Tony Award winner Laura Benanti will host the 2018 National High School Musical Theatre Awards, perhaps better known as the Jimmy Awards. The tenth annual ceremony will take place June 25 at the Minskoff Theatre.
The ceremony, presented by the Broadway League, brings together 80 winners of 40 regional competitions, allowing the students to showcase the roles from their high school musical productions that earned them acclaim in their communities. One male and one female performer win $10,000 scholarships, while additional finalists receive $2,500 scholarships.
“It’s basically the Tony Awards, but for high school students all over the country,” Benanti explained in an Instagram video (shot on a playground with her daughter Ella in hand).
The Jimmy Awards were founded in 2009 by Nederlander Alliances, Pittsburgh CLO, and the Broadway Education Alliance. The moniker honors James M. Nederlander, the legendary producer and theatre owner who died at the age of 94 in 2016.
Past alums of the Jimmy Awards include 2017 Miss Saigon Tony nominee Eva Noblezada, SpongeBob SquarePants' Jae'Len Christine Li Josey, and Mean Girls' Kyle Selig.
This year’s event will also present the Inspiring Teacher Award to Janine Papin of Trinity Preparatory School in Winter Park, Florida, and Nadine Love of William R. Boone High School in Orlando, recognizing their encouragement and teaching efforts to last year's winners: Sofia Deler and Tony Moreno.
Tickets are available at Ticketmaster.com.