Oak Park's John Clay III & St. Charles Taylor Marie Sherry On To New York


BROADWAY IN CHICAGO Finalists For The Second Annual Illinois High School Musical Theater Awards go to John Clay III from Oak Park & River Forest High School, and Taylor Marie Sherry, St. Charles, St. Charles North High School

Broadway Playhouse Monday, April 29th, 2013 held awards for 24 (12 young actors & 12 young actresses) and to compete for a chance to represent Illinois in The National High School Musical Theater Awards, "The Jimmy™ Awards," named after James M. Nederlander

ANYTHING GOES National Tour Cast Member Sean McKnight directed and coached Students during the day preparing them for the evenings performance. All Twenty-four finalists took to the stage to perform in the Second Annual Illinois High School Musical Theater Awards which celebrates outstanding achievement in high school musical theater performances.

The finalists auditioned in front of Chicago's top theatre professionals, including Eileen LaCario (Vice President of Broadway In Chicago), Sean McKnight (Anything Goes National Tour), Dominic Missimi (Former Director and Founder of Northwestern University’s Music Theater program), and Sam Samuelson (Film, Television and Theatre Agent, Stewart Talent). In addition to their day with the Broadway In Chicago team, all finalists received tickets to see ANYTHING GOES at the Cadillac Palace Theatre.

From the twenty-four finalists, John Clay III and was chosen to represent Illinois in the finals in New York. These two talented young stars 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, June 26 – July 2, 2013. On Monday, July 1, 2013, the students will perform at the Minskoff Theatre on Broadway where a panel of judges will choose two students for the coveted awards of Best Performance by an Actor and Best Performance by an Actress. 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 was excited to participate again with a network of theatres across the country participating in The Jimmys™.


Allison Atkenson , Palos Park, Amos Alonzo Stagg High School

Eyeri Cabrera-Loos, Chicago, The Chicago High School for the Arts

Joe Cavaiani, Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove High School

John Clay III, Oak Park, Oak Park River Forest High School

Jennifer Leigh Coren, Riverwoods, Deerfield High School

Brennan Davis, Edwardsville, Edwardsville High School

Claudia Dockery, Naperville, Benet Academy

Katie Frye, Delavan, Delavan High School

Hannah Gleason, Plainfield, Providence Catholic High School

Molly Hernandez, Glen Ellyn, Glenbard West High School

Megan Joyner, Marion, Marion High School

Christopher Kelly, Flossmoor, Homewood-Flossmoor High School

Jacob Laden-Guindon, Chicago, Northside College Preparatory High School

Alex Levy, Buffalo Grove, Adlai S. Stevenson High School

Franco Longobardi, Arlington Heights, Prospect High School

Ben Love, Byron, Byron High School

Reagan Pender, Chicago, Mother McAuley Liberal Arts High School

De'Jah Perkins, Chicago, The Chicago High School for the Arts

Alejandro Raya, Moline, Moline Senior High School

Andrea Schumann, Lake Barrington, Barrington High School

Taylor Marie Sherry, St. Charles, St. Charles North High School

Lauren Van Speybroeck, Rock Island, Alleman High School

Marianna Veneri, Niles, Maine East High School

Ben Viette, Belvidere, Belvidere North High School


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 over 50,000 students annually who participate in high school musical theater competitions sponsored by thirty professional theatres throughout the US.

Since its inception, NHSMTA has been the catalyst for more than $750,000 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.

Thanks to the support of its participating professional regional theatres and donors, NHSMTA continues to grow. This year the program inspired PBS 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 at the Minskoff Theatre. The series, which premiered in September 2012, was showcased in 100% of PBS's Top 50 strategic markets and is one of their most highly rated programs. It continues to be aired on stations across the country, and along with dozens of additional online video segments, remains popular viewing around the clock and around the world at www.pbs.org.

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 theatres, school administrators are now directing both human and financial resources to improve the quality of theatre 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 visit www.nhsmta.com.


Broadway In Chicago was created in July 2000 and over the past 13 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.

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