Nominees Announced for the 2018 Jimmy Awards, Recognizing the Best of High School Musical Theatre Actors | Playbill

Education News Nominees Announced for the 2018 Jimmy Awards, Recognizing the Best of High School Musical Theatre Actors Laura Benanti hosts the tenth annual National High School Musical Theatre Awards June 25.
Charlotte St. Martin, Ben Platt, Kiesha Lalama, Van Kaplan, and the 2017 Students
Charlotte St. Martin, Ben Platt, Kiesha Lalama, Van Kaplan, and the 2017 Students Joseph Marzullo/WENN

For the tenth year running, young performers from across the U.S. will come to New York City to prepare for and compete in the National High School Musical Theatre Awards.

Nicknamed the the Jimmy Awards for theatre owner and producer James M. Nederlander, the awards recognize excellence in musical theatre by high school students across the country.

Having won their regional high school musical theatre award competitions, the qualifying finalists (listed below) will spend ten days in a professional training intensive with mentors from the Broadway industry in order to prepare for the June 25 Jimmy Awards ceremony. Over 1,500 high schools and 100,000 students participate in these annual events. This year, 80 finalists will participate in the program and ceremony.

The Awards are presented by the Broadway League Foundation and the winners will be selected June 25 by a panel of industry experts. This year’s ceremony will be livestreamed from Broadway’s Minskoff Theatre with support from Tony-winning Best Musical Dear Evan Hansen and Wells Fargo. Tony winner Laura Benanti hosts the evening.

In addition, the Inspiring Teacher Award (established in 2017) presented by Wells Fargo will be bestowed on Janine Papin, Trinity Preparatory School, Winter Park, Florida and Nadine Love, William R. Boone High School, Orlando, Florida.

The nominees for Best Actor and Best Actress in their respective regions is as follows:

  • Trey Caperton and Joliana Davidson (The Enchantment Awards; Albuquerque, NM)
  • Travis Vandenberg and Paige Neumeyer (Center Stage High School Musical Theater Awards; Appleton, WI)
  • Laughton Berry and Parker Jennings (Georgia High School Musical Theatre Awards- The Shuler Hensley Awards; Atlanta, GA)
  • Christopher Palumbo and Emily Kuhn (The Kenny Awards; Buffalo, NY)
  • Ethan Holtzman and Reneé Rapp (The Blumey Awards; Charlotte, NC)
  • Darian Goulding and Natalie Doppelt (Illinois High School Musical Theatre Awards; Chicago, IL)
  • J.R. Heckman and Reyna Grace Moran (Playhouse Square Dazzle Awards; Cleveland, OH)
  • Noah Aguilar and Sierra Roberson (Dallas Summer Musicals High School Musical Theatre Awards; Dallas, TX)
  • Elisha Horne and Abigail Lehrer (The Bobby G Awards; Denver, CO)
  • Jacob Nuti and Anna Ascheman (Iowa High School Musical Theater Awards; Des Moines, IA)
  • Sterling Jones and Mya Ison (Triangle Rising Stars; Durham, NC)
  • Jeremy VandenHout and Betsy Miller (Sutton Foster Ovation Awards; East Lansing, MI)
  • Garrett Morris and Emily Mesa (Tommy Tune Awards; Houston, TX)
  • Sam Aubuchon and Lauryn Hurley (Blue Star Awards; Kansas City, MO)
  • Zach Fogel and Sabrina Astle (Spirit of the MACY Awards; La Mirada, CA)
  • Cole Duffy and Ahnaleisa Hodges (The Smith Center for the Performing Arts; Las Vegas, NV)
  • Bennett Chew and Aria Grace Critchley (Utah High School Musical Theatre Awards; Logan, UT)
  • Daniel Kohanbash and Hannah Kanter (The Jerry Herman Awards; Los Angeles, CA)
  • Max Pink and Corinna Smith (The Jerry Awards; Madison, WI)
  • Riley Thad Young and Amelia Beckham (The Orpheum High School Musical Theatre Awards; Memphis, TN)
  • Noah Tobery and Halle Surgil (The Henry Mancini Musical Theatre Awards; Midland, PA)
  • Jackson Grove and Britta Rae Cowan (Spotlight Education; Minneapolis, MN)
  • Sevon Askew and Tiyanna Gentry (Spotlight Awards – Nashville High School Musical Theatre Awards; Nashville, TN)
  • Cooper Cardone and Teah Renzi (The Stephen Sondheim Awards; New Haven, CT)
  • Andrew Barth Feldman and Alyssa McDonald (The Roger Rees Awards for Excellence in Student Performance; New York, NY)
  • Nathan Bonsall and Sierra Lancaster (Nebraska High School Theatre Awards; Omaha, NE)
  • John Zamborsky and Kristen Brock (Applause Awards; Orlando, FL)
  • Garrett Ryan Hoy and Marisa Ines Moenho (Lucie Arnaz Awards; Palm Springs, CA)
  • Nasir Butler and Johanna Loughran (Gene Kelly Awards; Pittsburgh, PA)
  • Mark Mitrano and Natalie Leclair (Stars of Tomorrow; Rochester, NY)
  • Andrew Swetonic and Bella Campos (Las Casas Foundation Joci Awards; San Antonio, TX)
  • Jonas McMullen and Felicity Bryant (The Broadway San Diego Awards; San Diego, CA)
  • Cole Sisser and Veronica Ballejos (The Rita Moreno Awards; San Jose, CA)
  • Brandon Sarti and Annabelle Duffy (High School Musical Theatre Awards at Proctors; Schenectady, NY)
  • Jake Isom and Cassie Dixon (The 5th Avenue Awards; Seattle, WA)
  • Liam Dean and Maggie Kuntz (St. Louis High School Musical Theatre Awards; St. Louis, MO)
  • Noah Diggs and Emily Escobar (Broadway Star of the Future; Tampa, FL)
  • Miles Hull and Haley Reed (ASU Gammage High School Theatre Awards; Tempe, AZ)
  • Danny Fapp and Elizah Knight (Tucson Starlight Awards- High School Musical Theatre Finals; Tucson, AZ)
  • Casey Butler and Skyler Sajewski (Kravis Center Dream Awards: Celebrating High School Musical Theater Excellence; West Palm Beach, FL)

Tickets for the 7:30 PM ceremony can be purchased by visiting or For more information, visit

Go Inside the 2017 Jimmy Awards Hosted By Tony Winner Ben Platt

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