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2017 Jimmy Awards Winners Announced

The winners of the ninth annual JIMMY® AWARDS were determined and announced last night, Monday, June 26, 2017, at the Minskoff Theatre on Broadway. This life-changing event was hosted by 2017 Tony Award® winner Ben Platt, currently starring on Broadway in Dear Evan Hansen

The coveted Jimmy Awards for Best Performance by an Actress and Best Performance by an Actor were presented to SOFIA DELER and TONY MORENO, both representing the Applause Awards in Orlando, FL.

The Jimmy Award is named in honor of the late James M. Nederlander, Chairman of Nederlander Producing Company of America. Both winners were presented with a check for $10,000 to further their education. They will also be eligible for a four-year merit and a need-based scholarship to attend the New Studio on Broadway, NYU Tisch School of the Arts Department of Drama, contingent upon acceptance into the program.

Six finalists each received a $2,500 scholarship toward their future education from the Barry and Fran Weissler Foundation:

  • Antonio Cipriano, Sutton Foster Ovation Awards (East Lansing, MI)
  • Maggie Gidden, Spirit of the MACY Awards (La Mirada, CA)
  • Nathan Keffer, Spotlight Awards - Nashville High School Musical Theatre Awards (Nashville, TN)
  • Hatty King, Spotlight Awards - Nashville High School Musical Theatre Awards (Nashville, TN)   
  • Sam Primack, ASU Gammage High School Musical Theater Awards (Tempe, AZ)
  • Jasmine Rogers, Tommy Tune Awards (Houston, TX)

Additional awards presented:

Best Dancer, presented by The Shubert Organization

  • Anna Hertel, The Blumey Awards (Charlotte, NC)                 

Best Performance in an Ensemble, presented by Disney Theatrical Group

  • Ian Hayes, The Kenny Awards (Buffalo, NY)    

Rising Star, presented by The John Gore Organization

  • Sky Frank, The San Diego Ben Vereen Awards (San Diego, CA)              

Spirit of the Jimmys, presented by Music Theatre International

  • Liz Valentin, Center Stage High School Musical Theater Awards (Appleton, WI)

Special Recognition Scholarships, presented by Tams-Witmark Music Library, Inc.

  • Seamus Foley, Iowa High School Musical Theater Awards (Des Moines, IA)
  • Sophia Rose Franklin, The Southern Arizona Ben Vereen Awards (Tucson, AZ)
  • Eric Gaydon, The Rita Moreno California High School Musical Honors (San Jose, CA)
  • Levi Hopkins, Utah High School Musical Theatre Awards (Logan, UT)
  • Jessica Lewis, Utah High School Musical Theatre Awards (Logan, UT)
  • Liz Valentin, Center Stage High School Musical Theater Awards (Appleton, WI)                            

6 Week Pre-College Drama Summer Program Scholarship, presented by Carnegie Mellon University

  • Sam Primack, ASU Gammage High School Musical Theater Awards (Tempe, AZ)         

During the ceremony, Brendan Jennings (Burbank, CA) and Larry Robinson (Monroe, NC) received the inaugural INSPIRING TEACHER AWARD presented by WELLS FARGO for the encouragement and inspiration that led their students to win the 2016 coveted Jimmy Awards for Best Performance by an Actress and Best Performance by an Actor.

Director, choreographer, and producer Kenny Ortega also made a special appearance at the ceremony and presented the week in review video.

Winners were selected by a panel of judges comprised of notable theatre professionals including Tony Award-winning producers, award-winning casting experts and industry professionals: Kent Gash, Montego Glover, Rachel Hoffman, Kevin McCollumAlecia Parker, Tara RubinBernard Telsey, and Charlotte Wilcox. Additional judges during the week were Paul Canaan, Wayne Cilento, Stephanie Klapper, Cesar Rocha, and Tara Rubin.
The production was directed by Van Kaplan and choreographed by Kiesha Lalama, with musical direction and arrangements by Michael Moricz.

This year, the awards presentation portion of the ceremony was streamed live on Facebook via the Jimmy Awards Facebook page.

Broadway stars Andréa BurnsRandy GraffAdam KantorMichael McElroyHoward McGillin, and Schele Williams served as coaches for the nominees in preparation for the ceremony.

The annual Broadway-focused talent showcase featured performances by all 74 nominees and solos by select finalists. Their debut on a Broadway stage followed eight 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 a performance of Come From Away, including a talkback with the cast. 

Student performers qualify to compete in the national program by winning top honors at regional high school musical theatre awards competitions presented by Broadway League member performing arts centers. Over 1,300 high schools and 50,000 students participate in these annual events. Since the inception of the National High School Musical Theatre Awards (NHSMTA) program in 2009, participating students have earned over $1,000,000 in university and conservatory scholarships. Several student participants have already been cast in Broadway, Touring and West End productions.

The NHSMTA are presented by the Broadway League Foundation. Founded in 2009 by Nederlander Alliances LLC, Pittsburgh CLO, and Broadway Education Alliance (BEA), NHSMTA's mission is to raise the profile of musical theatre in schools, recognize dedicated teachers and inspire the next generation of performers and enthusiasts. The NHSMTA program is supported by many leading theatre industry organizations. More information about the National High School Musical Theatre Awards program can be found at JIMMYAWARDS.COM.



2 – Number of shows host Ben Platt has starred in on Broadway

5 – Number of nominees returning to the Jimmy Awards for a second year

6 – Number of nominations for performances in The Addams Family, the most performed show among the nominees 

7 – Number of years the Jimmy Awards ceremony has taken place at the Minskoff Theatre, home of The Lion King

8 – Number of days nominees have to prepare for their final performance

9 – Number of years ago the Jimmy Awards were created

11 – Number of nominees visiting New York City for the first time

13 – Number of nominees that had never seen a Broadway show in New York City prior to this trip

14 – Number of kids from current Broadway shows in the audience

15 – Age of the youngest nominees

15 – Number of Tony nominations among the judges and coaches

21 – Number of states that the nominees represent

40 – Number of nominees that play musical instruments

43 – Number of different shows these students were nominated for

74 – Number of nominees for this year’s Jimmy Awards

800+ – Number of productions that the 74 nominees have performed in

1,300+ – Number of high schools that participate in regional high school musical theatre awards competitions

50,000+ – Estimated number of students nationwide who participated in qualifying shows from which the winners come to New York for the Jimmy Awards

$1,000,000+ – Scholarships earned by nominees throughout the nine years of the Jimmy Awards