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Six Industry Coaches Will Mentor Seventy-Four High School Students From Across America

THE JIMMY® AWARDS is pleased to announce the industry coaches for the ninth annual awards ceremony on Monday, June 26th at 7:30PM at the Minskoff Theatre, 200 West 45th Street in Manhattan. The six coaches – ANDREA BURNS, RANDY GRAFF, ADAM KANTOR, SCHELE KLEINBERGER, MICHAEL MCELROY, and HOWARD MCGILLIN – will mentor the seventy-four high school students from across America as they compete for the Jimmy Award for Best Performance by an Actor and Actress.

The two-hour talent showcase will feature dynamic ensemble and solo performances and will be hosted by 2017 Tony Award® winner BEN PLATT, currently starring in Dear Evan Hansen on Broadway.

The Jimmy Award nominees will prepare for their Broadway debut during a nine-day professional training intensive with NYU Tisch School of the Arts' New Studio on Broadway faculty members plus other theatre professionals.


ANDREA BURNS is a Drama Desk Award winner and earned an Outer Critics Circle nomination for her show-stopping performance as Gloria Fajardo in On Your Feet! Broadway audiences also know her as “Daniela” from the original cast of In The Heights. Also on Broadway: The Nance, Beauty and the Beast, The Full Monty, The Ritz. Off-Broadway: the original cast of Jason Robert Brown’s Songs for a New World and Stephen Sondheim’s Saturday Night. Film: Akron. TV: Blue Bloods, Jessica Jones, Law & Order: SVU, The Electric Company, Rescue Me, Mindhunter. Andréa’s solo album, A Deeper Shade of Red, is available at psclassics.com.

RANDY GRAFF received the coveted Tony and Drama Desk Awards for her role in City of Angels as well as Outer Critics, Drama Desk and Tony Award Nominations for her work in A Class Act. Randy has the distinction of creating the role of Fantine in the original Broadway production of Les Misérables for which she received a Helen Hayes Award nomination. Also on Broadway, she starred opposite Alfred Molina in Fiddler on the Roof, Laughter on the 23rd Floor with Nathan Lane, Moon Over Buffalo opposite Carol Burnett and in Falsettos, High Society and Grease. Randy is on the musical theatre faculty at Manhattan School of Music and NYU Tisch/New Studio On Broadway.

ADAM KANTOR most recently played the role of Motel Kamzoil in the critically acclaimed Broadway revival of Fiddler on the Roof directed by Bartlett Sher. Adam made his Broadway debut playing Mark in the final cast of Rent which was preserved on DVD by Sony Pictures' Rent: Filmed Live on Broadway. He reunited with Rent director Michael Greif in Next to Normal on Broadway, in which he played Henry. Adam played Jamie in the acclaimed NYC revival of The Last Five Years, directed by its writer Jason Robert Brown, starring opposite Betsy Wolfe at Second Stage.

SCHELE KLEINBERGER is a Brooklyn-based director committed to cultivating new musicals, as well as directing and producing devised work. Her Broadway credits include: Associate director of Motown The Musical, and is currently Director of the 2017 National Tour. She was the Associate Choreographer for Rent on Broadway. Passionate about pairing social justice with the arts, Schele has directed numerous Broadway benefits, including: Uprising of Love (starring Sting and Patti LuPone) for global equality, Defying Inequality (starring Liza Minnelli and Ben Vereen), a benefit for marriage equality for which she received a New York City proclamation, and From Broadway to Bourbon Street (starring Bernadette Peters and David Hyde Pierce), a benefit for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. She is also an adjunct professor at New Studio on Broadway NYU.

MICHAEL MCELROY’s credits as a performer include:  Broadway:  Sunday in the Park with George (2017 revival), Next to Normal, Rent, The Wild Party, Big River (Tony nomination 2004, Drama Desk nomination), The Who's Tommy, Miss Saigon, Patti LuPone on Broadway, High Roller Social Pleasure Club.  As a vocal arranger Michael’s work on Broadway includes:  Disaster!, Street Corner Symphony.  Encores City Center:  Sunday in the Park with George, Faust, Hair. New York Philharmonic: Candide. Michael is the Founder/Musical Director and Arranger for Broadway Inspirational Voices. Michael is Associate Chair of Professional Training in the Department of Drama as well as Head of Vocal Performance in the New Studio on Broadway in Tisch School of the Arts at New York University.

HOWARD MCGILLIN is best known for his record-setting performance in the title role of The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway, Howard has appeared extensively in leading roles on Broadway and London’s West End. Other leading roles on Broadway include Gigi, The Kiss Of The Spider Woman, She Loves Me, The Secret Garden, Anything Goes (for which he earned Tony and Drama Desk nominations), The Mystery of Edwin Drood (Tony and Drama Desk nominations, received the Theatre World Award), and Sunday in the Park with George. He was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for his New York theatrical debut in the New York Shakespeare Festival's production of La Bohème.

Winners will be 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, ALECIA PARKER, TARA RUBIN, and BERNIE TELSEY. Additional judges include PAUL CANAAN, WAYNE CILENTO, TARA RUBIN, STEPHANIE KLAPPER, and CESAR ROCHA.

Student performers qualify to participate 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) 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.

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

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. Also known as The Jimmy Awards, in honor of legendary Broadway producer/theatre owner James M. Nederlander, the NHSMTA is supported by many leading theatre industry organizations. More information about the National High School Musical Theatre Awards can be found at JIMMYAWARDS.COM