8th Annual Illinois High School Musical Theatre Awards To Be Held May 6 at Broadway Playhouse

Broadway In Chicago is delighted to announce that the eighth annual Illinois High School Musical Theatre Awards (IHSMTA) will be held at the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place (175 E. Chestnut) on Monday, May 6, 2019, hosted by NBC 5’s entertainment reporter LeeAnn Trotter and sponsored by CHICAGO THE MUSICAL (which will play at the Cadillac Palace Theatre from May 7-12). The Illinois chapter of The Jimmy Awards® (National High School Musical Theatre Awards) – one of the largest programs in the country – serves as an annual national celebration of outstanding achievement in musical theater performance by high school students.

Twenty-four nominees (12 actors and 12 actresses) will participate in a workshop led by a CHICAGO THE MUSICAL cast member, perform on stage at the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place and compete in front of a panel of casting agents and theatre professionals. The top two performers (Best Actor and Best Actress award recipients) will receive an all-expense paid trip to New York City to participate in a performance enrichment program and represent the state of Illinois at The Jimmy Awards®, on Broadway. Additional Awards including:  Best Production (presented by Guardian Music Travel), Best Direction, and Best Scenic Design (presented by Sound, Production & Lighting) will be presented to participating schools. This year, two new categories will also be added: Best Choreography and Best Ensemble.

All 24 nominated students in the program will receive tickets to CHICAGO THE MUSICAL.The Illinois High School Musical Theatre Awards have proven to be a stepping stone for young performers, with several appearing in Broadway productions. Nathan Salstone (2012 IHSMTA Best Actor) is currently performing in HARRY POTTER & THE CURSED CHILD, and John Clay III (2013 IHSMTA Best Actor) made his Broadway debut this year in CHOIR BOY. Other Illinois winners have also been successful at The Jimmy Awards®: Jonah Rawitz (2014 IHSMTA Best Actor) was awarded the 2014 Jimmy® Award for Best Performance by an Actor, Cecilia Trippiedi (2016 IHSMTA Best Actress) was awarded the 2016 Jimmy® Award for Best Dancer, and Darian Goulding (2018 IHSMTA Best Actor) was a 2018 Jimmy® Award finalist.

The 72 participating high schools involved in the program are given opportunities to see Broadway In Chicago shows and receive invitations to special events throughout the year. Recently, students performed with the cast of DEAR EVAN HANSEN (including the star of the National Tour Ben Levi Ross) at Broadway In Chicago’s Summer Concert at Millennium Park, in addition to performing with HAMILTON Chicago Company’s Miguel Cervantes (Alexander Hamilton) at the Illinois Bicentennial Birthday Party at Navy Pier.


Addison Trail High School

Barrington High School

Benet Academy

Bloomington High School

Bolingbrook High School

Bradley Bourbonnais Community High School

Byron High School

Canton High School

Carl Sandburg High School

Cary-Grove High School

Burlington Central High School

Chicago Academy for the Arts

Chicago Christian High School

Coal City High School

Crystal Lake Central High School

Crystal Lake South High School

Deerfield High School

Downers Grove North High School

Dundee Crown High School

Dunlap High School

Evergreen Park High School

Farmington Central High School

Fenwick High School

Frankfort Community High School

Geneva Community High School

Glenbard South High School

Glenbard West High School

Grant Community High School

Grayslake Central High School

Hampshire High School

Harry D. Jacobs High School

Hinsdale South High School

Homewood-Flossmoor High School

John Hersey High School

Kaneland High School

Lane Tech High School

Larkin High School

Leyden High Schools

Libertyville High School

Lincoln-Way East High School

Lincoln-Way West High School

Loyola Academy

Mahomet-Seymour High School

Maine East High School

Maine South High School

Minooka Community High School

Moline High School

Mother McAuley High School

Normal Community High School

Northside College Prep

Oak Park and River Forest High School

Palatine High School

Prairie Ridge High School

Providence Catholic High School

Riverside Brookfield High School

Rosary High School

Saint Ignatius College Prep

South Elgin High School

St. Charles East High School

Sterling High School

Stevenson High School

The Chicago High School for the Arts

Thornton Fractional North High School

Thornton Fractional South High School

Thornwood High School

Trinity High School

Vernon Hills High School

Wauconda High School

Westminster Christian School

William Fremd High School

William Howard Taft High School

York Community High School

The Jimmy Awards®/The National High School Musical Theatre Awards® (NHSMTA®) program impacts more than 100,000 students who participate in high school musical theatre competitions sponsored by presenters of Touring Broadway productions throughout the United States. Presented by the Broadway League Foundation, the program sends a Best Actress and Best Actor winner from each of these competitions to New York for a week-long theatre intensive of coaching and rehearsals with industry professionals in preparation for a one-night-only talent showcase on Broadway. Named for Broadway impresario James M. Nederlander, the program has been the catalyst for more than $2,000,000 in educational scholarships. The eleventh annual Jimmy Awards will take place on Monday, June 24, 2019 at the Minskoff Theatre on Broadway. Coaching and rehearsals for this one-of-a-kind event will be held Monday, June 17, 2019 through Monday, June 24, 2019 in New York City. For more information, please visit www.JimmyAwards.com.

NBC 5 (WMAQ-TV) is the owned NBC station in Chicago. Originally WNBQ, the station’s current call letters, WMAQ-TV, were established in 1964. During NBC 5 Chicago’s rich history, the station pioneered a number of television “firsts.” On April 15, 1956, NBC 5 became the world’s first all-color TV station. In September of 1986, NBC 5 became the first Chicago commercial station to broadcast in stereo. In 1989, NBC 5 was the first Chicago station to present closed captioning of all local newscasts. Currently, NBC 5 airs over 37 hours of local news per week in HD on its core channel and the latest news, weather and streamed original content on NBCCHICAGO.COM and the NBC Chicago Mobile App.

The host of the eighth annual Illinois High School Musical Theatre Awards, LeeAnn Trotter, is NBC 5’s entertainment reporter, covering everything from restaurants to celebrities to what’s happening around town. She also contributes regular “Making a Difference” segments. This Chicago native joined NBC 5 in December 2005, after working at CLTV for eight years. There, she anchored the weekend news and hosted the award-winning entertainment show, “Metromix: The TV Show,” which earned her a local Emmy and several nominations for Best On Camera Performance. Prior to working at CLTV, she was the News and Public Affairs Director at WUSN-FM, where she reported news on the morning show and hosted, “Chicago Up Close,” a weekly public affairs show.  She also worked at FOX News, WGN Radio and WBBM Newsradio.


CHICAGO THE MUSICAL is the #1 Longest Running American Musical and the winner of six 1997 Tony Awards®, including Best Musical Revival, and the Grammy Award® for Best Musical Cast Recording. Set amidst the razzle-dazzle decadence of the 1920s, CHICAGO THE MUSICAL is the story of Roxie Hart, a housewife and nightclub dancer who murders her on-the-side lover after he threatens to walk out on her. Desperate to avoid conviction, she dupes the public, the media and her rival cellmate, Velma Kelly, by hiring Chicago’s slickest criminal lawyer to transform her malicious crime into a barrage of sensational headlines, the likes of which might just as easily be ripped from today’s tabloids. CHICAGO THE MUSICAL will play the Cadillac Palace Theatre May 7-12 starring NFL Legend and Heisman Trophy winner Eddie George as “Billy Flynn,” following a successful limited engagement in the same role on Broadway in 2016.

Guardian Music Travel is a company that specializes in student group travel across the United States and abroad. This educator founded and operated company provides the finest service in the industry at the best price.  The company has thrived using its model of teachers working with the Guardian staff of educators to create custom itineraries and wonderful educational experiences.  Guardian’s theatre groups have loved the New York City packages including Broadway shows and workshops with professional and teachers. For more information, visit www.gmgtravel.com.

Sound, Production & Lighting (SPL) is a full-service event production and system installation company.  We provide production services for corporate meetings, galas and fundraising parties, marketing activations, and anything between – we’re always up for a challenge. We offer permanent installation services for a variety of venues in fields such as live performance, education, worship, and hospitality. Our goal for any project is to provide an unparalleled experience and service. https://www.splchicago.com/

Broadway In Chicago was created in July 2000 and over the past 19 years has grown to be one of the largest commercial touring homes in the country.  A Nederlander Presentation, Broadway In Chicago lights up the Chicago Theater District entertaining more than 1.7 million people annually in five theatres. Broadway In Chicago presents a full range of entertainment, including musicals and plays, on the stages of five of the finest theatres in Chicago’s Loop including the Cadillac Palace Theatre, CIBC Theatre, James M. Nederlander Theatre, and just off the Magnificent Mile, the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place and presenting Broadway shows at the Auditorium Theatre.

Broadway In Chicago proudly celebrates 2019 as the Year of Chicago Theatre.

For more information, visit www.BroadwayInChicago.com.  Facebook @BroadwayInChicago ● Twitter @broadwaychicago ● Instagram @broadwayinchicago ● #broadwayinchicago