IMG_20140527_161307In celebration of outstanding achievement in high school musical theater performances,Broadway In Chicago is thrilled to announce the award recipients of the Third Annual Illinois High School Musical Theater AwardsJonah Rawitz of Buffalo Grove, IL (Adlai E. Stevenson High School) and Julia Lindsey Whitcomb of Belvidere, IL (Belvidere North High School) who will represent the state of Illinois at The Jimmy™ Awards in New York on June 30, 2014.

Coal City High School was awarded the Grosh Scenic Design Award, a newly-established honor for High School Musical Scenic Design, for their production of SHREK THE MUSICAL.

Broadway In Chicago crafted a full day of workshops with theatre professionals for the twenty-four finalists that culminated in a performance on stage at the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place.  During the day, finalists auditioned for a panel of casting agents and theater professionals who chose the recipients of performance awards, as well as the newly-established honor for High School Musical Scenic Design, The Grosh Scenic Design Award.

In addition to the day of workshops featuring the Associate Choreographer of NEWSIES, the twenty-four finalists will receive tickets to see NEWSIES in Chicago (playing the Oriental Theatre Dec. 10, 2014 – Jan. 4, 2015).

Award recipient Julia Lindsey Whitcomb said, “Going to New York and performing on a Broadway stage seemed so impossible, and so far away that when I heard my name, I legitimately thought it was a mistake…too good to be true! I feel incredibly blessed!”

Jonah Rawitz added, “I am blown away by this once in a lifetime opportunity, and I feel very humble to have been part of such a talented group of students.”

Jonah-Rawitz-HeadshotJonah Rawitz and Julia Lindsey Whitcomb will be provided with an all-expense paid trip to participate in a performance enrichment program, representing the state of Illinois at the National High School Musical Theater Awards, on Broadway, on Monday, June 30, 2014. The National High School Musical Theater Awards, also known as The Jimmy™ Awards, are named for legendary Broadway theater owner and producer James M. Nederlander. Broadway In Chicago is a Nederlander presentation, and is excited to join the network of theatres across the country participating in The Jimmys™.

The National High School Musical Theater Awards (NHSMTA) was established in 2009 to elevate the importance of theater arts education in schools and reward excellence in student performance. The program impacts more than 50,000 students annually who participate in high school musical theater competitions sponsored by top professional theaters throughout the United States. Each year, winners of these competitions are flown to New York City to compete at Nationals.

The sixth annual National High School Musical Theater Awards will take place on Monday, June 30, 2014 when students will give it their all at The Jimmy™ Awards showcase at the Minskoff Theatre on Broadway. During this one-of-a-kind event, a panel of judges will choose two students for the coveted awards of Best Performance by an Actor and Best Performance by an Actress. Rehearsals for the National High School Musical Theater Awards will take placeWednesday, June 25, through Tuesday, July 1, 2014. The week’s rigorous schedule will include group rehearsals and individual vocal and acting coaching by Broadway industry professionals, visits from special guests and discussions with working actors, a night out in Times Square for dinner and a Broadway show, and on the final day of the program, a session with casting agency Telsey & Co.


Since its inception, NHSMTA has been the catalyst for more $1,000,000 in educational scholarships awarded to deserving young performers. Also known as The Jimmy™ Awards, named for Broadway impresario James M. Nederlander, this year-round program is administered by the Broadway Education Alliance (BEA) a New York based non-profit corporation dedicated to supporting initiatives that inspire creativity, build confidence and stimulate critical thinking in America’s youth. NHSMTA is BEA’s first national initiative.


The depth, scope and education centric mission of NHSMTA coupled with its extensive television and media exposure has made participating in the program an aspiration for a growing number of high schools. Based on feedback from participating theaters, school administrators are now directing both human and financial resources to improve the quality of theater arts education in their districts. This renewed enthusiasm for the performing arts in schools is already helping to invigorate local theaters and the communities they serve. For more information, please

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Broadway In Chicago was created in July 2000 and over the past 14 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 well up to 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 Bank of America Theatre, Oriental Theatre, Cadillac Palace Theatre, the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University and just off the Magnificent Mile, the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place.