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Now in its seventh year, the Illinois High School Musical Theatre Awards sends representatives to attend and evaluate over 70 high school musicals throughout the state. Twenty-four students (12 actors and 12 actresses) are invited downtown Chicago for a day of coaching with a Broadway professional, to perform on stage at the Broadway Playhouse, and attend a Broadway In Chicago show. In past years, students have worked with incredible Broadway talent including Jonathan Weir (Disney’s Aladdin), Kerstin Anderson (The Sound of Music), Brad Musgrove (Pippin), and Nick Cosgrove (Jersey Boys).

The students compete for top honors in front of Chicago casting agents and theater professionals. Participating schools are also eligible to be nominated for Best Production (presented by Guardian Music Travel), Best Direction, and the Best Scenic Design (presented by Grosh Backdrops and Drapery) Awards.

BY THE NUMBERS
• Over the past six years of our program, 135 schools throughout the state participated
• 32 counties represented throughout the state of Illinois
• In 2017, IHSMTA reached 6,000 students across the state
• In 2014, Jonah Rawitz (Buffalo Grove, Illinois), was the recipient of the highest honor- the Jimmy Award winner for Best Actor
• In 2016, Cecilia Trippiedi (Orland Park, Illinois) was honored as the Jimmy Awards Best Dancer

QUOTES
“I love the Illinois High School Music Theatre Awards because it gives teens an opportunity to express what we love to do- musical theatre. Meeting all of these kind individuals and getting the opportunity to sing with them has been fantastic. Thank you to the IHSMTA program, Broadway In Chicago for sponsoring this great outlet for students to do musical theatre.”
– Jordan Radis, 2017 Best Actor Finalist, Adlai E Stevenson High School

“Words cannot express how much today has impacted my life and career. I am honored to have been a part of this amazingly talented group of people. Thank you IHSMTA for this amazing opportunity!”
– Brax Melvin, 2017 IHSMTA Best Actor Nominee, Frankfort Community High School

“IHSMTA gives us inspiration and gives our students tools and experiences to take them to the next level. It’s really great for them to have this experience where they get to work with professionals and their peers and it really elevates what they do when they come back to us.”
– Brian Wand, 2017 Best Direction Award Recipient, Benet Academy

“My favorite part of the entire IHSTMA experience was getting to meet all of the talented teens from across Illinois.”
– Grace Etzkorn, 2015 IHSMTA Best Actress, Benet Academy

“The most exciting thing about being part of the program is the opportunity to push myself out of the comfort zone of my small town and share my talent with other people who appreciate the arts as much as I do.”
– Katie Frye, 2014 IHSMTA Best Actress Nominee, Delavan High School

“This program has given me amazing friends, as well as the opportunity to network with and learn from industry professionals.”
– Ben Love, 2015 IHSMTA Best Actor, Byron High School