It’s that time of year again when excellence in high school musical theatre is celebrated with the annual Jimmy Awards ceremony. On Monday, June 24, 2019 at Broadway’s Minskoff Theatre, the event will be hosted by none other than Tony-winner Ben Platt (Dear Evan Hansen), marking his second time in the role.
“I am thrilled to be back hosting the Jimmy Awards again this year. It is one of my favorite times of the year where everyone comes together to celebrate young talent with a passion for theatre,” said Platt. “I look forward to seeing all of this year’s amazing performances.”
Ironically, last year’s Jimmy Award-winner Andrew Barth Feldman is currently playing the title character in Dear Evan Hansen on Broadway, the role Ben Platt won his Tony Award for originating. Platt is also well-known for his work in the first two Pitch Perfect films. Other Broadway credits include The Music Man and The Book of Mormon.
The “Jimmy” Awards are the nickname for the National High School Musical Theatre Awards, which, since their inception in 2009, have given student performers who qualify a chance to compete at a national level. By winning top honors at regional high school musical theatre awards competitions, they then vie for this prestigious honor presented by Broadway League member performing arts centers.
“Featuring dynamic ensemble and solo performances, the competition will feature 86 high school students from 43 regional programs across America. Nominees will be vying for the Jimmy Award for Best Performance by an Actor and Actress. This year, over 1,700 high schools and 100,000 students are participating in the events leading to the Jimmys Awards ceremony.” An “Inspiring Teacher Award” is also presented.
NHSMTA nominees will prepare for their debut on a Broadway stage during a ten-day professional training intensive with NYU Tisch School of the Arts’ New Studio on Broadway faculty members plus other theatre professionals. Winners will be selected by a panel of industry experts.
“Founded in 2009 by Nederlander Alliances LLC, Pittsburgh CLO, and Broadway Educational Alliance (BEA), the NHSMTA’s mission is to raise the profile of musical theatre in schools, recognize dedicated teachers and inspire the next generation of performers and enthusiasts. Also known as The Jimmy Awards, in honor of legendary Broadway producer/theatre owner James M. Nederlander, the NHSMTA is supported by many leading theatre industry organizations.”
Mark Robinson is the author of the two-volume encyclopedia The World of Musicals, The Disney Song Encyclopedia, and The Encyclopedia of Television Theme Songs. He maintains a theater and entertainment blog at markrobinsonwrites.com.