Young actors from across the country will travel to New York City next week to compete in the National High School Musical Theatre Awards, otherwise known as the Jimmy Awards, which recognize excellence in high school musical theatre.
The ninth annual awards ceremony will take place June 26 at the Minskoff Theatre on Broadway. Tony Award-winning Dear Evan Hansen star Ben Platt will host.
During the ceremony, Brendan Jennings (Burbank, CA) and Larry Robinson (Monroe, NC) will receive the inaugural Inspiring Teacher Award for the encouragement and inspiration that led their students to win the 2016 Jimmy Award for Best Performance by an Actress and Best Performance by an Actor.
The competing students—who have qualified through regional high school musical theatre award competitions in over 1,000 schools—are invited to spend a ten-day professional training intensive with NYU Tisch School of the Arts' New Studio in preparation for the evening. The winners are then selected at the New York City ceremony by a panel of industry experts.
The nominees for Best Actor/Actress in their respective regions follow: Trey Caperton and Kayla Fallick (The Popejoy Awards/Albuqerque, NM); Felix Torrez and Liz Valentin (Center Stage High School Musical Theater Awards/Appleton, WI); Ramone Nelson and Parker Jennings (Georgia High School Musical Theatre Awards/Atlanta, GA); Ian Hayes and Grace Auer (The Kenny Awards/Buffalo, NY); Justin Rivers and Anna Hertel (The Blumey Awards/ Charlotte, NC); Justin Smusz and Carly Meyer (Illinois High School Musical Theatre Awards/Chicago, IL); Brandon Schumacker and Reyna Grace Moran (Playhouse Square Dazzle Awards/ Cleveland, OH); John Fredrickson and Shelby Priddy (Dallas Summer Musicals High School Musical Theatre Awards/Dallas, TX); Austin Hand and Elleon Dobias (The Bobby G Awards/Denver, CO); Seamus Foley and Marisa Spahn (Iowa High School Musical Theater Awards/Des Moines, IA); Nicholas Kraft and Kaylee Terrell (Triangle Rising Stars/Durham, NC); Antonio Cipriano and Catherine Elliott (Sutton Foster Ovation Awards/East Lansing, MI); Ian Tonroy and Jasmine Rogers (Tommy Tune Awards/ Houston, TX); Joey Myers and Stephanie Ainsworth (Blue Star Awards/ Kansas City, MO); Adrian Villegas and Maggie Gidden (Spirit of the MACY Awards/ La Mirada, CA); Nathan Sink and Adelynn Tourondel (Nevada High School Musical Theater Awards/Las Vegas, NV); Levi Hopkins and Jessica Lewis (Utah High School Musical Theatre Awards/Logan, UT); Cameron Vargas and Brighton Thomas (The Jerry Herman Awards/ Los Angeles, CA); Max Pink and Jessica Minter (Tommy Awards/ Madison, WI); Ethan Benson and Asia Smith (The Orpheum High School Musical Theatre Awards/Memphis, TN); Jacob Swanson and Addison Albert (Mancini Awards/Midland, PA); Nathan Keffer and Hatty King (Spotlight Awards – Nashville High School Musical Theatre Awards/ Nashville, TN); Dean Klebonas and Maddie Rubin (The Roger Rees Awards for Excellence in Student Performance/New York, NY); Lane Mongeon and Lauren Johnson (Nebraska High School Theatre Awards/Omaha, NE); Tony Moreno and Sofia Victoria Deler (Applause Awards/Orlando, FL); William Webster and Laurel Bollard (Lucie Arnaz Awards/Palm Springs, CA); Jake Pedersen and Chloe Kehm (Gene Kelly Awards/Pittsburgh, PA); Jack D’Angelo and Shelby Ennis (Stars of Tomorrow/ Rochester, NY); Preston Perez and Adriel Salinas (Joci Awards/San Antonio, TX); Sky Frank and Jillian Strattman (The San Diego Ben Vereen Awards/San Diego, CA); Eric Gaydon and Natalie Bourgeois (The Rita Moreno Awards/San Jose, CA); Patrick Shannon and Jaynie Parmenter (Proctors High School Musical Theatre Awards/ Schenectady, NY); Morgan Roberts and Samuel Bennett (The 5th Avenue Awards/Seattle, WA); Briley Blade and Maggie Kuntz (St. Louis High School Musical Theatre Awards/St. Louis, MO); Christian Meany and Maggie Musco (Broadway Star of the Future/ Tampa, FL); Sam Primack and Briana Fleming (ASU Gammage High School Theater Awards/Tempe, AZ); and Luke Gaff and Sophia Rose Franklin (Southern Arizona Ben Vereen Awards/Tucson, AZ).