The National High School Musical Theater Awards

Frequently Asked Questions


What is The National High School Musical Theater Awards? ?
The National High School Musical Theater Awards (NHSMTA) is a national celebration of outstanding student achievement recognizing individual artistry in vocal, dance and acting performance. The program aims to create a pathway connecting promising young performers to the professional theater industry. The program is the year-end culmination of awards programs across the country presented by dozens of professional theater organizations. Finalists in New York were named Best Actress or Best Actor at a regional competition, representing approximately 1,000 schools. While in New York City, participants experience five days of private coaching, master classes and rehearsals with theater professionals. Their week’s journey concludes with a panel of industry experts selecting exceptional students for The Jimmy™ for Best Performance by an Actress and Actor. Students receive opportunities for merit scholarships, professional advancement and other prizes.

What year did NHSMTA start?
The National High School Musical Theater Awards was established in 2009. 2014 marks our sixth "class" of students.

Who founded NHSMTA?
Pittsburgh CLO and Nederlander Alliances, LLC founded NHSMTA.

Why Pittsburgh CLO and Nederlander Alliances LLC?
Pittsburgh CLO, founded in 1946, is one of the country’s leading non-for-profit producers of musical theater. The organization’s educational efforts include its Gene Kelly Awards, which, at 23 years old, is one of the oldest high school musical programs in the country. The Gene Kelly Awards competition involves dozens of high schools and is the prototype for other programs like it in the US. At the Gene Kelly Awards, students win college scholarships and prize monies. Pittsburgh CLO wanted to use the “playbook” of its own successful regional competition to create a national program involving theater organizations across the country. Nederlander Alliances, LLC was looking for an educational program to honor the legacy of legendary theater owner producer James M. Nederlander. These two industry leaders united in a common mission to nurture future artists and audiences.

Who is the Jimmy™ Award named for?
The Jimmy™ is named for legendary Broadway theater owner and producer James M. Nederlander, or “Jimmy” as he is known on Broadway. Mr. Nederlander is the Chairman of the Nederlander Producing Company of America Inc., the owner/operator of a vast chain of theatres, including 9 Broadway houses, and a producer of distinguished entertainment for more than 70 years. Jimmy and his son, James L. Nederlander, also present Broadway shows in Chicago, Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside, San Jose, Tucson, Durham and London. The Broadway League recently presented Jimmy with the Schoenfeld Vision for Arts Education Award for establishing The National High School Musical Theater Awards.

Has NHSMTA been endorsed nationally?
NHSMTA has been recognized by The National Endowment for the Arts, The Broadway League, The Shubert Organization and other industry organizations and foundations committed to nurturing future artists and audiences.

Who are the major sponsors of NHSMTA?
Click here for a list of 2014 donors.

Where is NHSMTA held?
The event takes place in New York City. Students are housed and attend classes and rehearsals on the campus of New York University. The 2014 Jimmy™ Awards ceremony took place on Monday, June 30th at the the Minskoff Theatre at 200 W. 45th St. in Times Square.

Why is NHSMTA held in NYC?
Because “Broadway” is the heart of the theater industry in the United States, and due to the vast resources available there, New York became the logical host city.

How many high school musical competitions exist throughout the US?
There are more than 30 programs in the US.

How many high school musical competitions participate in NHSMTA?
Twenty-eight programs participated in the 2014 NHSMTA.

How do High School Awards programs qualify to participate in NHSMTA?
Participating Awards Programs are required to be a member of The Broadway League. Each Participating Awards Program sponsors two student representatives to compete at at “The Nationals” in New York.

How many students are participating in NHSMTA?
In 2014, 56 students (28 girls and 28 boys) participated in the program in New York. These students were the Best Actress and Best Actor winners of their 2012-2013 local competitions.

Approximately how many high schools are represented?
We estimate that more than 50,000 students at 1,000 high schools were represented by our 28 participating programs in 2014.

How did NYU become involved in NHSMTA?
NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts has one of the most prestigious theater programs in the country. The university shares NHSMTA founders’ mission to nurture future artists who want to prepare for a life in the theater. Because the NHSMTA program is based in New York, NYU became an obvious choice as a partner.

What is NYU’s New Studio on Broadway: Music Theatre and Acting?
This newly created program is a professional theater-training studio offered to undergraduate students at NYU Tisch School of the Arts’ Department of Drama. New Studio work captures the present moment, drawing its energy from popular culture and the infinite possibilities of diverse global performance and art forms. Integrating rigorous training in acting, speech, singing, physical acting (movement), and dance and taking place in a brand-new, state-of-the-art facility, the New Studio’s four-year program reaches beyond a single methodology to offer young actors instruction in all the disciplines essential to the performer’s craft. It equally engages the American musical, the classical acting canon and new contemporary plays and musicals, preparing students for opportunities to perform in traditional Broadway musical productions as well as in emerging plays, music and performance forms. New Studio is deeply committed to developing each student’s distinctive voice and the skills necessary to sustain a career at play with global audiences on stage, in music theater, and in whatever forms and mediums lie beyond.

What prizes were given out at the Jimmy™ Awards?

Prizes and scholarships will vary by year. Scholorships for 2015 have not been announced.

Scholarships in 2014 included the opportunity for merit and need-based assistance to attend NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, New Studio on Broadway: Acting and Music Theatre contingent upon acceptance into the New Studio and New York University.

In 2043, NYU provided the Best Performance by an Actress and Best Performance by an Actor winners of the Jimmy™ Award with the opportunity to go through the application process (both academic and artistic) at New York University, Tisch School of the Arts for possible acceptance into the New Studio On Broadway: Music Theatre and Acting. 2014 Jimmy™ Award winners were eligible for both merit, recognizing their accomplishments as Jimmy Award winners, and need based scholarship assistance to NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts Department of Drama at the New Studio On Broadway: Music Theatre and Acting. The amount of the guaranteed merit based scholarship was $5,000 per year, for 4-years. Winners are also be eligible for need-based aid and must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as required by New York University. The amount of scholarship assistance beyond the merit based aid is based on financial need, and the maximum amount available including the merit portion was $20,000 per year. If winners were not accepted into the Tisch School of the Arts, no scholarship assistance was awarded. High School seniors who had already applied to TSOA Department of Drama and had been accepted were eligible for scholarship support beginning in the fall. If they had not applied to Tisch Drama they could defer their admission to their chosen school for a year while they apply to NYU Tisch or they can transfer after a year. Rising senior students who wished to attend NYU were encouraged to apply to NYU Tisch School of the Arts Undergraduate Drama, in advance of the NHSMTA, and complete the Audition/Artistic review process. If a student had not done so, in the event that they won the Jimmy™ Award, they would not be scholarship eligible until the beginning of the academic year in the fall of 2015. The NYU Department of Drama reserves the right to offer scholarships to finalists who are assessed as demonstrating exceptional ability by Tisch Drama Faculty. As a result, a scholarship may be awarded to a high school student with Junior Standing or a Senior who is willing to delay entry to NYU until the fall of 2014. Each scholarship winner must timely complete and submit an application to the undergraduate drama program at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts to receive the scholarship.

What is the correct way to refer to NHSMTA?
The program is referred to as:
The National High School Musical Theater Awards. 
The awards ceremony is called the Jimmy™ Awards. 
The NHS Musical Theater Awards™ is the incorporated name of the program.

Who is the spokesperson for NHSMTA?
All press inquiries should be directed to press@nhsmta.com
For Pittsburgh CLO: Van Kaplan, vkaplan@pittsburghCLO.org
For Nederlander Alliances, LLC: Susan Lee, slee@nederlander.com 

Who do I contact if I’d like to make a donation to NHSMTA?
Wynne Fedele at 412-281-3973
Email: wfedele@nhsmta.com

Who do I contact if I’d like to participate in 2015?
Melissa Caolo
Email: Project-Manager@NHSMTA.com

What is the Web site address of NHSMTA?
www.nhsmta.com

What is the mailing address and contact information of NHSMTA?
NHSMTA c/o Camp Broadway
226 West 47th Street, 9th Floor
New York, NY 10036
Phone: 212-575-2101
Email: Project-Manager@NHSMTA.com
 

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