Broadway In Chicago is pleased to announce that the fifth annual Illinois High School Musical Theatre Awards will feature a workshop with Kerstin Anderson, star of THE SOUND OF MUSIC National Tour. The Illinois High School Musical Theatre Awards will be held at the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place (175 E Chestnut) on Monday, June 6, 2016. Sponsored by THE SOUND OF MUSIC and Grosh Backdrops & Drapery, the Illinois chapter of the National High School Musical Theatre Awards serves as an annual national celebration of outstanding achievement in musical theater performance by high school students.

Kerstin Anderson (Maria Rainer) had just completed her sophomore year at Pace University in pursuit of a BFA in Musical Theater when she was offered the remarkable opportunity to play Maria—and see America! This past year she played Clara in the Pace production of The Light in the Piazza directed by Victoria Clark. Other Pace credits include The Visit (Annie, dir. John Doyle). Regional credits include My Name is Annie King (Mav, Scene Space) and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (Shy, The Forestburgh Playhouse).

THE SOUND OF MUSIC director Jack O’Brien had this to say about his leading lady, “I’ve always believed Maria was a ‘star-making’ part, rather than the leading role we remember from the movies and our experience; so I went looking for someone with star-making magic. And in through the audition door one day walked Kerstin Anderson, still studying at Pace University in New York. She opened her mouth, she sang, and the tears welled up in my eyes.

“If ever there were an enchanting young woman standing on the brink of discovery — this was it! And now, the discovery is about to be all of ours! Please, as I do — welcome her!”

In addition to the workshop, finalists will receive tickets to THE SOUND OF MUSIC in Chicago (playing at the Cadillac Palace Theatre June 7-19). Finalists will perform for a panel of casting agents and theater professionals on stage at the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place on June 6, 2016. The top two Illinois performers (one actor and one actress) will be invited to attend the National High School Musical Theatre Awards with an all-expense paid trip to New York City.

An award for Best Production will be presented to a participating school, and the Grosh Scenic Design Award will be presented to a participating school for achievement in outstanding scenic design.

For more information on both awards and complete rules and regulations, visit For more information on National High School Musical Theatre Awards, also known as The Jimmy Awards, visit


The National High School Musical Theatre Awards (NHSMTA) impacts more than 50,000 students annually who participate in high school musical theatre competitions sponsored by top professional theatres throughout the United States. A Best Actress and Best Actor winner from each of these competitions is sent to New York for a weeklong theatre intensive of coaching and rehearsals with industry professionals in preparation for a one-night-only showcase on Broadway, where a panel of judges crowns the nation’s top performers. Also known as The Jimmy™ Awards, named for Broadway impresario James M. Nederlander, the program has been the catalyst for more than $1,000,000 in educational scholarships. In 2012, the program inspired preeminent broadcaster WGBH Boston to produce a 3-part documentary series called “Broadway or Bust,” which follows students on a journey from their hometown competitions to their debut on Broadway. The series remains popular viewing at Presented by The Broadway League Foundation, the eighth annual National High School Musical Theatre Awards will take place in late June 2016 in New York City. For more information, please visit



THE HILLS ARE ALIVE! A brand new production of THE SOUND OF MUSIC, directed by three-time Tony Award® winner Jack O’Brien, is coming to Chicago’s Cadillac Palace Theatre. The spirited, romantic and beloved musical story of Maria and the von Trapp Family will once again thrill audiences with its Tony®, Grammy® and Academy Award® winning Best Score, including “My Favorite Things,”“Do-Re-Mi,”“Climb Ev’ry Mountain,”“Edelweiss” and the title song.

THE SOUND OF MUSIC features music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse, suggested by “The Trapp Family Singers” by Maria Augusta Trapp.

THE SOUND OF MUSIC enjoyed extraordinary success as the first live television production of a musical in over 50 years when “The Sound of Music Live!” aired on NBC in December, 2013 and was seen by over 44 million people. 2015 marked the 50th anniversary of the film version, which continues to be the most successful movie musical in history.

Tickets for THE SOUND OF MUSIC at the Cadillac Palace Theatre are on sale now. Group tickets for 10 or more are available by calling Broadway In Chicago Group Sales at (312) 977-1710. Tickets are available at all Broadway In Chicago Box Offices (24 W. Randolph St., 151 W. Randolph St., 18 W. Monroe St. and 175 E. Chestnut), the Broadway In Chicago Ticket Line at (800) 775-2000, all Ticketmaster retail locations and online at


Grosh Backdrops & Drapery supplies schools and theaters with an extensive selection of backdrops and drapery at the most competitive pricing. A choice of sizes and beautiful scenes help you enhance any production. Two warehouse locations reduce shipping times and cost. Visit us online to view our entire inventory of 5,000 products in 75 unique categories, check pricing and availability, and to reserve your order today at


Broadway In Chicago was created in July 2000 and over the past 16 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 its newly named The PrivateBank Theatre, the Oriental Theatre, Cadillac Palace Theatre, the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University and just off the Magnificent Mile, the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place.

The 2015 Illinois High School Musical Theatre Award recipients were Ben Love of Byron, IL (Best Actor), Grace Etzkorn of Lisle, IL (Best Actress) and Joliet West High School for their production of INTO THE WOODS (Best Scenic Design).

Kerstin Anderson as 'Maria Rainer' and the von Trapp children. From left clockwise: Audrey Bennett (Gretl), Maria Knasel (Louisa), Mackenzie Currie (Marta), Paige Silvester (Liesl), Svea Johnson (Brigitta), Erich Schuett (Friedrich), Quinn Erickson (Kurt) THE SOUND OF MUSIC Photo: Matthew Murphy

Kerstin Anderson as ‘Maria Rainer’ and the von Trapp children.
From left clockwise: Audrey Bennett (Gretl), Maria Knasel (Louisa), Mackenzie Currie (Marta), Paige Silvester (Liesl), Svea Johnson (Brigitta), Erich Schuett (Friedrich), Quinn Erickson (Kurt)
Photo: Matthew Murphy