July 1, 2013
Contact: Dan Dutcher (917-566-8413)
Kristin Archbold (412-281-3973 x 221)
SARAH LYNN MARION AND TAYLOR VARGA
WIN 5th ANNUAL NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL THEATER AWARDS
(New York, NY) July 1, 2013 - Two students were presented with Jimmy™ Awards for Best Performance by an Actress and Best Performance by an Actor on Monday, July 1 at Broadway's Minskoff Theatre at the 5th AnnualNational High School Musical Theater Awards (NHSMTA). The winners were Sarah Lynn Marion, representing the John Raitt Awards for Youth (JRAY) and Taylor Varga, representing Connecticut High School Musical Theater Awards.
Each student received $10,000 from the Nederlander Organization to further her and his education and will be eligible for four-year merit and need-based scholarship assistance to attend the New Studio on Broadway, NYU Tisch School of the Arts Department of Drama, contingent upon acceptance into the program.
Five runners-up each received a $2,500 scholarship toward their future education from the Barry and Fran Weissler Foundation. These winners were Michael Burrell, Mission Viejo, CA; Jillian Caillouette, Norwich, CT; Austin Crute, Atlanta, GA; Martha Hellerman, Madison, WI; and Eva Maria Noblezada, Charlotte, NC.
Three additional awards were presented to Billy Krager, Madison, WI (Best Performance in an Ensemble), Jillian Caillouette, Norwich, CT (Most Improved), and Brian Baylor, East Lansing, MI (Spirit of the Jimmy Awards). Another student, McKenzie Kurtz, Atlanta, GA; was selected to attend Carnegie Mellon University's 6-week Pre-College Drama program.
The ceremony was hosted by the Tony® Award-nominated stars of Rodgers + Hammerstein's CINDERELLA, Laura Osnes (Cinderella) and Santino Fontana (the Prince.) The production was directed by Van Kaplan and choreographed by Kiesha Lalama, with musical direction by Michael Moricz.
The awards presentation featured performances by all 62 participants and solos by select finalists. Nominees qualified to compete in the national program by winning top honors this year at 31 regional high school musical awards competitions - annual events involve more than 50,000 teens in cities across America and are sponsored by the country's leading performing arts organizations. (Click here for the list of participating organizations.)
The Jimmy™ Award, named in honor of James M. Nederlander-the legendary Broadway theater owner and producer, was presented following 5-days of rehearsals and private coaching with faculty at the New Studio on Broadway, NYU Tisch School of the Arts Department of Drama and other professionals.Students also enjoyed discussions with Tony®-nominated composer Benj Pasek, Kirstin Tucker (Assistant Dance Captain, Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella), and iconic theater artist Charles Busch. The students also took in a performance of Annie and had a talkback with the cast.
Jimmy™ Award winners were selected by a panel of Broadway brass including Scott Ellis (Roundabout Theatre Company); Kent Gash (New Studio on Broadway, NYU Tisch School of the Arts Department of Drama); Tony® Award-nominee Montego Glover (Memphis); Rachel Hoffman (Telsey +Co);Alecia Parker (NAMCO); Nick Scandalios (Nederlander Organization); andBernie Telsey (Telsey + Co).
Founded in 2009, NHSMTA's mission is to raise the profile of musical theater in schools, recognize dedicated teachers and inspire the next generation of performers and enthusiasts. The program has been the catalyst for more than $760,000 in educational scholarships made available to deserving students. NHSMTA is produced by the Broadway Education Alliance and Pittsburgh CLO and is supported by many leading theater industry organizations including The Broadway League, BWF (Weissler) Foundation, Disney Theatrical Productions, Jujamcyn Theatres, Music Theatre International, the Nederlander Organization, NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization, Samuel French Library, Shubert Organization, Tams-Witmark Music Library, Inc., Ticketmaster and others. The "Jimmy Award" is named for legendary Broadway producer/theater owner James M. Nederlander. To learn more about the National High School Musical Theater Awards and/or to make a donation to the program, please visit nhsmta.com.
WHO'S WHO IN THE PROJECT
BROADWAY EDUCATION ALLIANCE(BEA) is a 501.c3 organization that serves as an independent catalyst for the development and implementation of national programs that serve local performing arts organizations and supporttheatre arts education and cultural studies for audiences of all ages. The National High School Musical Theater Awards is the organization's first national coalition presented to inspire creativity, build confidence, and stimulate critical thinking in American's youth. For more information, visit www.BroadwayEducationAlliance.org.
PITTSBURGH CLO has been a driving force behind the preservation, creation and promotion of live musical theater since 1946. As one of the largest regional musical theater organizations in the United States, Pittsburgh CLO is fortunate for the support of nearly 200,000 patrons each year. In addition to producing fresh new productions of Broadway classics, the non-for-profit's mission is to develop new works and showcase new talent. The organization's dedication to the musical theater art form extends beyond its main-stage season with the CLO Cabaret Theater, the Pittsburgh CLO Academy of Musical Theater, the Construction Center for the Arts, and the acclaimed Gene Kelly Awards for Excellence in High School Musical Theater, a 23 year-old program.
NYU TISCH SCHOOL OF THE ARTS DEPARTMENT OF DRAMA integrates a combination of rigorous professional theatre training and broad-ranging academic education. In partnership with some of the country's foremost professional theatre training institutions, the program offers comprehensive theatre courses in acting, directing, musical performance, design, and theatre production. The program also offers an expansive and innovative academic curriculum. The faculty is composed of nationally and internationally recognized theatre artists, scholars, and theorists. The curriculum is further enriched by required courses in the humanities and social sciences. An extensive internship program connects students to the professional theatre community of New York City. The program is complemented by challenging and innovative productions that welcome guest artists from a range of culture and artistic perspectives. Graduates of the program include Alec Baldwin '94, Kristen Bell '02, Raúl Esparza '92, Philip Seymour Hoffman '89, Bryce Dallas Howard '03, Felicity Huffman '88, Dan Jinks '85, Moisés Kaufman '89, John Leguizamo '83, Michael Longoria '02, Idina Menzel '93, Molly Shannon '87, and Chandra Wilson '91.