaboration during the Jimmy Awards program – Savannah Carrasco, Utah High School Musical Theatre Awards (Logan, UT); Connor Egloff, Miami Valley High School Theatre Awards (Dayton, OH); Spencer Kearns, The Broadway San Diego Awards (San Diego, CA); Cameron Krauss, Philadelphia Independence Awards (Philadelphia, PA); and Sophie Rose, Discovery Awards (Tulsa, OK).

In addition to the student awards were the previously announced recipients of the 2024 Inspiring Teacher Award, given to teachers in recognition of their roles in providing valuable guidance and encouragement for their students from last year’s Jimmy Awards. They are Jacqueline McLean, from Le Roy Jr. Sr. High School, Rochester, NY, and Paul Fillingim from Ronald Reagan High School, San Antonio, TX.

If you missed the show, or would like to see it again, the 2024 Jimmy Awards ceremony will remain available online for three days after the live event, through Thursday evening, June 27, on the Jimmy Awards Facebook page and YouTube channels.


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